Skip to content
News Center >

In Central Europe alone, sports sponsorship spending is over $350 million in 2018

3 minute read | June 2018

Two-thirds of respondents are willing to pay more for brands deemed socially useful

Budapest, June 15, 2018 – In 2018 alone, companies will spend $ 355-365 million on sports and festival sponsorship in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, according to Nielsen Sports research. Nine-tenths of value spending is spent on supporting sporting events. Football carries the largest slice (49%) of the budget allocated to sports spending.

This is followed by 17% support for winter sports and 9% support for volleyball. In terms of company profiles, sportswear, consumer goods manufacturers, energy companies and banks are the most active.

Swimming tops the domestic hit list of interest in sports, followed by water polo and handball, and fourth place in football and interest. In Europe, football is at the forefront, followed by athletics, tennis and motorsports.

The perception of sports sponsorship is undergoing a rapid transformation as companies increasingly recognize its potential and seize alternative, digital media platforms in addition to their traditional, typically television presence. At the same time, technological advances and the transformation of consumer habits simultaneously carry the promise of business potential and create uncertainty.

New players are entering the market, such as Amazon and Facebook, building their own base camp based on their own base while trying out different models. (In addition to live broadcasts, Amazon is experimenting with self-produced sports documents, for example; etc.)

These companies, which are more technologically flexible than their competitors, are reviving the sports business. The intensified competitive situation may lead to an increase in the price of premium content and, in the future, to the merger of companies interested in traditional sports broadcasting.

The rise of e-sports may also redraw the sports sponsorship map, with only Germany accounting for over 30% of those who started actively following some form of e-sports in 2017. This ratio is similar globally and is strongly correlated with the number of people interested in traditional sports. Surveys show that e-sports are most attractive to the under-30 middle-class strata who are open and looking for quality and creative sports content.

Addressing sports fans who consume content that is typically declining and scattered across multiple devices is an increasing challenge, but new technologies such as voice activation (e.g., Amazon Alexa), virtual reality, chatbots, or augmented reality offer an exciting testing ground to engage and win audiences. The opinion leaders, the so-called influencers, e.g. Involving star athletes through the right channel can also help build and maintain brand credibility.

One of the spectacular effects of the change in sponsorship paradigm is the increase in the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsor towards partner quality. In addition to the media presence, it means branding and common intellectual property at the same time, while the goal behind all this is to serve and expand a dedicated fan base and increase revenue. This integrated approach requires multi-channel communication, marketing and sponsorship efforts based on powerful digital platforms, flexible and tailored to each target audience segment.

According to a Nielsen Sports survey, two-thirds of respondents are willing to pay more for brands deemed socially beneficial, compared to 75% for those under 34 years of age. “Corporate social responsibility is effective and beneficial, and its impact is undeniable,” said Erik Vágyi, Nielsen’s director of sales. An excellent example of this is addressing female supporters, and a brand that carries out its sponsorship activities in a timely manner and with appropriate communication messages, highlighting social equality, will receive more media attention.

Contact: Karafiáth Metta,, +36309625480