In Sport Sponsorship


How much does sport sponsorship cost and how much does it cost to sponsor a sport team ?

Sport sponsorship is one of the most efficient and used marketing strategies in the world of business. Since the 60’s, countless companies of all sizes and industries have used sport to engage with their customers and potential clients leveraging on the amazing passion and excitement only sport can bring. How much does it cost? this is one of the most asked questions? From a few hundred dollars for a youth sports team at grassroots level that even a small business can afford to the several million needed for the more prominent leagues.

Of course sponsorship is a very broad term, ranging from local footbal team partnerships to Football World Cup deals, and believe it or not not always the most expensive contract wins the race. As already mentioned in this blog, the most important thing in sports marketing is to match the right activities for the right company goals and putting together tailor made packages that perfectly fit to what you and your brand want to look like in the future. For this reason, a local business such as the premium bakery round the corner does not need to sponsor the Olympics to become a neighborhood favorite, but could maybe benefit from a local high school stadium deal or a local sports team.

So, how much does it cost? How much does a sponsorship cost and how much does it cost to sponsor a team?

Of course, it depends. There is not a right and precise answer to that. It depends on the size of the deal, of the target market, on the TV and media exposure, on the popularity of the sponsored property and on the amount of marketing benefits you getting. Sponsorships in Formula 1, the Premier League, or with the National Basketball Association may skyrocket towards the tens of millions per year. Figures can go higher than that for World Cup or Olympic Sponsors or for lifetime endorsements such as the one Nike penned with Cristiano Ronaldo or LeBron James. 

The trick here is not to ask how much money is needed to do something, but to understand how much money you are budgeting for your sport sponsorship program and then start drafting a plan and carefully understanding options and alternatives. Sponsorship packages are not carved in the stone, flexibility is the main word, you get what you need…. but you must have a plan before talking with the sport property.

Moreover, there’s another thing you should keep in mind. What is sports sponsorship cost? when we discuss how much a sponsorship deal is worth, we only refer to the value of the deal per se. We do not consider the money needed for the activations, for the additional staff and logistics and so on and so forth. 

So again, how much does sponsorship cost? It depends on the depth and broadness of your program, the right question should be what is the total cost of this activity? how much money do I need to implement my activation plan? How much for hospitality, promotions, social media and so on and so forth.

How much is sport sponsorship worth?

Following these lines, there is a list of long-standing sports sponsorships. Some of the biggest Companies in the world know that sponsorship has an enormous value, hence they stayed in for decades, and here we go:

  • Ford and Geelong Football Club celebrated 90 years of association and extended their partnership till the end of 2020, making it one of the longest sports team partnerships in the world.;
  • The Coca-Cola Company is the longest continuous sponsor of the Olympic Games (94 years so far) the relationship started in 1928 and they have extended their Worldwide Partnership through 2020.;
  • In Tennis, the partnership between Wimbledon and Slazenger started 116 Years ago;
  • Repsol and Honda HRC are still together after 23 years. The duo is going strong and it is one of the protagonists of the MotoGP Championship;
  • Philip Morris has been sponsoring Ferrari since the mid-80s, their partnership will go ahead until 2021…36 years and still racing together;
  • After 20 years the partnership between Inter e Pirelli is very solid and it is set to go well over 25 years’ duration;
  • The association between McDonald’s and FIFA World Cup dates since 1994. At the 2018 Russia world cup, they will be celebrating 24 years of partnership;
  • The Coca-Cola Company is been with FIFA since 1974. Coke began to sponsor the world cup in 1978. Coca-Cola has had stadium advertising at every FIFA World Cup since 1950;
  • Visa used the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 to celebrate over 30 Years of Olympic Sponsorship;
  • Barclays have enjoyed a great partnership with the Premier League over the last 15 years and they are still going;
  • In Italy Telecom Italia and Serie A reached the 20 years in 2018;
  • Rugby Football Union and O2 partnership begun in 1995 and the contract will expire in 2021 (26 years);
  • ECB England and Wales Cricket Board and NatWest have a long-standing relationship that has lasted over 35 years.

The importance of being a sponsor

Obviously, these companies are not in the sponsorship arena just because they like sports. During such a long period many managers have succeeded and all have realized the utility of being sponsors otherwise they would not have renewed those partnerships.

They realized the immense value that sponsoring a discipline can add to their brand recognition and awareness and how a sports marketing program can have a great impact on sales while giving PR and hospitality opportunity.

If you are interested in knowing more about sponsorship contact us at

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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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What sport should I sponsor? Football or tennis? If you are in Pakistan, maybe Cricket.
What is a sponsorship in Kind, or a Barter sponsorship?