There has been recent news stories about the creation of a “British Sports Marketing Bureau” headed up by Sir Keith Mills to act as some sort of interface between brands and rights holders.

The premise of the BSMB is to assist non mainstream sports such as athletics, swimming and sailing to attract money from the corporate brands who are “more focussed on sports such as football”.

It seems the venture is struggling to take off and personally i am not surprised. There are reasons why corporate brands allocate expenditure to select sports, of course the aforementioned sports take sponsorship themselves, albeit at smaller levels than football,however brands will not wish to be forced to spend money where it generates limited ROI.

Indeed sports like cycling and swimming have already come out to voice concerns and that they will remain best served by staying independent in the commercial market. I fully agree. It is down to sports rights holders to engage more experienced commercial executives who can speak to brands about their own sport , not be mixed up in a common “pot” to divide money with other sports. Rights holders need to be as competitive off the pitch as they are on the pitch.

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