“It Has Been Refreshing To See How Quickly Rights Holders Have Adapted With Existing Partners”

December 14, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, Connexi give us their wrap-up of the year and take a look at how things have been changing in the sponsorship world.

The sports sponsorship market has transformed radically in 2020. In the wake of the pandemic, a study by one sports agency forecast a 37% year-on-year decrease on sponsorship spend, dropping to $28.9bn. Connexi, the tech and data-driven sponsorship marketplace, navigated the change, delivering exceptional growth, against the odds. As a relatively young company, and having a low base from which to start with, you would expect that we would be the prime target for the struggles that have come along with the pandemic. However, adapting to a rapidly changing market has allowed us to continue our growth that was so strong pre-Covid, keeping us on pace with the major players in the sports sponsorship industry.

Contrary to expectations, with both Brexit and Covid taking full force, we have been able to continue our phenomenal straight line growth. With more live conversations and users than ever before, continuing the rise on our platform from before Covid. Our user numbers are up over 40% on what they were in February 2020. But where we saw the largest increase was with live conversations. On our platform conversations went up a massive 148% on February 2020.

Despite the times, rights holders and brands have not shut up shop with sponsorship until the pandemic is over but are in fact actively having conversations. We found that there are not only more but many different types, with different sponsorships and activations from it. Our growth over this time has shown that we are resistant to that storm. We are sustainable and thriving. And as an industry, sports and sports sponsorship is capable of weathering the storm as well.

Data has never been more important. Calculating fit and risk is something that everyone is being forced into doing. Our aim is to bring those data backed solutions to the rights holders and the brands, making their lives easier.

Being in partnership with YouGov allows us to bring up to date consumer insight to our clients, helping to create the most commercially relevant partnerships. Over the last few years we have noticed that sponsorship deals have focussed much more on the partnership, sharing common values and audience traits.

Rory Stewart-Richardson, CEO of Connexi: “Rather than looking at the last 10 months as a negative, it has been refreshing to see how quickly rights holders have adapted with existing partners and with their approach to new partners, and it is clear that power and relevance of digital-first and data has really been brought to light. The togetherness of the industry over the last 10 months has been incredible and bring on 2021 and all of the amazing new partnerships!”