Impact of Covid-19 on 2020 Sporting Calendar June–December
by Jake Kemp & Patrick Kinch
Sportcal takes a close look at the potential economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on some of the biggest sporting properties.
1st April 2020, 15:15





Correct as of 31/03/2020 (

June - The Championships (Wimbledon)


Original Date: 
29 June – 12 July 2020 


Following rumours and reports that the Championships was likely to be cancelled, on 1 April, the competition was officially cancelled - the first time in the events history other than during the two World Wars. Despite the delay in the announcement, the cancellation of the even seemed inevitable, due to the difficulty in playing the event on Grass courts outside of clear and dry weather conditions, which remain an uncertainty even in the British summer. Add to this the logistical issues around global travel which is a necessity for fans and players at the Championships whilst event organisers would have struggled also to reschedule the competition in an already busy tennis calendar, in part thanks to the US Open and postponement of the French Open.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has already closed its museum, tours and community sports ground (all based on the site of the Championships) as event organisers look to comply with government guidelines, and act in the best interest of fan welfare.

Total Annual Media Right Value: 
$87.25 million

Total Annual Sponsorship Value: 

$51.1 million


Slazenger ($3m pa)

IBM ($4m pa)

Lanson ($2.5m pa)

Ralph Lauren ($4m pa)

HSBC ($4m pa)

Evian ($1.6m pa)

Lavazza ($3m pa )

Stella Artois ($4m pa)

Jaguar Land Rover ($3m pa)

Rolex ($4m pa)

Haagen-Dazs ($2m pa)

Pimm’s ($2.5m pa)

American Express ($4m pa)

Oppo ($2m pa)

Robinson’s ($3m pa)

G4S ($1.5m pa)
Keith Prowse ($1m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

Host Broadcaster – Wimbledon Broadcast Services (WBS)

United Kingdom – BBC 

France – beIN Sports

African Territories – Canal Plus 

China – CCTV 

South America – ESPN 

Mainland Europe – Eurosport

Australia – Fox Sports 

Indian Sub-Continent – Star India

Japan – NHK

USA – the Tennis Channel

2019 Prize Money 



In the UK, the BBC has remained the official home of the Championships since 1937 and the upcoming 2020 championships is set to be the final year of its existing contract. Coverage of the event is set to remain the official British broadcaster of the event having previously signed a four-year extension to take the partnership until 2024, with the deal valued at $65 million a year. In 2019 the event was broadcast in 210 countries internationally, and was able to generate $87.25 million in media revenue, a figure which represents a 58.1 per cent increase in value since 2010.

In 2019 the overall attendance of for the thirteen days of action on the grass courts attracted its second highest ever recorded attendance, with some 500,397 fans walking through the venue gates. For the Championships, consumer spending remains a big part of the event, with fans eager to buy a number of souvenirs and gifts, alongside the obligatory strawberries and cream. Fan spending in 2019 saw 18,061 fish and chip meals served, 276,291 glasses of Pimm’s, 64,703 ice cream portions/sticks, as well as 191,930 portions of strawberries and cream. The later of which has remained priced at £2.50 ($3) a portion since 2012, meaning that the tournament brought in an additional $556,239 income in through these sales alone across the thirteen days of tennis.

The tables illustrates the price of the cheapest relevant ticket available on each day of the championships. Based on the minimum price of each ticket across the courts and ground passes, the Championships has the potential to generate in excess of $52,508,900 a year from ticket sales alone. 

Whilst the build up to the competition allows for a great marketing opportunity for the brands affiliated through sponsorship, a significant proportion of its sponsors use the partnership to promote its activities and services, through use during the championships themselves, for example Slazenger supplying balls and Ralph Lauren clothing being prominently worn by competition ball children and umpires. The cancellation of the event will inevitably impact the sponsors ability to earn the same sort of return on investment and is thus likely to see brands seek compensation.

The cancellation is likely to substantially drain the Championships revenue, however it has been reported that the AELTC is protected by an insurance policy, expected to cover its suspension and its £41 million ($49.2 million) annual payment to the Lawn Tennis Association.

June/July - Tour de France 


Original Date:  
27 June 2020 – 19 July 2020


At the time of writing, the Tour de France is still scheduled to go ahead at the end of June, as originally scheduled. On 26 March 2020, France’s Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu announced that the Tour de France was looking into provisions to make sure the event would still take place this year, and that the event was exploring the option of racing without fans. Maracineanu claimed that ‘it won’t have the same [financial] impact because the business model of the tour doesn’t depend on ticket sales’. The event is looking to ensure it retains its biggest financial revenue which comes through media deals.

