Sponsorship growth slowing in N.America: report

IEG's annual report shows North America will lag global investments, but sports remains top of the pile.

North America is expected to lag global brand sponsorship growth in 2017 a year after projections overestimated North American sponsorship spending.

The WPP-owened IEG released its 32nd annual sponsorship report Monday, projecting US$62.8 billion in global sponsorship spending coming in 2017. That would mark a 4.5% increase from 2016.

However, North American companies show only 4.1% growth coming in the new year, totaling US$23.2 billion. Last year’s North American projection of 4.5% growth proved ambitious as the real total sponsorship spend of US$22.3 billion indicated only 4.2% growth.

IEG characterizes the overall numbers as “healthy,” but cites a few global trends that could frustrate further growth.

“One factor that could prove to be a drag on spending is the lingering gap between sponsor expectations and properties’ ability to deliver when it comes to both personalized marketing opportunities based on audience data, and valuable digital content and platforms,” the company said in a release. It also cited politics as a possible business hindrance – namely the U.K.’s looming Brexit and Donald Trump’s election.

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Sports is expected to remain the largest sponsorship draw in North America, earning $16.37 billion in projected investment.

“Although growth in sports spending is expected to slow from 4.7 percent last year to 4.3 percent this year, at $16.37 billion the segment will continue to command seven out of every ten dollars spent and will grow at a higher rate than each of the other property types,” the company says.