Commercial rights expert confident sport will 'bounce back' financially from effects of Covid-19

A file photo of David Sidenberg speaks during the Sports Industry Summit in Johannesburg.
A file photo of David Sidenberg speaks during the Sports Industry Summit in Johannesburg.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

David Sidenberg‚ a sports commercial rights expert‚ has said that the underlying value of sport will see it “bounce back” financially from the effects produced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sidenberg went further to say South African sport should begin to think of how to take advantage of the unique and unprecedented pause button that has been hit to “rethink” what can be improved in structuring.

One of the SA sponsorship industry’s most influential thought leaders‚ Sidenberg and his company‚ BMI Sport Info‚ are credited for the lead role they have played over the last 30 years in quantifying the impact sports marketing budgets contribute to their clients’ bottom line results.

South Africa’s economy is expected to shrink by 7% as a result of the effects of the coronavirus locally and internationally.

Regarding the impacts of Covid-19 and sport‚ Sidenberg said: “In many ways‚ sport mirrors the broader economic climate and sponsorship by association is no exception.

“It’s of course true that traditional sport and broadcast‚ like all business‚ is under more pressure than ever before.

“But whether we are speaking of the football specifically‚ or sport and the sponsorship market in general‚ it’s simply too early to pronounce on the long-term impacts yet.

“Yes‚ there will definitely be some causalities‚ a few market corrections and hopefully even some new brainchilds‚ but there is no doubt both the football and sport content in general will both bounce back.

"The underlying value is just too great to simply be discarded.

“For me‚ perhaps the more pressing question is‚ despite the challenges‚ how can we take advantage of this moment?

"I cannot remember a time in all my years in this industry where we have ever been able to push the pause button like now.

“So before we get going again and the opportunity is lost‚ now is our chance.

"We have a unique opportunity to review‚ rethink and‚ where required‚ restructure everything – a period if you like of almost forced collaboration‚ where so much can be improved upon – let’s not waste it.”

BMI Sport Info is‚ “South Africa’s first and only independent research company to deal exclusively with the sport and sponsorship market”‚ its website states.