Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study

A Canadian Sponsorship Perspective

June 26, 2017 12:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

For the past 11 years, the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study (CSLS) provides Canadian sponsorship professionals with key insights and information on the scope, scale and trends of the sponsorship industry in Canada. Pulling from the data and uncovering the perspectives of the three key groups of sponsorship stakeholders – sponsors, properties, and agencies – the study paints a robust picture of what is happening within the industry.


Based on the most recent results of the study (reporting on 2016 data), here are five takeaways of the state of sponsorship in 2017:

  1. The industry continues to grow. When the CSLS first begin in 2005, the sponsorship industry size in Canada was $1.11 billion. In 2016, the industry was $1.98 billion. This is a growth of 78%.
  2. Sport takes up a big chunk of the Canadian sponsorship spend, but other types of properties are in the mix as well. Many people associate sponsorship with sport. And while that’s true (in Canada, 53.6% of sponsorship spend goes towards sport), the remainder goes to various festivals, fairs, events, arts, education, municipalities, causes and associations, among others.
  3. Sponsors and properties rarely see eye-to-eye on sponsorship servicing and return-on-investment. Data shows us that properties consistently under-service sponsors. For example, in a list of ten services that are provided from properties to sponsors (e.g., exclusivity protection, recall statistics, etc.) sponsors considered every service to be more.
  4. Canada has some of the lowest activation ratios in the worldThe activation ratio refers to the amount of money that sponsors spend above and beyond the rights fee. So, an activation ratio of 1 means that for every $1 in rights fee, an additional $1 is spent on activating that partnership. In Canada, the activation ratio was 0.48 in 2016 and over the past 11 years of the study, sits between 0.40 and 0.80. That is, for every $1 in rights fee, an additional $0.48 is spent on activating that partnership. Consider that in the US, IEG reports that the activation ratio in 2016 was 2.2!
  5. Sponsorship happens locally. Sponsorship is often perceived as being very national, but the data shows that $3 in $5 sponsorship dollars in Canada are spent at the local, regional and provincial level.


What will the data tell us this year?  Participate in the 2017 Survey today.

To learn more about the Canadian sponsorship landscape, join me at Engaging Associations Forum on July 21st where our Sponsorship Panel will address your questions and concerns!

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This post was written by Elisa Beselt, Director, Consulting

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