Payment, Fintech Companies Embrace Sports Sponsorships

Payment, Fintech Companies Embrace Sports Sponsorships

by January 26, 2023

Sports sponsorship deals from financial services and fintech companies alike have increased significantly over the past three years on the back of rising competition in the industry and amid hopes for increased brand awareness and exposure.

According to a new analysis by FXC Intelligence, a financial data company specializing in the international payments, payment cards, cryptocurrency and e-commerce industries, deals from the payment and remittance industries have particularly risen over the past years, with some of the world’s biggest names including Visa, FIS, Mastercard and Amazon Pay, backing major sporting brands and teams.

In the report, released in December 2022, FXC Intelligence delves into the sports sponsorship deals from payment companies that have been announced over the past 18 months and outlines emerging trends.

According to the analysis, at least 48 deals have been inked during the period, among which 20 primary sponsorships and 28 payment partnership sponsorships.

Mastercard and Visa emerge as most active payment companies in sports sponsorship

US-based payment firms Mastercard and Visa emerged as the most active payment companies in the field. These firms typically alternate across the biggest events and sports, which range from soccer and American football, to golf and tennis, the report says. These large events allow them to gain massive exposure.

Mastercard has so far been the biggest spender in the payment’s sponsorship market with an estimated spend of more than US$100 million, according to a 2022 GlobalData report. Visa, meanwhile, stands highest in the number of deals and occupies second position after Mastercard as the biggest spender with a reportedly US$119.7 million with 28 deals in 2022.

Other companies use sports sponsorships as a way to increase brand recognition, build positive thematic associations, and be visible to a major international audience, the FXC Intelligence report says.

This is the case for cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) payment company MoneyGram, which unveiled in October 2022 its title sponsorship of the Haas F1 team, the only American team competing in the FIA Formula 1 (F1) World Championship.

Through the deal, MoneyGram will receive constant global visibility, as the F1 World Championship runs nearly year-round and results in extensive television coverage almost every week.

The F1 World Championship is the world’s most prestigious and popular motorsports competition with a global audience of more than 500 million. The F1 2023 season will take place across 24 races held in 21 countries on five continents around the world. These countries account for nearly 80% of MoneyGram’s transaction value, making these markets of high relevance for the cross-border payment company.

Besides primary sponsorships, other deals have been inked over the past 18 months to tap business-to-business (B2B) opportunities, the FXC Intelligence report says. Most Premier League football clubs have a money transfer partner which often handles the foreign exchange (FX) for the club too, it notes. Such partners include Skrill, TransferMate, Remitly and Sokin.

Cross-border payment sponsorships in sports, Source: FXC Intelligence, Dec 2022

Cross-border payment sponsorships in sports, Source: FXC Intelligence, Dec 2022

Payment sector sports sponsorship landscape

In 2022, the payment sector accounted for 21% of venue title sponsorship spend across the sports industry, amassing a total of US$2.24 billion, according to the GlobalData report. The sum made the payment sector the most active industry in sports sponsorship spend.

Soccer was the most active sports market for payment’s sponsorship in 2022, the report says, attracting US$819.6 million. The National Basketball Association stood as the most valued property.

As of April 2022, 614 payment brands were engaged in sport sponsorship agreements.

Sports sponsorship has emerged as an appealing proposition for fintech companies, allowing them to connect with wider communities and improve upon the brand perception and value.

Sponsoring high-profile events such as the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Cup and the Premier League, in particular, enables fintech companies to cater to target audiences, enhance brand exposure and nurture reliability and trust among a wider community.

Besides payments, startups in the cryptocurrency and insurtech sectors have also gotten in the game. Wefox, a leading insurtech company headquartered in Berlin, became in February 2022 the first-ever back-of-shirt sponsor of the football club AC Milan. The deal, which also made Wefox the club’s official insurance partner, was unveiled in tandem with the launch of the startup’s offering in Italy.

In Switzerland, Wefox also has the Wefox Arena, home to Swiss soccer team FC Schaffhausen. And in Germany, the insurtech startup is the main shirt sponsor of soccer club, the FC Union Berlin, for season 2022/2023.


Featured image credit: Edited from freepik

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