Sports leagues facing more than $ 300 million from airline sponsors

Mr and Mrs Met stand on stage at Delta Air Lines’ unveiling the JFK Airport ‘Let’s Go Mets’ flight to mark the team’s return to the postseason on 6 October 2015 in New York City.

Brad Barket | Getty Images

As U.S. sports leagues continue to welcome fans back to stadiums, the effects of Covid-19 continue to attract and could dampen company sponsorship revenue. -air.

Data analytics firm GlobalData is projecting sports leagues around the world against more than $ 300 million in sponsorship losses, and “the airline’s withdrawal from the sponsorship promises may be seen” as the travel division recovers from Covid-19.

“With the devastation caused to the industry by government-imposed locks around the world, and the subsequent collapse in international travel, airlines, even those who are able to rely on sovereign wealth money, have seen huge losses and job cuts, “wrote Patrick Kinch, a sports analyst at GlobalData.” As a result, in an effort to recoup costs, it seems There is an airline division that will pull out of existing sports commitments. “

Added Kinch: “Rights holders will be challenged to either find a business that was not as troubled by the pandemic or accept a lower value for their sponsorship funds.”

GlobalData released its findings Thursday and estimates that global airlines will spend around $ 737 million in funding in 2021. And of that figure, U.S. sports leagues will receive about $ 197 million in fees for contracts with American Airlines, United, and Delta.

In an interview with CNBC, Conrad Wiacek, head of sports analysis at GlobalData, estimates that United Airlines will spend $ 29 million in 2021 on sports sponsorship, with $ 13 million of contracts coming to an end this year.

Delta Airlines Boeing 757-251 arrives at Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia on February 24, 2021.

Daniel caol | AFP | Getty Images

American Airlines is expected to spend $ 23.3 million this year, with about $ 11 million in deals coming to an end. And Delta will cost about $ 70 million, with $ 14 million in contracts about to expire.

GlobalData also projects that these airlines spend around $ 60 million on the National Football League, combined, and the National Basketball Association has sponsorship agreements worth $ 25.86 million for 2021.

When asked if he would see the contracts renewed, Wiacek said: “It depends on a lot of factors; especially on how things open as locks diminish and vaccines continue.” It is also a feature of “government support to keep airlines away”.

As part of the $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package, $ 14 billion has been earmarked for U.S. airlines, the third round of federal support for the industry. $ 1 billion airline contractors have been sidelined. U.S. and international airlines serving the United States carried 398 million people last year, a 62% decline from 2019, according to the Department of Transportation.

In addition to reducing overall travel, the pandemic of aviation sports industries was like seasons were off or shortened. Before Covid-19 hit, airlines had added service for major sporting events such as college football playoffs.

Wiacek added that airlines could be helped if customers start traveling, especially to see sports teams play. If demand improves, airlines may be able to maintain some of their sponsorship deals.

“People want to travel; they want to fly, and things like sport drive that,” Wiacek said. “That’s the positive thing and what the airlines can look for – the commitment to a return to regularity.”