It's a fact of life for amateur sports that funding and sponsorship comes and goes with Olympic cycles, but how will Canadian athletes fare after their recent success in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games?
The Canadian Sponsorship Forum hopes to be able to help answer that question this weekend at their annual meeting - held in Whistler to coincide with the Paralympic Winter Games.
"We will be presenting a Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, looking at the sponsorship landscape since 2009 and forecasting what it will look like after the Olympics and Paralympic Games - what's going to happen going forward and how it will affect sports organizations going forward," explained Christine Hogg, who is coordinating the event. She is also a sponsorship and marketing consultant for TrojanOne, which is co-hosting the forum with the Canadian Institute for Sports Marketing at Laurentian University.
The study includes feedback from over 750 sponsors, agencies and properties and provides data on the size and scale of sports sponsorship as well as trends that are impacting sports - such as the current economic recession.
The report also looks at spending by sector, activations trends, evaluation practices and strategic priorities for sports marketing.
According to the 2009 study, sport sponsorship in Canada increased to $1.39 billion in 2008, up 14 per cent from the previous year and 25 per cent over 2006. While 2009 was affected by the recession, sponsorship funding likely increased in the build-up to the 2010 Games.
"(The forum) is not specific to sports marketing, we draw on everyone from not-for-profits to festivals like the Calgary Stampede to corporate brands," said Hogg. "A lot of attendees are corporations, but there are also not-for-profits and sports organizations that are looking for ways to increase their own sponsorship."
For the first time in the forum's four years the event will include workshops where different groups can discuss marketing opportunities, as well as review case studies.
"Everybody wants to know what the landscape is going to look like after the 2010 Games and how it will affect sports organizations going forward," Hogg added. "Still, sponsors continue to see value in sports and good results in the Olympics and Paralympics, for example, do have an impact on sponsors and the public."