13.3.09

DAVIS 'SHOCK' OVER LACK OF WORLD SPONSOR

Steve Davis, the circuit's senior player, has admitted to 'shock' over the lack of a sponsor for the World Championship.

The tournament remains without a backer just five weeks before the TV stages kick off at the Crucible.

Davis, six times a winner of the title in the 1980s and a qualifier once again this season, believes the global economic crisis has had a knock-on effect for snooker.

“It’s a concern for everybody but my long term concern for the game isn’t so severe. It’s had a bit of a lease of life around the world,” he said.

“It may be that the nature of sports sponsorship is going to go through some changes anyway and the way sports generate their money may be different.

“But it seems a bit of a shock for it not to be sponsored, I must admit. I can’t quite believe that 130 hours on the BBC isn’t worth something.

“So I can only assume that in the times we find ourselves in now that no company can be seen to be throwing money around.

“I’m not too sure that if things were better that would be the case. I think somebody would say, ‘we’ve got to have this.’

“It may be that we haven’t done our job properly, I don’t know. It may be that the powers that be haven’t got enough fingers in enough pies to get to talk to the right people.

“I don’t know. I’m not saying one way or another but it’s a very tough time and this proves it.”

I understand World Snooker have had several approaches from companies wishing to sponsor the World Championship but none at the financial level they were hoping for.

I personally think they are right not to give the tournament away on the cheap.

That wouldn't solve any of the sport's long term problems.

However, it will look bad if the game's showpiece occasion goes ahead unsponsored.

It would send the message out that snooker isn't worth sponsoring, not to mention further depleting World Snooker's dwindling resources.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

So if a number of companies have offered less than they want, why not let all of these companies sponsor the tournament jointly? Surely we don't HAVE to have one sponsor?

snookerfan92 said...

Oh no, I really hope they do find a sponsor soon if not, then it'll be a shame for that to happen.

Anonymous said...

Surely any sponsor is better than no sponsor.

However, I can't help but think that organisations out there don't want to get involved until the Burnett affair has been sorted.

Monique said...

I agree with Anon n°1 ... why not join ventures in sponsoring?

Re Anon n°2 comment: If I was one of the "organisations" I would be more concerned about the Ebdon - Liang affair because Ebdon is a member of the board and the impression it gives (to me at least) is that it has been swept under the carpet asap...

Anonymous said...

Were these comments of Steve's made to you personally or are they part of a published article? If the latter, can you let us know where we can read it in full? Thanks.

Dave H said...

It's what he said after qualifying for the Crucible when asked if he was concerned about the lack of a sponsor

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave- surely they could at this stage sell sponsorship to the highest bidder if it meets a 'reserve' price

Anonymous said...

Even if they have to give it away on the cheap, must be better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

Heard BETFAIR were interested but can't remember where I saw it

Dave H said...

I'm not an expert in sponsorship but don't believe the World Championship should be given away on the cheap just to save face

Claus Christensen said...

Another bad result of mindless EU policies I guess. Surely having Embassy excluded is part of the problem but, sadly, tobacco companies will probably never be let in again. Excluding online gamnling companies, who would be possible candidates for this? The exposure is enormous for any sponsor but who should be approached? I'd love to see one of the other betting firms that show champions league snooker be the sponsor.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity.
For this terrible moment there need to invite alcohol or tabaco companies to support the snooker, I think. But this step is against EU rukles and laws. What is better: temporarily allow such sponsors or watching the snooker die?

Anonymous said...

Could it just be world snooker being greedy, i'm sure there are many sponsor's out there but when they get to see the figure's involved, are simply laughing at them and saying no thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid snooker is going to have to grin and bear it for the foreseeable future, just like the rest of us seeing at least a 10% decline in the economy. When a depression(not recession, don't be silly) hits then snooker, to me,becomes blokes knocking balls round a table and nothing more.

Mat Wilson

stuartfanning said...

An ideal event for a Gambling/Betting company to sponsor given the BBC/Eurosport exposure it would give them. That's why 888 pulling out is really still a big mystery. This could be why other Betting firms aren't willing to commit.

Claus Christensen said...

With only a handful of weeks to go I'm still fairly optimistic. It's the world championships! I wish I won the lottery so I could sponsor the whole deal myself and have my name and photo plastered all over the Crucible along with such slogans as 'hero millionaire brings maximum joy'. And so on...

