Football: Sports Sponsorship Is Spiralling out of Control
Byline: PETER SHARKEY
SPORT'S first sponsor in the modern age is widely believed to have been a firm of Australian caterers, Spiers and Pond, who underwrote the cost of England's first cricket tour Down Under in 1861.
The arrangement proved successful for the catering company who made a profit of pounds 11,000.
The role of sponsors has grown markedly, particularly since the 1970's,but today, the questionis,has the sponsorship of some sports reached saturation point?
Each month, I receive selected details of the world's biggest sports sponsorship deals which have been officially sealed during the previous 30 days.
The current compilation ranges from the sponsorship deal concluded by Everton footballer, Li Tie, with the Li-Ning Sports Goods Co in China reportedly worth $1m to the player, to Andre Agassi's endorsement of Estee Lauder products for which the tennis player will collect $10m.
Each of these contracts are product endorsements, whereas most sponsorships are deals between commercial organisations and either teams or sports federations.
Highlighting its international nature, the value of sport sponsorship is measured in US dollars; this month's top 10 sponsorship deals have a combined to $265m(pounds 177m). …