The following article was written by Stephen Pearson, CEO of Sports Media Gaming Ltd (SMG). SMG is a leading international sports marketing agency, and continues to be at the forefront of brokering sports sponsorships for leading online trading brands.
A study in late 2016 by Sports Media Gaming showed that 65% of all FX sports investment was going to football sponsorship. The second largest investment was into motorsports, mostly F1.
Times and investment trends are changing.
With the approaching start in March 2018 of the new F1 season, there are no online trading companies sponsoring an F1 team. Compare that to five of the teams having FX sponsors only a few years ago. Much of the exodus to football has been because F1 teams can’t yet compete with the huge scale of digital and social media offered by the leading European football teams. Hopefully the new owners of F1 are addressing this issue.
But shift in marketing spend is also taking place in a new direction and that is towards rugby. There has been a raft of rugby sponsorships from the sector of late, most recently with the announcement of Invast Global’s sponsorship of the Australian Sevens team and De Giro’s shirt sponsorship of the Dutch rugby union.
Rugby offers online trading companies unique benefits. First of all, it’s a very uncluttered environment, a chance for FX companies to stand out from the crowd.
Recent demographic analysis by Nielsen shows that 72% of the rugby audience is male, 80% from an upmarket ABC1 profile with an average income of over £50,000. That is a better profile target client than the average football fan. Less of them for sure overall but quality rather than quantity.
Average investment cost into rugby sponsorship is also considerably less than the average European football team.
Rugby is also a very strong option in some key FX markets less well served by football, notably Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Whilst it’s all eyes on the FIFA world cup in Russia in 2018, the rugby world cup is fast approaching in Japan in 2019 and as a marketing platform, rugby is becoming more and more attractive to online trading companies at team, event and brand ambassador level.