Sports organisations must prepare for post-Olympic sponsorship, says LTA boss

Sponsorship: concerns expressed over post-Olympics situation
Sponsorship: concerns expressed over post-Olympics situation

National sports organisations need "robust structures in place" to ensure they have sponsors after the Olympics, according to the head of commercial at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Lawrence Robertson, head of commercial at the LTA, has responsibility for acquiring and retaining sponsors for the LTA, the governing body for British tennis.

Robertson has expressed his concern in light of concern expressed in some quarters that once the London 2012 Olympics are over, brands could jump ship out of sponsoring sports and sporting associations, and into other areas.

Robertson said that although the impact of the London 2012 games could not be predicted, organisations needed to be prepared for the effect the games were going to have on the industry.

He said: "Lots of people think new Olympics sponsors will stay with the sports market and lots of people also think that the industry will dry up, but national sports brands need to be prepared either way and have robust structures in place."

The LTA has ensured that all its commercial contracts go beyond 2012 in order to maintain support after the Olympics.

Its sponsorship deal with Nike has just been renewed until 2014.

Robertson said that the tennis association wanted to ensure that it didn’t "get left behind" by brands who just wanted to work with the LTA for the Olympic year.

He said that the association was also looking for "ways we can find additional revenue post 2012" and "opportunities that come out of the back of it".

He said that this included marketing partnerships with everyday brands to present tennis as "a sport for everyone".

He said: "We took our first steps by getting Highland Spring as a sponsor for our mini tennis programme and getting on-pack advertising with them. We want to work with brands that touch people everyday; retail and utilities."

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