The European Sponsorship Association was formed in October 2003, as a result of a merger between two leading sponsorship bodies, the European Sponsorship Consultants Association (ESCA) and the Institute for Sports Sponsorship (ISS).
The European Sponsorship Consultants Association (ESCA) was founded in 1990 and became widely recognised as the independent objective and authoritative voice in Europe on all sponsorship matters.
ESCA was particularly effective in promoting the sponsorship industry across Europe including working with the European Commission to encourage the development of sponsorship across the EU. ESCA also championed a concerted attack on any issues and threats to the sponsorship business.
The Institute of Sports Sponsorship was founded in 1985, with Prince Philip as its President, to be the representative voice of the sports sponsorship industry and to encourage the growth of sponsorship for the benefit of sport.
The ISS promoted best practice in sponsorship; worked closely with sports bodies, government and the media to improve understanding and skills; and lobbied on behalf of its membership on key issues. Members included many of the major sponsoring companies in the UK as well as consultancies, research agencies, sports law practices etc.
As well as representing the industry’s interests regarding national sponsorship, the ISS promoted the development of sports sponsorship at grass roots and created Sportsmatch, the highly successful government funded incentive scheme for grass roots sport in the UK. ISS managed Sportsmatch in England from 1992 until 2003 when ESA took over responsibility for the Sportsmatch initiative, until 2007.
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