FX Trading and Sports Sponsorship

If FX companies were ranked according to the size of investment into sports sponsorship the the top two companies would definitely be FXpro,  followed closely by AlpariFX.
There has been no sign of any let up in the investment by FX companies into sports sponsorship and it’s easy to understand why. 

Sports sponsorship provides a series of benefits to FX companies:
-     Global brand awareness through a “one stop shop”
-     A predominantly male demograph in line with the core make up of FX traders.
-     Sport offers  “big brand status” where the FX company sits aside more established blue chip global sponsors
-     A combination of offline and online media elements enhance the marketing mix and opportunity for ROI
Sports Media Gaming also see a strong parallel between the FX trading market and the online betting sector where brands like BWIN, 888.com, Betfair, and a host of others have used sport to create standout  and target key markets. Both sectors are comparatively new to market when compared to more established brands in sports sponsorship, target the same demograph and both sectors have become quickly saturated, requiring brands to find unique ways to create standout.
Of course one of the key benefits of sports sponsorship, is to circumvent any national advertising regulations by sponsorship of non domicile rights that happen to be broadcast back into the territory. This is one reason that Premier League Football has proved to be so popular with Asian bookies like and the enormous exposure the League gets into markets like Asia.

Who is Doing What in Sports Sponsorship ?
Football and Formula1 have proved to be the key drivers when it comes to sports sponsorship, followed by sailing and rugby. These are all natural sports to target the male demograph and achieve global exposure.
Additionally there is a very good synergy in the case of Formula1 as FX promotes its core values of speed and technical superior products with high performance cars. The provision of high quality hospitality facilities permits high value promotional opportunities to generate new sign ups.
Until the start of last season the top three teams on the grid were all sponsored by FX brands. Red Bull & FXDD, Mercedes & MIG Bank, McClaren & XTB
The English Premier League currently has two teams bearing FX trading company logos for the start of the 2013/14 season with Fulham & FXPro and now West Ham United & Alpari. It is worth noting that FX companies can only be involved with Premier League teams as the main shirt sponsor and at no lower level. This is because Barclays Bank who sponsor the League (The Barclays Premier League) to the tune of £48million per season have wide ranging exclusive rights. The average shirt sponsorship at this level in the Premier League is approximately £3million per annum, whilst a team like Manchester United or Liverpool are currently commanding over £20million per annum.
A typical Formula1 sponsorship which includes branding on the car will be in the region of £2.5-£4million for one of the leading cars on the grid.
The clear leaders in sports investment, we estimate  are investing approximately $20mill per year and have presently in their portfolio the following:
Main shirt sponsor of Premier League team Fulham FC 
Official partner of the Asian Champions League Football
Naming Rights partner to Australian Super Rugby  
(plus previously sponsors of Virgin F1 team, Sauber F1 , Aston Villa FC  and World Rally Championships)
Have also recently invested heavily into sports sponsorship and have in their portfolio the following:
Naming sponsor of sailing’s World Match Racing Tour
Main shirt sponsor of Premier League team West Ham United
Official Partner of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden
They are formerly sponsors of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team
Current sponsors of Malta Football Association and Maltese Referees
Aim Autosport Team FXDD competing in Rolex Sports Cars Series, the Star Mazda Series and the USF2000 Series . The company which has a mandate to identify, train and manage emerging motorsport talent.
They are current sponsors of the McClaren Formula 1 team
MIG Bank
They are current sponsors of the Mercedes Formula 1 team
AFX Capital
Title Sponsors of the AFX Capital Sailing Team
A range of other FX companies such as Instaforex and FXPrimus have become involved in sponsorship on a local level in key markets like Asia.
FX Trading companies are currently leading the way in the online trading sector in sports sponsorship, however we fully expect to start seeing Binary Option Trading firms and financial spread betting firms starting to use sports as a high profile media platform.
At present the market is very competitive, it is very much a buyers market in sports as there are so many rights available concurrently on the market. These include F1 teams, football teams in leading leagues like England, Spain and Italy, high profile sailing, international rugby and sports that FX companies have not yet aligned with which still remain highly relevant such as tennis and golf.

This article was published on www.forexmagnates.com on 28 February. For the full article please go to http://forexmagnates.com/fx-trading-and-sports-sponsorship/

Doubts Over Olympic Legacy

London 2012 sponsors have been accused of abandoning their commitment to the Olympic legacy, with the Greater London Authority (GLA) struggling to raise funds for sports-participation projects.

