Football will struggle to gain sponsorship – Mitchell
Jamaica National Group Assistant General Manager Leon Mitchell and sports marketer Tanya Lee believe that there will be challenges to secure sponsorship for the upcoming football season in the midst of COVID-19.
According to Mitchell, who is also Boys' Town Football Club president, companies may not be willing to spend if they are not in good financial standing.
"If your company is not doing as well because of COVID-19, why would you put money into sponsorship of sport when it isn't also looking after itself," Mitchell told STAR Sports. "If people can't go and buy the goods because they are not working, then that impacts on the sponsorship that you are prepared to offer."
He says that football leagues have to come with a plan that will satisfy protective partners.
"Leon Mitchell can only tell you what he wants and if you don't fit into that profile, then maybe I am not going to sponsor the event," he said. "So you got to come up with something that is going to make me feel OK, where they are trying to collectively manage the game."
Lee says that while the uncertainty of crowds returning to stadiums could affect current sponsorship opportunities, the nation's top flight, the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), has value in which they could still attract partners.
"The majority of marketers know they are either cutting their marketing budgets or they are maintaining the budgets that they have, and their investment may not be something that they are looking to increase when it comes to sports sponsorship, given that spectators are not at a lot of these venues," she said. "However, the RSPL is the strongest sporting property in Jamaica and I suspect that they should be able to galvanise support."
To that end, she says that securing broadcasting on different mediums will be key going forward to appease prospective partners.
"It becomes even more critical, therefore, that there is coverage on TV, radio and online platforms because that's where the eyes will be, and of course that's where brands will be able to see the rewards or the returns of their investment," she said.
Both Mitchell and Lee concur that the health protocols will be a major factor for sponsors, with the latter saying that brands do not want to look "socially irresponsible", given the current health climate.