Should more brands look to Asia for sponsorship dollars?

Sponsorships are integral to making sporting events successful. However, recently, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) ran into some sponsorship woes for the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia following the organisation's corruption scandal in 2015.

However, interestingly enough, out of the five companies that did ink a deal with FIFA, to their logos being featured across Russian stadiums during the World Cup, three are Chinese companies - dairy company Mengniu, electronics manufacturer Hisense and smartphone company VIVO. In 2016, Wanda Group also came on board as a FIFA partner for the event, offering it the highest level of association with FIFA and all its event.

This begs the question, should more sporting brands target Asian companies for their sponsorship dollars?

Dinesh Sandhu, managing director of DIA said that "this is the Asian age" and described the region as the growth engine of this century, with key financial centres situated in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Dubai. The region’s potential can also be seen given international football divisions such as Bundesliga and LaLiga setting up offices in Singapore and the region to build a presence in the market.

As such, it is vital for FIFA to look to Asia to sell lucrative sponsorship deals, especially since more Asian brands such as Lenovo, Panasonic, Tiger Beer and Geely are becoming more dominant on the global front. He added that the sports branding/sponsorship market in Asia is on the rise, with the upcoming Summer Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan and the next two editions of the Winter Olympics being hosted in South Korea and China.

For the defamed FIFA, Sandhu said it needs to regain the trust of brands and consumers during the World Cup by being transparent and creating an "infalliable" executive committee. Moving forward, a professional management team needs to be brought in which consists of non-footballers and football administrators, who are free from encumbrances and undue influence, Sandhu said.

Meanwhile, Luke Lim, CEO of A.S. Louken said in a statement to A+M that when it comes to sponsoring an event, companies are always on the look out for platforms that fit their brands' values. In light of the corruption scandal, brands in this case are likely to adopt a "wait and see" attitude and observe what pans out in the next few seasons before committing sponsorship dollars.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)