MKTG Frontier shows that “why?” is the key question for the sponsorship and partnership industry

MKTG, the global lifestyle agency, has today released the results of their fifth annual Frontier survey; a detailed look at the sponsorship, sports and entertainment world in a bid to understand the marketplace and identify emerging trends shaping its future.

In field from 11 March till 8 May 2020, the global survey asked 800 industry professionals including brands, rights holders and agencies across 30 countries for their views on the market, monitoring the shift in sentiment throughout the pandemic.

The key trends from this year’s Frontier survey include:

Measuring the Why

Not surprisingly, accountability is on the rise and Frontier 2020 found that while 88% of the industry agree that tracking performance against objectives is critical, only 20% are confident they are able to do it. This highlights the need for measurement to be integrated within the planning process aligning with business objectives and ensuring a 360° approach to evaluation and performance.

Power of Purpose

In an age where money has been the gravitational force that makes the sponsorship world go round, the impact of COVID 19 has forced the sport & entertainment industry to take stock. Purpose has long been mentioned as a key element of brand communication, but is the sponsorship industry catching up?

Frontier 2020 found that 90% of people believe sponsorship makes a meaningful connection with customers, and two thirds see sponsorship as a better platform for purpose-based marketing than advertising. It is clear that brands can capitalise on the power of sponsorship to affect change in behaviour through more purpose-driven partnerships.

Fixed Sponsorship Packages are a Thing of the Past

With 79% of brands saying that fixed sponsorship deals are dead and an opinion gap emerging between rights holders and brands on payment of non-delivered assets, Covid-19 has made sure that the traditional fixed rights package is a thing of the past. Frontier has also shown a clear delineation of which rights holder assets are in most demand by brands who are looking for flexibility in their delivery.

Charlie Wylie, Head of Sport & Entertainment at MKTG said of the findings: “The fifth year of Frontier has seen the biggest and most global response ever. Whilst the survey was completed during the global pandemic and throws up some interesting findings around sentiment and feeling during the time, the key findings of Frontier reflect the direction of travel for the industry.

For the sponsorship and partnership marketplace to grow, we need to take heed of the findings of Frontier. Gone are the days of money being spent on one decision maker’s personal affectations. The question of “why” comes up a lot in Frontier and the sooner the industry really challenges itself and asks this question properly, the better. From the “why” of purpose and reason for the activity, to the “why” of meaningful results and rationale for doing something. Whilst these are not new questions, Frontier shows that more thought and consideration needs to be given to them for the industry to develop and grow.”

About MKTG:

MKTG are global pioneers and practitioners of lifestyle marketing who create ground-breaking sponsorships, partnerships and experiences to positively affect people’s relationships with brands. MKTG work with clients including Cadbury, FedEx, Jaguar Land Rover, mastercard and Merlin Entertainments. Find out more at

For more information or to receive a copy contact:

Sandra Greer, Head of Insight

+447867 372602