Anonymous said...

I work for Betfair, and I can categorically say that we won't be taking it on.

It's nothing to do with the Maguire-Burnett situation or anything like that - it's just the fact it's just not worth us doing it for the amount of money it would cost. The biggest reason one would sponsor something like the World Championship is to build brand awareness, and Betfair's is such in the UK (and snooker is a very UK-focused sport) that it wouldn't be worthwhile.

I'm not belittling what the World Championships are worth (and I say that as a big snooker fan) - I'm sure there are other firms out there whose position is such that it's worth them paying the required rate for the level of exposure the World Championships would give.

Anonymous said...

"...The biggest reason one would sponsor something like the World Championship is to build brand awareness, and Betfair's is such in the UK (and snooker is a very UK-focused sport) that it wouldn't be worthwhile..."

Interesting point! How was that for Embassy then? They sponsored it for 30 years. I guess they had a huge brand awareness in the UK as well but still considered it to be worthwile.

cheers,
Eric

Anonymous said...

Perhaps hte best solution would be to let the bees' see the honey and engage a thrid party to negotiate these crisis years.

Anonymous said...

Eric, please see what anon also has to say, it's just the fact it's just not worth us doing it for the amount of money it would cost

Anonymous said...

It looks like the World Series have secured Sponsors for thier final in Portugal. I also understand an announcement for a full Series Sponsor may be imminent.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric etc, it's anon from Betfair again.

I'm not sure if it's quite fair to say Embassy had 'huge brand awareness' in the UK - would you say they do now without the snooker? Growing up I never would have considered smoking Embassy had I taken up smoking without the snooker sponsorship (although saying that they did have a bit of a repuatation of being for 'old men'!). Also, the tobacco industry is so olibogpic (let's face it, most products are pretty similar) that building a reliable brand and maintaining it are the key to success.

Further brand awareness for Betfair in the UK would be welcome, but the cost of sponsoring the World Championships could be spent more efficiently elsewhere (eg something abroad/with an International presence where the gambling industry is less 'mature')

PatM said...

Hi Eric

Judging from your last comment, you would think The World Series of Snooker would fit that description

PatM

Anonymous said...

so the WSoS is sponsoring the WC ?

;)

Anonymous said...

Anon from Betfair again (not Eric!)..

Unfortunately the World Series of Snooker wouldn't really work for us due to the (anti-betting) marketing restrictions in a number of the territories involved (Germany, Russia etc).


Please also forgive me for the terrible spelling of 'oligopic' in my last post!

Anonymous said...

oligopolistic you mean?

Anonymous said...

That's the one!

Anonymous said...

:)

andy said...

In the article, Davis says:


“It may be that the nature of sports sponsorship is going to go through some changes anyway and the way sports generate their money may be different."


This for me is probably the most interesting part of the whole article. I think Davis has something in mind here when he says this but just isn't letting on, ...Dave, if you bump into him on your snooker travels, please ask him!! :o)

I'm racking my brains on how this can be done and I can't really think of what would change. Maybe he has pay TV in mind or paying to watch snooker through the internet. I don't think pay TV has happened with snooker in the past, maybe Setanta are lining up one of the main tournaments through one of their channels. But what Davis says sounds like a sea of change for sports generally rather than a change in how snooker is funded.

I like the posts from the Betfair guy/gal as well, what they say is very interesting. It just goes to show how sponsors view snooker, as a national sport and not an international sport. Snooker certainly have to start work on changing this perception of how sponsors view the sport (they've probably already started work on this), ....and let's face it, the sponsor is probably right. Opportunity attracts business in droves, snooker must demonstrate viable business opportunities that are clearly visible to potential sponsors.

Getting multiple sponsors on board for an event can prove difficult because each sponsor wants exclusivity to maximise their airtime. By bringing in an additional sponsor could potentially half the amount of money a sponsor brings to the table as the sponsor would see this as halved airtime, or at least the possibility of attention being drawn to the second sponsor. Sponsorship is a cut throat business.

Andy

Anonymous said...

so, the WSoS is sponsoring the Worlds this year?

Anonymous said...

No WSoS wont be sponsoring The Worlds this year, maybe next.

Anonymous said...

:cool:

thanks