European Sport Sponsorship Market: Reaching a new record high

Mar 26, 2024

The Emerging Sportech Opportunity


The sports industry is a dynamic and robust environment to engage with fans worldwide. In this sense, brands have an opportunity to establish deeper connections with the public and present their identity and products integrated into entertainment events. In Beyond the game: most 125 marketable athletes in 2023 we have mentioned how marketing in sports was such an effective and efficient strategy to connect brands and people. Today, we are digging deeper into this issue and analyzing the increasing tendency of this marketing practice in Europe.


Brands’ interest in the European sports market

Sports sponsorships across Europe have recovered to pre-pandemic levels this past year. According to the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) and Nielsen Sports sponsorships have reached a record high of €30.86 billion, a 6.2% increase over 2022. More specifically, the sports sector increased to a new high of €21.98 billion, €1.29 billion more than in 2022 and €1.72 billion in 2019.

As Managing Director of International from Nielsen Sports, Samantha Lamberti, commented, «The year 2023 was remarkable for the sponsorship industry, as it witnessed a full recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant growth in spending. However, we at Nielsen Sports know this was only an intermediate step.»

Changes in the market are about to influence sponsorship in the medium and long term. However, Samantha Lamberti stated that Nielsen is «acknowledging great potential in it». Nevertheless, this means that sponsoring brands will need to act more strategically than ever to achieve a leading position in the market and meet the demands of the public.

The European Sponsorship Market Overview also remarks on the growths of Iceland and Poland (19%), which were declared the fastest growers in 2023. Germany remains the largest sponsorship market in the continent, with €5.7 billion, followed closely by The UK (€5.13 billion).


Factors driving the market growth

The esports industry’s increasing popularity is expected to affect the sports sponsorship market significantly. Esports offer various opportunities for sponsors to engage with fans so that we can expect a considerable increase in sponsorship levels in the next few years.

At the same time, and as stated by the Sport Sponsorship Global Market Report published by the Business Research Company, the steady increase in the number of sports events may be propelling the growth of the sponsorships’ market going forward, mainly by advertising their brand or products through advertisements during the events.

As mentioned in What’s Next in Sports Marketing: Anticipating the Trends to Follow, technological advancements are also critical in the market’s growth, with AR and VR technology leading the movement for a more immersive and captivating experience.

Stay tuned!