MAY 2020

How rights holders are adapting to their new realities

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world of sports and sponsorship upside down and forced rights holders and brands to rethink how they remain relevant, engage fans and sell products and services.

With sports stadiums and racetracks closed and mass participation events called off for the foreseeable future, rights holders and brands are getting creative in their efforts to stay relevant and provide valuable services to their fans and stakeholders. Given the nature of the pandemic, a lot of activity has moved online.

One of The Sponsorship Experts’ clients, Schächter Sports, have started offering a new video analysis service, called Work like the pro’s. Working with licensed top coaches from Germany, clubs and players can get live and detailed analysis of their game tactics and technical level. The service includes a 90-minute pre-analysis of a match as well as a live session, personalised clips for individual development and written feedback for every match.

Another client, PTT Bluewave Chonburi Futsal Club, is leveraging their online presence offering brands the opportunity to reach the club’s fanbase through social media and the personal accounts of players.

Mass Participation World, another client of The Sponsorship Experts, is offering free hour-long webinars with Founder Chris Robb, covering all aspects of mass participation, providing insights and industry best practices.

Esports were already on the rise; according to an analysis by PwC before the COVID-19 pandemic, esports revenue was forecast to rise to USD1.8 billion by 2023, up from USD775 million in 2018. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to propel this growth as major leagues and disciplines around the world are now investing significant resources into the format.

LaLiga, another one of The Sponsorship Experts clients, has launched an array or initiatives to engage with their global fanbase, including the FIFA 20 LaLiga Santander Challenge. The league is also using its popular channel LaLigaTV to launch programmes to engage their global fanbase. One of them, LaLiga StayAtHome, is a 30-minute weekly show that brings viewers closer to players who have filmed themselves at home to show fans how they are passing time during the lockdown.

The Premier League is also in talks with their clubs to join the esports tournaments on FIFA 20. According to the Financial Times, the league, the world’s most valuable domestic football competition, has warned that it risks losing at least GBP1.1 billion from football’s shutdown. Moving the sport online may be the only way to minimise losses.

In a similar vein, Formula One has been forced to postpone or cancel 10 Grand Prix, with each worth between USD40-70 million in promoter fees from racetracks, according to the Financial Times. Cited in the newspaper, Julian Tan, the Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports at Formula One, said, “Formula One racing is not replaceable through esports, but it’s an opportunity to create something different, something new, something that our fans can engage with.”

Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. is an independent marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand specialising in commercial sponsorship and partnership marketing, working with both rights holders and brands - acting as a catalyst by bringing them together and maximising the relationship.

We have packaged, sold and managed sponsorship and partnership opportunities for a wide range of rights holders and worked with many of the world’s leading brands to source and engage the right sponsorships and partnerships for them to maximise.

Please contact us for more information: Tel./Fax: +66 2622 0605 – 7 Email: