The Sponsorship Industry Needs Disruption


With all due respect to Clayton Christensen, this is our take on ISC’s disruption of the sponsorship industry.

Historically, sponsors haven’t succeeded in leveraging their respective power in protecting their interests. There are a number of reasons for this, but mostly it’s because sponsors have always been viewed as replaceable.

As their trade association, the ISC works to harness the collective power of sponsors. This benefits both sponsors, but also the sponsorship industry.  Collaborating through the ISC, sponsors can successfully protect and promote their interests. This increases the value of sponsorships which is great for sponsors and the industry. To achieve success in doing so, we need to disrupt.

The sponsorship industry – and sports in particular – has enjoyed great success. When that happens, people can be hesitant to change. This mindset of status quo can be a dangerous thing – just ask Steve Sasson and Eastman Kodak. There are, however, many issues facing the industry that negatively affect sponsors. To address this, the ISC analyzes the industry and is acts to disrupt for positive change.

This is the reason the ISC is focused on CTE, FFIA reform, athlete doping, reform of Qatar’s kafala migrant worker program and others. We see current and future risk and work to avoid and mitigate it. To date, the industry has largely ignored these issues even while individual sponsors have voiced concerns. These issues also underline the importance of ISC’s commitment to integrating sustainability and sponsorship. There is risk of brand reputation when a corporation’s sustainability initiatives are in conflict with issues created by sponsorships. If you’re not convinced, pay attention to the executive who takes responsibility for their company’s sustainability program and its success – it’s the CEO.

The ISC is honored to be supported by some of the world’s top corporations in thought-leadership and sustainability including AT&T, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bridgestone Firestone, The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, FirstRand, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Visa, among others. We are a facilitator of innovation and progress, and we ask you to join and support us in this valuable work.

If we don’t disrupt ourselves as sponsors and an industry, we will be disrupted.

The Sponsorship Industry Needs Disruption