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Austerity Makes Corporate Logos A Rarer Sight In Sport

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Speed blurs one recent development on the F1 circuit: the growing swathes of empty space on the cars' bodywork. Until recently corporate sponsors had to join a waiting list to get their logos onto a F1 car. Not any more.

The recession, combined with a mood of austerity across the corporate world, has led to a reappraisal of priorities within company's marketing departments. RBS will withdraw from its sponsorship of the F1 team Williams next season; rival team Sauber is almost entirely unsponsored; and over the weekend news broke that Renault has had to ask for an advance on television money to help it pay for the development of next year's car.

And that cash shortfall is not limited to motor sport. One of the more painful, and expensive, bruises picked up by England's stumbling attempts in the World Cup came from its main sponsor Nationwide. The building society announced shortly after England's ignominious return that it had decided not to renew its sponsorship of the team.

While it would be easy to put the decision down to England's dismal showing in South Africa, the more realistic view is it is all part of a growing trend among major sponsors to move away from high-profile sports and sporting events and towards grass-roots sponsorship.

The market for sports sponsorship has emerged from the recession a subtly changed animal. The big players of the corporate sponsorship world, for so long automotive and financial services companies, were among the hardest hit in the credit crunch.

Banks no longer want to be seen sipping champagne in the corporate boxes at Wembley and Twickenham.

Car makers simply can't afford it.

"The categories which are large investors in sport change," explained Joel Seymour-Hyde of sports sponsorship group Octagon. "Until recently it was financial services and automotive.

"These two have not had the best five-year period. And banks also have a big issue around their image. Those two categories have died away and we are now seeing telecoms companies and bookies replacing them."

It's the sponsorless recovery.

If there was a real recovery wouldn't businesses be chucking money all over like there is no tomorrow? A lot of sponsorship is to do with ego and the look at me aren't I important.

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  • 428 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
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