Brands that were involved in the Olympics may be shying away from committing significant funds to realise the legacy that was part of the original bid, despite having invested some £80million each into sponsoring the games.

It is some 7 months since the Olympics and there does not seem to be any real immediate sign of a lasting legacy but large corporate brand strategies have to keep moving and looking to the future, all eyes are very much now on Brazil 2016. 

Consumer appetite for large sporting events does have a history of fading quickly, we were a nation of rugby lovers when England won the Rugby World Cup, we become tennis enthusiasts each year during Wimbledon and we were all athletics nuts during the Olympics.

One issue is the sheer dominance of football, which consumes front and back pages of media and is the staple diet for most people across the world, not just here in the UK. Athletics will always struggle in the face of football for sponsor support and consumer interest.

We have had Tom Daley's Splash show, Beth Tweddle  Dancing on Ice and Jessica Ennis pop up in a few print media adverts but these are slowly coming to an end. The "mockumentary" Twenty Twelve that was shown on BBC before the Olympics had a very tongue in cheek approach to the issue of Olympic Legacy but seems to have been pretty spot on.

Its hard to find a solution, should the IOC commit more of a guaranteed percentage of sponsor revenue to legacy projects prior to the Olympics, a lot of the people involved in the original bid have taken their honours and moved on to the next project, it will be interesting to look back on legacy in the next few years and hope that we don't have another Millennium Dome on our hands in the UK.

20 Years of Champions League and Premier League

We are currently in the 20th season of both the UEFA Champions League and the FA Premier League. I have had the pleasure to work for both organisations and it is a good time to look how both these events have evolved and manage to stay at the peak of success.

UEFA created the Champions League format in 1992, moving from the old knock out format to a Group Stage European competition. It is hard to believe now but then there were only 8 teams in the competition. The "star ball" design that still exists today is made up of 8 stars, representing those first 8 teams. The UK entrant then was Leeds United.

Whilst Leeds have slid down the rankings to League One, The Champions League has evolved into a 32 team behemoth that draws billions in TV and sponsor revenue and spans at least two nights a week of live coverage across the globe. The Champions League Final is now one of the most watched events on earth.

UEFA and TEAM Marketing have done a fantastic job keeping the product fresh, it was noticeable that this season is the first time the competition has used the LED advertising boards, a move away from the fixed static boards that were favoured for so long. However this is a fresh dimension that adds to the quality.

The Champions League is of course no longer a league for champions. In fact the major countries see up to 4 teams qualifying and this has caused much debate, but this "hybrid" event does still mean TV companies will continue to pay top dollar to more or less guarantee home market team participation.

We see sponsors of the Champions League that have been with the competition since its inception. Ford notably supported the Champions League in the beginning and launched the Ford Mondeo on the same night across Europe by being the combined event and TV sponsor of the live matches. PlayStation have also been on board since 1997 and stay loyal to this competition. Another interesting fact of this event was that it was several years after the launch of the Champions League that clubs were permitted to sport their shirt sponsor logos which were until then restricted as part of a very tight exclusive arrangement for the central sponsors.

The Premier League likewise was formed at the same time as the Champions League. Unlike UEFA who centralised all the rights (TV and event), the Premier League chose to centralise the TV rights but not the commercial rights. It was not until 1997 that a commercial director role was created, one which i was delighted to fill and it was certainly a challenge to get the clubs to buy into a more centralised approach than they had seen before.

Also in its 20th year the League continues to be a huge success. The landscape has changed enormously - in 1992 the Chairmen were the likes of "deadly Doug" Ellis, Ken Bates, Martin Edwards and the Rick Parry. Now the owners mostly come from Middle Eastern, American and Russian heritage, but of course this has brought huge rewards for the clubs.

On a commercial front there are now really 4 leagues within a league. Teams competing for the title, teams competing for a European spot, teams just happy to be in the League and those fighting relegation. However the matches still continue to surprise and the relegation system is one that keeps the interest in the League alive.

There has often been talk of a European Super League, removing the top clubs from their domestic leagues to play in a European League. However matches like Manchester United v Real Madrid are fantastic nights to savour when they occur on an irregular basis. UEFA have made changes to the European tournaments, indeed the old Cup Winners Cup was disbanded in favour of an expanded Europa League which itself has become an established and credible competition.

It will be interesting to see where the next 20 years take the most successful club competitions in the world, that is for sure!