From Pearlfinders' interviews with senior sponsorship decision-makers so far in 2016, it’s clear that brands are striving to be more adventurous with the types of sport they explore partnerships in. But of course not all Olympic events have the same commercial appeal... Below we have compared our medal tally for each sport with the number of brands looking to invest.

 

cycling (11%)

106 brands looking to invest including Honda, Halfords and Boeing International

Anna Meares may be "scratching her head" about our success in the velodrome, but brands are already convinced that GB cyclists represent a good investment. Engineering, automotive and technology brands are particularly attracted to the sport with budgets on the rise. 

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rowing (1%)

14 brands looking to invest including Fever-Tree, DLA Piper and TUI Travel

A consistent source of records, medals and even the odd knighthood, rowing has been one of the most consistent sources of sporting success for Great Britain. And yet its appeal to sponsors remains largely limited to brands targeting the affluent. 

Athletics 13%

127 brands looking to invest including Samsonite, Investec and DFS

For the fortnight of the games, track and field athletes receive the most attention and coverage. But unless you're Mo Farah, few can dominate or even remain in the top tier year on year, so brand ambassadors need to deliver on charisma to represent a good investment.

Gymnastics / TRAMPOLINING (1%)

7 brands looking to invest including Longines, Shisiedo and Gymnova

Despite Louis Smith's turn on Strictly Come Dancing gymnastics hasn't commanded the profile or audience to attract major sponsorship investment. But, having surpassed all expectations this year might brands be looking to get involved?

BOXING / TAEKWONDO / JUDO (2.1%)

21 brands looking to invest including National Express, Reebok Watches and LeoVegas

Combat sports have historically attracted brands that want to appeal to male audiences, but Adams' and Jones' historic gold medals in Boxing and Taekwondo must surely be enough to make sponsors get out their checkbooks ahead of Tokyo?

SWIMMING / DIVING (3%)

31 brands looking to invest including Intersport, Quorn and Procter & Gamble

With Peaty securing GBs first men's Olympic gold for nearly three decades and the whole world falling in love with his #olympicnan, the cash is sure to follow. Plus, Phelps - who has $12m in endorsements - is retiring and Lochte's sponsors will be looking to spend their dollars elsewhere...

CANOEING (0.1%)

1 brand looking to invest: Bergans of Norway

Collectively, Canoe Sprint and Slalom have delivered an impressive medal horde, but unfortunately they're not capturing the imagination of brand marketers. Over the last few years, outdoor and camping brands have been the warmest to the sport.

SAILING (7%)

67 brands looking to invest including Swatch, LVMH and BMW

Sailing has proved this year that it can successfully pass on the gold medal winning abilities from generation to generation. The technical nature of the sport lends itself to effectively demonstrating the intricacies of watch-makers and technology brands, making it a mainstay for luxury marketers. 

EQUESTRIAN (4%)

40 brands looking to invest including Mitsubishi, Inditex and General Mills

The figures here are slightly deceptive - most of the 40 brands that are looking to sponsor horse-related sport are more interested in the hospitality areas of Ascot and Cheltenham than Piaffes and Leg-yields.  

TRIATHLON (3.2%)

31 brands looking to invest including JLL, Mazda, Pernod Ricard

The sponsorship appeal of the Brownlee brothers is emblematic of the shift in sponsorship strategy from mass-awareness to authentic storytelling. Viewing figures for triathlon events are mostly insignificant, but the scope for activation and content has everyone from GSK to Sony on board.

tennis (15.4%)

149 brands looking to invest including Hitachi, K-Swiss and Kia Motors

Tennis doesn't need the Olympics to generate viewing figures, but Murray's determined and highly entertaining title defense made a good case for its inclusion as a significant event in the calendar.  

HOCKEY (4%)

39 brands looking to invest including Three, Zurich and Air Canada

The recent landmark success has done wonders for not only hockey but women's team sports in general. While up until now investment has simmered at a lower level, we're already seeing brands turn up the heat, as they look to attach themselves to this significant development.

GOLF (17.3%)

168 brands looking to invest including Honda, Credit Suisse and Nikon

Making its debut in Rio, Golf is a firm favourite among brands targeting HNWI audiences. A lot of the big names were missing from the Olympic course, but Rose has declared it his "greatest achievement."

Rugby (24.4%)

236 brands looking to invest including Bulgari, SSE and Volkswagen

An unfortunate defeat in the final shouldn't be a cause for concern for those looking to attract sponsors. We've been predicting a rosy future for this sport for a couple of years now - one in four brands are looking to invest in rugby and everyone from beer to automotive brands are excited about the possibility of getting early with 7s.

Shooting (0.1%)

1 brand looking to invest: Musto

Olympic medals, Barbour jackets at Glastonbury and even backing from our own Theresa May are unlikely to encourage brands that don't advertise in Horse & Hound magazine to invest here.

 

The Number of Brands looking to invest in Olympic Sports Where Team GB won medals

Hover over the different segments of the chart to see the number of brands looking to invest so far in 2016