Sponsorship Sector Report | Airlines 2017
The Airline industry generated revenues of over $700bn in 2016, and with the global nature of sports more evident than ever, the sector seems to have a natural affiliation with the sports industry.

The Airline industry generated revenues of over $700bn in 2016, and with the global nature of sports more evident than ever, the sector seems to have a natural affiliation with the sports industry.

After a turbulent decade for the sector, many airlines have now returned to making substantial profits, providing the ability to make investments to help the growth of their businesses. However, the threat of low cost airlines has changed the landscape within the sector, with traditional big players experiencing squeezed profit margins.  

With many rights holders diversifying their portfolios to include category specific partners, brands in the airline sector are well placed to capitalise and partner with properties that will help them to reach new customers in new territories.  

With over $800m spent on sponsorship deals between airlines and rights holders, Sportcal Sponsorship has examined the Airlines sector, focusing on 25 key brands responsible for over $22bn worth of revenue with a view to understanding the major trends, as they relate to partnerships with sporting rights holders as well as looking at potential future developments, all based on data from the Sportcal Sponsorship platform.


25 Featured Brands

Estimated Brand Spend ($)


With 25 brands spending over $800m dollars annually on sports sponsorship, this report ranks those brands by estimated spend to give a clear picture as to the state of the market.

Geographic breakdown with deal analysis

Analysing deals across the sector, Sportcal Sponsorship is able to provide a clear view on which territories airlines are focusing on alongside their strategies to develop their presence in new target markets.

Focused analysis by sport

Data from the Sportcal Sponsorship Intelligence Centre has provided a clear picture as to which sports provide the connection brands are looking to capitalise on.

Detailed Market Focus

Analysing trends in key markets, focusing on the most active brands in the US and across the Middle East.

Future Trend forecasting

Building on the data and analysis within this report, Sportcal Sponsorship forecasts the future direction of the sector, highlighting key trends to be aware of and future developments you need to be aware of.

Brand Profiles 

25 brands profiled by Sportcal Sponsorship analysts, providing an independent view as to brand strategy and key trends, supported by key facts, market analysis and contact information.

Key Deals for each brand highlighted and valued ($)

Key deals for each of the 25 featured brands are highlighted, with a focus on markets, contract length and deal value.

1. Industry Overview

2. Industry Factsheet
  • Net Post Tax Profit* ($ per passenger)
  • Sponsorship Spend By Continent ($m)

3. Executive Summary

4. Who are the big players?
  • Total Number of Deals per Airline (%)

5. Where in the world 
  • Deals by Continent (%)
  • Single Territory v Worldwide/Continental (%)
  • Home Market v Overseas Markets (%)

6. State sponsorship - pursuit of soft power 
  • Who’s Sponsoring Where? (%)

7. Nations and Continents: US sewn up, Australia and the UK 
markets awash with overseas investment 
  • Home v Overseas Deals per Continent (%)
  • Top Five Markets: Home v Away (%)

8. The best of the rest: Competition and National sponsorship 
fuels markets but BA ducks out
  • Top Five Markets: Home v Away (%)

9. What sports
  • Deals per Sport (%)

10. What properties 
  • Sponsored Properties (%)
11. Long-term partnerships signed to build trust
  • Longest-standing Partnerships

12. Six future trends

13. Brand Profiles 
  • Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air Asia, Air Canada, Air China, Air France KLM
  • Air New Zealand, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), 
  • British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, 
  • Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, 
  • Turkish Airlines, United, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia

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