By Susil Premalal
International sports organisations which depend on sponsorship from multinational corporations and other business entities may face a major challenge of surviving without it in future, according to B. L. H. Perera, who leads the Academic Programmes in the National Olympic Committee in Sri Lanka (NOCSL).
“The Coronavirus pandemic which has affected countries around the world has also dented their economies. As a result, the productivity of most multinational giants and other business groups which provided sponsorship to sports events has fallen by 100 per cent,” pointed out Perera.
“It is uncertain whether sponsorship from these organisations will be available in the future. Therefore, local and international sports authorities will have to look at other avenues of generating revenue to conduct events,” he added.
Perera is one of the most outstanding athletes produced by Taxila Central College, Horana during the 1960s and was the first to gain University entrance from Taxila.
“In Sri Lanka and in most countries around the world, sports especially competitions are conducted with state or private sector patronage. However, both these sectors have been hit hard by the global outbreak of the Coronavirus.”
‘‘In this backdrop, these organisations are unlikely to show interest in sponsoring sports. It will affect sports events from the Tokyo Olympics to Inter-House Sports Meets in Sri Lanka,” said Perera.
“In 1994 when Sri Lanka was hit by the tsunami, international sports bodies such as IOC, IAAF, FIVB, FIFA, provided National Sports Associations with financial and other suitable help.”
“However, tsunami affected only a few countries across the world unlike the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, international sports bodies are not in a position to help national sports associations. Since priority is for health of citizens, even state patronage cannot be expected for sports,” said Perera.
Nevertheless, since publicity through sports is a vital segment of marketing for private sector organisations, even if they put it on hold today, they will most likely return to sponsor sports events in the future.
Furthermore, the government has an allocation for sports in their annual Budget but until such time as they devote a significant chunk for sports development, the National Associations have to find other avenues to raise funds,” he added.
In this backdrop, these organisations are unlikely to show interest in sponsoring sports. It will affect sports events from the Tokyo Olympics to Inter-House Sports Meets in Sri Lanka