Sports and entertainment opportunities for brands may have returned last summer, but it will be in 2022 that the industry will really be back with a bang. For some, this year will see fan favourites return after a two-year hiatus (eg Glastonbury, BST Hyde Park), whereas others will be able to shift gears from a partial return into fully fledged events running at maximum capacity, such as Wimbledon or Royal Ascot. With events across our industry selling out in record time, the appetite for live experiences is clearly reaching record levels.
For brand managers who have either persevered with sports and entertainment marketing during the unprecedented times we have seen, or are re-entering after activating exit clauses, the chance to engage with fans and put contractual terms to one side will be a welcome relief. And there are stories wherever you look. The British Grand Prix will benefit from a resurgent interest in F1, The Open will celebrate its 150th edition at golf’s home of St Andrews, Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, while Elton John will bring his farewell tour to BST Hyde Park.
For those still undecided, a theme that may just rise above all else and be the worthiest of late investment is women’s sport taking centre stage. Shortly after Emma Raducanu returns to Centre Court, the UEFA Women’s Euros will kick-off up and down the country, with Sarina Wiegman’s England in a strong position to give the 700,000 fans attending something to celebrate, not to mention the millions watching on the BBC. With burgeoning support, some of the best brand & reputational scores of any sports team, and a live environment that caters perfectly for families, the Lionesses may just be the biggest winners of 2022’s Summer.