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What now for arts sponsorship?
In January, Arts & Business (A&B) published research showing that arts sponsorship budgets are relatively safe in the short term, but in the longer term the picture is troubling. It also indicated where the cultural sector should turn to secure, or firm-up, sponsorships during an economic downturn, and what businesses have to gain from maintaining their commitments to society.
The key findings are:
- Arts sponsorship budgets are likely to remain static for the next year, but a recession will negatively impact art sponsorship budgets in the longer term
- The utilities sector is most confident that the downturn will not impact their arts sponsorships
- Arts sponsorship budgets appear to be more vulnerable to the downturn than other areas, such as broadcasting, charities and sport
- Companies with the biggest sponsorship budgets view their budgets as most vulnerable to cuts compared to companies with smaller budgets
- The main priority for businesses reviewing their sponsorship budgets/portfolios is the ability to demonstrate returns on investment and returns on objectives.
Key findings are supported by anecdotal evidence from A&B that shows that there is approximately an eighteen-month delay between an economic downturn and a drop in arts sponsorship figures.
First published: a-n.co.uk October 2008
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