European sponsorship has reached a record high of €29bn in 2023 as the sports sector continues to recover post-pandemic, according to the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) and Nielsen Sports.
The 2023 ESA Sponsorship Market Overview revealed that the total value of Europe’s sponsorship market grew by 4.3% from €27.85bn, with the sports sector reaching a high of €20.69bn. However, the market’s value remains €1bn lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2018 and 2019. Spain and the UK emerged as the fastest-growing markets, benefiting from market stabilization and the continued growth of the Premier League, respectively.
COVID-19 restrictions lifting contributed significantly to the growth across sports events, festivals, and concerts. However, the authors noted the double-edged impact of the rapidly increasing crypto sponsorship, which brought both a cash injection and a degree of volatility due to the instability of the sector. Additionally, the report acknowledged the negative influence of Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine on all markets.
ESA Chairman Andy Westlake praised the resilience of the sponsorship industry in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic, and he expressed optimism for the continued growth of non-sport sponsorship in 2023.