Sponsorship in The Football Industry
Amy O’Connor, Watford FC’s Sponsorship & Partnership Account Manager, discusses the future of sponsorship within the football industry.
Sponsorship in football has been key to the development and commercialisation of the industry. Relationships between sports organisations, or individual athletes, with corporations offer the chance for exponential growth in brand awareness, and it is therefore no surprise that the Premier League is now filled with global sponsorships.
When asked about her role at the club, O’Connor explained: “My role is liaising with the sponsors. At Watford I’m their only account manager, so I look after top line to entry level sponsors, from the front of the shirt, the sleeves, our van supplier, our official airline partner, etc. I’ll liaise with their lead contacts if they need shirts sending out, want to change their LED for the game, want to update a programme ad - all of that!”
Discussing what makes the football industry a great platform for overseas businesses to promote themselves, O’Connor said: “There are definitely a lot of opportunities. With football being a global business, it provides sponsors with a way of getting in front of different audiences, ones they couldn’t necessarily reach through their own industry.”
In terms of the continuing development of sponsorship in the football industry, O’Connor believes that there is further room for improvement.
“There’s a lot more technology can bring to the table,” she said.
“For example, with LEDs now, what we upload is set as we will send it on a Thursday to be shown on a Saturday, but there is technology where you can have live feeds and data on the LEDs.”
She continued: “There’s also technology, which is yet to be approved, where what you see in the stadium can have a different overlay when shown in certain countries or markets. I think that shows how much growth there is for sponsorship just from one element within the stadium.”
With sponsorship in football already developing so much, it is more than likely that it will continue to change the industry for years to come, and I for one, am looking forward to seeing what happens next.