“Remind people that you’re a part of their lives.”


Ned Negus, Executive Vice-President, Partnerships, at DDMC Fortis spoke to SportBusiness’ Kevin McCullagh about the challenge for the sponsorship sector posed by sport being played behind closed doors, and the Covid-19 crisis more broadly.

DDMC Fortis is exclusively selling the global sponsorship and media rights for Asian Football Confederation properties in the 2021-24 and 2025-28 cycles. With the first matches of the first cycle months away, DDMC Fortis, the AFC and their prospective commercial partners are not yet preparing for matches behind closed doors – with luck, spectators will be back in stadiums by then.

But Negus offers plenty of insightful thoughts on the current challenge, on how sponsorship sellers and buyers should be approaching their work at this time, and on what the future holds. Among his key messages are that sponsorship need not be complicated, it need not necessarily be about digital engagement, and that brands simply being visible and present – even, “shock, horror”, on signage – remains powerful and valuable in today’s sports world.