This is a bumper year for sport with the Olympics, Euro 2024 and the biggest season in Formula 1 history at 24 races, so what marketing trends can we expect to emerge from this vibrant sporting landscape?
We asked our in-house experts to offer their predictions.
Lize Moran, Client Services Director:
"We can expect the geopolitical climate in 2024 to influence the strategy behind why brands and sports properties pursue a partnership – with purpose-driven motives being the driving force this year.
"These alliances will focus on shared values and causes, appealing to socially conscious consumers. By leveraging these partnerships, brands can connect with passionate sports fans while aligning themselves with meaningful social causes. This trend reflects the growing importance of purpose-driven initiatives in the sports industry, aiming to create deeper connections and positive social impact."
Marc Cutler, Head of Communications:
"Brand comms teams will have to work harder than ever to help sponsors stand out in this crowded calendar.
"The proliferation of AI (mostly in a good way) will mean that unique storylines and authentic voices will become even more important in the communications strategy mix.
"And in a world where predictive algorithms will make output more homogenous, live sport will demonstrate that the power to surprise and delight audiences will be coveted assets, and the best comms campaigns will be agile enough to take advantage of them."
Gary Brosnan, Head of Creative:
"For 2024 there has already been a lot of talk about creative trends being driven by a blend of personalised storytelling, immersive technologies and ethical advertising. While this is true, brands will have to become more human in their storytelling, especially in sponsorship so as to differentiate themselves in our increasingly congested environment.
"Audiences more than ever want meaningful sport engagement and cultural relevance. This year will see a shift in prioritised talkability as expectations around brands following through on purpose will rise."
Steven Aspinall, Head of Design:
"Whilst AI is making interesting waves in the complex world of Design and Branding, there’s an ongoing dialogue amongst many designers that already indicates a backlash, heralding a renewed emphasis on originality, authenticity, and brand heritage.
"As physical platform infrastructure becomes more technically accomplished, moving typography will become ever more ubiquitous in the sporting arena. Thus, motion design will continue to be an important factor in getting brands noticed.
"However, less will be more. Messaging designed, constructed, and delivered with minimalism, simplicity and understated elegance will help brands cut through the visual noise."
Jonny Hurcombe, Head of Digital:
"A key digital trend for 2024 will be Generative AI and the boundless creativity it offers. From text and imagery to video and audio, Gen AI will be an important tool in creating bespoke digital content, enabling brands to tailor their marketing efforts to the objectives and target audiences of their sports sponsorships.
"Synthetic data – artificially generated data created using machine learning to simulate real-world patterns – also looks set to rise to prominence in 2024, helping brands with fan segmentation and targeting, content personalisation and optimising their sports partnerships in a more time and cost-efficient way."
Pip Moore, Head of Client Management:
"Face to face experiences remain extremely valuable and will continue to create deeper connections with audiences in 2024. Fans will want to be immersed even deeper into live events as a contrast to the digital world that most people live in now.
"At the same time, VR experiences will become more prevalent in allowing fans greater access to sports, players and areas that they might have never seen before. The newfound connectivity of venues will be a platform for brands to reach their fans from multiple angles through technology whilst they are attending events."
Serena Chaiban, Research and Insights Director:
"With the growing necessity of making the right sponsorship decision and ensuring optimal assets utilisation, many brands are increasingly resorting to a data-driven decision-making approach as a means of cutting through the noise and maximising returns.
"This year, the focus will be on AI-powered research tools for personalised targeting, leveraging advanced analytics tools to provide in-depth audience data and behavioural insights leading to more impactful targeting and resonance.
"The sports industry is expected to increase its investment in tools and models that aim to isolate sponsorship activities against other marketing practices, yielding more effective and reliable ROI identification."
Right Formula’s global team of sports sponsorship consultants are on hand to help brands navigate this exciting sports sponsorship landscape. Drop us a line for a chat on how we can support your marketing objectives in 2024.