Confidence among the European sponsorship marketing community has reached its highest point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, new research from the European Sponsorship Association has found.
The research also revealed that marketers are strongly in favour of gambling and betting sponsorship being better regulated, with some restrictions imposed.
The ninth edition of the ESA Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker, conducted in March 2021, registered a clear increase in positivity about the future of the industry from sponsors and agencies.
According to the ninth wave of ESA’s regular survey, taken in March 2021, confidence hit a new average high, reaching 7.1 out of 10. This represents an increase of 0.3 points from wave eight.
Although there was a decrease in confidence among rights holders, falling from 7.1 to 6.7, this was offset by significant increases in positivity among brand-side marketers (up 0.5 to 7.6/10) and agencies (up 0.7 to 7.1/10).
Confidence was particularly high among respondents from the UK, where there was a new overall high of 7.3/10, compared with 6.8/10 outside the UK.
The Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker has gauged the health and confidence of leading sponsorship organisations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting more than 1,400 responses from senior industry leaders across Europe.
Marketers participating in the ninth wave of the sentiment tracker also provided their views on the regulation of gambling and betting sponsorship.
More than 71% of respondents said they thought the industry should be better regulated with some restrictions imposed, while 15% said they were not in favour of any new restrictions and 14% called for a complete ban on betting and gambling sponsorship.
The view that there should be better regulation with some restrictions was especially pronounced in the UK (75%), with only 11% saying they were against new restrictions and 14% calling for a complete ban.
Outside the UK, 66% said they favoured better regulation with some restrictions, with 21% opposing new restrictions and 13% in favour of a complete ban.
ESA Chairman, Andy Westlake, said:
“We’re very encouraged by the results of the ninth wave of the ESA Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker, which continues to demonstrate a growing sense of confidence within the sector with an especially positive response from the agencies who make up such a big part of our member community.
“As major sporting and cultural events return in 2021, we are cautiously optimistic that the upward trend in the health and confidence of our industry will be maintained in the months to come.
“It is also very interesting to see that a clear majority of the marketers in our community are in favour of better regulation and the introduction of some restrictions in gambling and betting sponsorship.”
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