NGBs see commercial revenue growth, but concerns remain over future funding
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NGBs see commercial revenue growth, but concerns remain over future funding

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It is encouraging that this apparent resurgence in corporate sponsorship is not just a passing trend
– Tom Wilson

National governing bodies of sport (NGBs) have reported a rise in commercial revenue during 2019 – indicating a potential resurgence in corporate sponsorship.

According to the UK NGB Benchmarking Survey Report, commercial revenue – mostly from sponsorship – accounted for 14 per cent of total income in 2019, compared to 13 per cent in 2018 and 11 per cent in 2017.

The report – by chartered accountants Haysmacintyre – is based on responses from 25 NGBs and reveals trends in financial performance and governance, as well as highlighting future threats for the sector.

“While the rise in commercial income is not dramatic, it is encouraging that this apparent resurgence in corporate sponsorship is not just a passing trend," Tom Wilson, partner and sports specialist at Haysmacintyre.

"This bodes well for the future as NGBs try to diversify their income in anticipation of lower public funding in the long-term.

"Sponsors are being drawn to sports that are making strides in development and participation, with a range of organisations reporting multiple commercial partnerships irrespective of their size or status.”

The research, however, also highlights that fears over the future of their public funding remain a concern for the sector.

Grant-based income from UK Sport and/or Sport England was 44 per cent of total income, compared to 45 per cent in 2018 and 48 per cent in 2017, continuing a downward trend.

"A loss of future funding continues to cast a shadow over NGBs, as does worries around how to successfully create diverse, commercial income streams," Wilson added.

"NGBs also cited reputational risks and safeguarding as major concerns, reflecting the exceptional level of scrutiny these high-profile organisations face from their own stakeholders and the general public.”

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National governing bodies of sport (NGBs) have reported a rise in commercial revenue during 2019 – indicating a potential resurgence in corporate sponsorship.
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