More brands will truly appreciate the role that sponsorship can play in addressing business needs in 2016:

They will look closely at the rights they own, or seek to buy, to ensure they can be fully leveraged and they will seek expert opinion before signing. At the same time, there will be an increased expectation of robust evaluation, sophisticated data and fan analysis. Combined, these trends will put increasing pressure on rights holders to better service sponsors’ needs. Rights holders who invest to meet this demand will benefit.

Globally, more rights holders are working with sponsors in the activation space, even co-marketing those activations when possible. At the same time, the majority of Irish sponsors believe their partners can provide a better service. Sponsors place high value on partners who go the extra mile and demonstrate a commercial understanding of their business.

In the UK, the FA Cup has been working hard to increase its appeal to the tech-savvy younger fan. It is working closely with Instagram, is active on Twitter and is venturing into gaming. The rights holder is taking the lead for the benefit of fans and sponsors; particularly, in this case, for its new headline sponsor Emirates. 2016 will be the year that rights holders invest in resources to work more closely with partners, not only to meet increased sponsor demand, but for the benefit of its other customers – the fans.

This concludes our Sponsorship Outlook for the year ahead. Part 4/4. You can find the full Outlook 2016 document from Core Media here.