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    The serious business of sport in South Africa

    Sport in South Africa remains "serious business", as it continues to contribute billions of rands to the broadcasting industry and plays a crucial role in content generation.
    Source © Sports Industry Awards  Sport in South Africa remains “serious business says the Nielsen Sports South Africa’s 2022 SA Sports Landscape report
    Source © Sports Industry Awards Sports Industry Awards Sport in South Africa remains “serious business says the Nielsen Sports South Africa’s 2022 SA Sports Landscape report

    That was one of the findings from Nielsen Sports South Africa’s 2022 SA Sports Landscape report, which was released recently.

    2022 was an important year, in terms of the measurement of sports viewership and sponsorship, coming as it did off the back of two challenging years dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the global sports industry.

    The commercial value fo sport and other key findings

    According to Nielsen, over 450 brands allocated spend to broadcaster SuperSport’s channels in 2022 alone, with that cumulative spend totalling approximately R2.4bn, in terms of media-rated ad spend off rate card – an example and reminder of the commercial value of sport in South Africa.

    “Another stand-out finding was the fact that the sponsorship landscape is showing that as brands and rights-holders re-negotiate their involvement in sport, these brands are opting for the signing of shorter deals and reducing sponsorship terms,” says Tumelo Selikane, commercial director at Nielsen Sports South Africa.

    “It’s going to be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out in the coming years and its potential impact on the broader industry, in terms of commercial value and contribution.”

    Other key findings include:

    • All forms of interest in sport - watching and participating - were up by 10%-12% from levels seen in May 2020, when Nielsen last conducted a NFI SA study.
    • Two thirds of South Africans are interested in sport in general.
    • linear TV viewers are older and many sports fans have moved from TV to social media and streaming platforms for their sports content.
    • sports/events enjoying significant increases in consumption: women’s cricket, Banyana Banyana, Comrades Marathon, international football.
    • Betting companies among major players investing heavily in TV media spend and sports sponsorship.

    “Sport remains crucial to the content that broadcasters – free-to-air, pay TV and streaming platforms – put out, and whilst viewing and consumption patterns are clearly changing, as shown by the data gathered, the value of the content remains,” says Jean Willers, managing director of Nielsen Sports South Africa.

    “Nielsen Sports celebrates the value of data in this report by sharing more than pure data points, but also the findings and insights obtained from reading and understanding them,” says Willers.

    The shifting sports landscape

    The Report explores how brands and rights-holders can strategically invest in targeted areas and maximise their marketing efforts, all while adapting to changing market trends.

    Valuable insight into both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the sports sponsorship landscape is in the Report.

    The data and analytics giant’s report delves into the shifting sports landscape and provides in-depth analysis of data and insights gathered from industry platforms such as Nielsen Fan Insights, Nielsen Ad Intel, and South Africa’s BRC TAMS viewership numbers.

    Subjects covered in the report include:

    • Sports fan demographics
    • Consumption of products and services
    • Interest levels and fan size
    • Sports participation
    • Awareness and interest in sports events and competitions
    • Team support
    • Brand association
    • Consumption of sports
    • TV viewership
    • TV media spend
    • Local and global sponsorship deals

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