Sports Sponsorship Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2022

Key for Maintenance and Improvement of Advertisement Values after Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games Lies in Long-Term Sponsorship Activation at Corporate Sponsors

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the organizations that govern the sports events held at Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games as well as the sponsoring companies, and found out the trends of such organizations and companies.

Summary of Research Findings

It was called the “Golden Sports Years” during the three years from 2019 to 2021, when globally important sporting events had been scheduled, including Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games, Rugby World Cup, and the World Masters Games 2021 Kansai, and when extraordinary sports promotions and economic effects had been expected. The outcome had been overly different from initially expected due to new coronavirus pandemic, but it was true that new investment turned to sports industry.

On the other hand, the markedly different end from what expected in Golden Sports Years may make potential sluggishness in the sporting-events investment, which may bring about difficulty in procuring funds for some sports players and teams that rely on sponsorship revenues.

Noteworthy Topics

Challenges at Governing Bodies

Corporate sponsors are needed to implement sports sponsorship and consider where to invest, upon accurate understanding of their problems that they have and making clear of their purposes. What attract attention in recent years is “Sponsorship activation” that maximizes the sports sponsorship effects, and not just media exposure through simple advertisement or billboards. It is a marketing activity by a company to propel the sports sponsorship.

The challenge of sponsorship activation from what has been able to see in the research is lack of awareness among governing bodies regarding the activation behaviors with sponsoring companies. Sponsorship activation is regarded to be taken initiatives by corporate sponsors, but it is necessary for governing bodies to engage in co-creation with sponsor companies in order to build a longer-term relationship and enhance mutual values.

On the other hand, although many governing bodies recognize the necessity of sponsorship activation, they are often observed as not being able to reach to that point, because of many other deeds to be done such as enhancement and popularization of the sports themselves, which is their main objectives, and of preparing operational infrastructure. Such an issue may be solved through outsourcing to external bodies instead of only using in-house solutions.

In addition, there is an issue of the rights of governing bodies as well as the rights of individual players not being clearly defined. For the sports that have few opportunities to play as national representative such as being the professional player of individual game sports, there are cases of each player signing up a contract with a sponsoring company or belonging to a management company. If the rights of governing bodies and the rights of an individual player are not clarified, a sponsoring company may not to be able to enjoy the benefit that had anticipated. Now that the influence of the individual to the society has been stronger than before, it is necessary for the governing bodies to coordinate the rights of individual athletes with those of the governing bodies and present the benefits of sponsorship to sponsor companies, upon obtaining the consent of athletes and related parties.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: July to December 2022
2.Research Object: Governing Bodies of Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games, Domestic Corporate Sports Sponsors
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews (including online) by specialized researchers, questionnaire, and literature research

Regarding Sports Sponsorship:

Sports sponsorship in research refers to the relationship of mutual value exchanges of companies that sponsor those sports and governing bodies played at Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games. This research has targeted the sponsorship only of the summertime sporting events and not those in the wintertime though some exceptions. In addition, the research has targeted the relationship of those corporate sponsors with governing bodies, and the sponsorship regarding the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

<Products and Services in the Market>

Governing Bodies of Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games, Domestic Corporate Sports Sponsors

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