This last year has changed a lot of things for many people. In sports marketing, the word of the past twelve months seems to have been ‘pivot’ – a word that, for those lucky enough to still be working in the industry, has come to mean ‘start again’.
I think it’s safe to say that most (if not all) rightsholders have had a very different P&L (Profit & Loss) this year compared to the norm and have had to redirect efforts in terms of looking for new revenue streams. Last summer, there were fears that up to fifteen EFL Clubs could go into administration - which is one in every five. We have seen the majority of rightsholders furlough staff, cut costs, make redundancies and/or seek additional external investment (Wrexham and Ryan Reynolds being the biggest investment surprise of 2020).
This period of uncertainty and (as much as I hate to say it) these unprecedented times, have meant that the traditional revenue streams for rightsholders have either dried up or become a much harder sell, with regards to sponsorship.
So, what are rightsholders to do? Raising ticket prices is not an option with no events taking place; thinking up ways to keep sponsors happy without being able to provide usual contractual assets is harder with brands still wanting to activate partnerships in the same way; broadcast and advertising streams are maxed out; investment is an uphill battle with everyone putting their hand out; and purse strings are getting tighter. So, what else is there to explore?
How The Memento Group can help you
The answer, as I have discovered in 2020, is licensing. This past year has proved more than ever, that fans are desperate to be close to the action, to feel like they are part of the history and the journey their club, team, player, or athlete is on.
Through bespoke licensing agreements, rightsholders can tap into revenue streams which would otherwise have gone untapped. We know that the players, athletes, drivers, etcetera are a brand themselves and contractually have an obligation to support their rightsholder. This is where The Memento Group comes in.
With a tried and tested formula, we can work with rightsholders to commercialise their talent and labels in a new way, meanwhile enhancing brand value and protecting IP. For example, during the 2020 season, F1 fans were desperate to see their favourite drivers and to feel involved in the sport.
Normally over a race weekend, fans would queue for hours to access driver signing sessions, but for 2020 and the start of 2021, of course this was not possible. Nevertheless, through our license agreements with F1 teams, we have been able to provide fans access to exclusive memorabilia from their favourite teams and drivers - memorabilia found nowhere else online. This unique concept of bringing the sport to the fans through memorabilia was created by The Memento Group and solidifies our ethos of putting fans at the heart of the sport and allowing them to own the moment.
Through these agreements (which we currently hold with most of the teams on the grid) we were able to drive significant revenue for our partners, as well as create cost savings for the teams.
For example, our purchasing of team racewear that the drivers use at race weekends, can save the teams £100,000s across a single season.We then can create desirable memorabilia products using these items which the teams will earn royalties on – giving them two revenue streams from one agreement. Not to mention it brings fans of the sport closer to the teams and their favourite drivers in a new way.
With covid-19 restrictions beginning to ease and sports venues seeing the return of spectators once more, it’s understandable to expect another ‘pivot’. However, the learnings from this past year have proved that we work in an industry which is able to function during the unexpected. And for us, we have adapted to ways in which we can benefit and help others benefit too.
If you’d like to discuss ways in which we can help you and your business, our excellent Partnerships Team will be on hand to assist. We look forward to working with you in 2021.