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:
$55.75 million

Total Annual Media Right Value:

$60 million


Main Partners: LCL ($5m pa)

Skoda ($2.5m pa)

E.Leclerc ($9.35m pa)

Krys ($3m pa)

Continental ($3m pa) 

Official Partners: Vittel ($4.5m pa)

Orange ($3.5m pa)

Le Coq Sportif ($2m pa)

Enedis ($500,000 pa)

Century 21 ($500,00 pa)

Tissot ($1.5m pa)

NTT ($500,000 pa)

AG2R La Mondiale ($3m pa)

Antargaz ($400,000 pa)

Named Sport ($400,00 pa)

Official Suppliers:

Cochonou ($331,000 pa)

Le Gaulois ($1.5m pa)

Bostik ($400,000 pa)

Senseo ($750,000 pa)

Logis ($750,000 pa)

Banane ($750,000 pa)

Mavic ($500,000 pa)

Sodexo ($1m pa)

Adecco ($1m pa)

Francaise des Jeux ($ 250,000 pa)

Domitys ($2.5m pa)

Yamaha ($1m pa)

Amora ($250,000 pa)

Puget ($300,000 pa)

Official Supporters:

Haribo ($1.25m pa)

Xtra Total ($1m pa)

Regional Partner:

Dansk Metal ($250,000 pa)

Grand Depart Nice 2020 Official Fan:

Socca Chips ($1m pa)

Technical Partners:

Doublet ($500,000 pa)
XPO Logistics ($500,000 pa)
Petit Gruau ($300,000 pa)
DNP Photo Imaging ($250,000 pa)

Norauto ($250,000 pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom & Ireland – ITV Sport

Belgium – RTBF & VRT

Portugal - RTP

Spain – TVE

Italy – RAI 

Europe – Eurosport

Canada – FloSports

China – CCTV & Zhibo TV

Germany – ARD & ZDF

Latin America - ESPN

France – France Televisions

Australia – SBS TV


In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the options being explored for the Tour de France is running the event behind closed doors, one of the more obvious economic impacts will be the financial loss from tourism spend in local businesses. Whilst the fans who visit race side do not directly contribute to the Tour’s income, these fans do have a huge impact on local community, meaning Nice, the city due to host the Grand Depart (the first three days of the tour) will not have the same desired local impact as expected. In 2014 a study into the impact of the Tour de France in the UK, highlighted that an estimated 4.8 million people lined up across the event routes, which in turn generated a direct economic impact of £128 million ($153.6 million) on the host regions (Yorkshire, Cambridge, Essex and London). The missed opportunities also do not take into account the investment made by the city itself, with hosting the Grand Depart coming at a huge financial cost to the city, of which Denmark previously spent an estimated $3.86 million on three days of racing at the Giro d’Italia and Edinburgh budgeted £10 million ($12 million) for its unsuccessful bid in 2014. Andrew Danton, head of media for Yorkshire’s Grand Depart in 2014 stated that “we believe it to be worth £100 million ($120 million) to us”[1].

Patrick Lefevere, manager of the Deceuninck Quick-Step team, has suggested that most cycling teams will struggle to cope with the severe financial pressure brought on by the coronavirus. In particular, a number of teams may struggle to fully comply with its sponsorship deals, whilst a number of team and Tour sponsors could seriously be hit hard by the virus, resulting in a withdrawal of unessential outgoings such as sponsorship. In particular, the low price of oil is likely to affect the Tour teams which are sponsored by petroleum and fracking brands. The strain brought on the teams by the virus has seen Jonathan Vaughters, manager of the EF Pro Cycling team suggest that teams are now looking at new ways to generate value, with the plan to add value in the short to medium term.

Further financial losses can be attributed to the cyclists themselves, should the event itself get cancelled, with the Tour de France representing one of the biggest paydays on the sporting calendar for them and their teams. In 2019, winner Egan Bernal won €500,000 for taking the coveted yellow jersey, whilst the rider in a yellow jersey also earns €500 ($548) for every day spent in the jersey. In total the Tour de France offers €2,291,700 ($2,513,580).

July - European Championships 


Original Date:  
12 June to 12 July 2020

On 17 March 2020, Uefa announced that it would be postponing its flagship national continental team tournament due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The decision has seen the revised dates pushed back by almost exactly a year, now expected to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2021. Whilst this rescheduled date will result in a number of tight clashes in scheduling with other international soccer competitions, perhaps the biggest clashes for 2021 are with the women’s European Championships (7 July – 1 August), and the second edition of its new Uefa Nations League Finals (3 September 2020 – 6th June 2021).
The decision to postpone the competition followed a video conference meeting between the general secretaries of the 55 national associations that make up Uefa. The decision to free up the summer schedule, is to give priority for all domestic club competitions, including national leagues, UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, which have for the most part all been suspended with only a few games left of the season. The move to prioritise these club competitions has also seen Alejandro Dominguez, President of CONMEBOL, agree to move the 2020 Copa America (the South American equivalent competition) competition to 2021 to completely free up the schedule for European leagues to finish its current season.

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:

$159.7 million

Total Media Rights Value (2016):

$1.16 billion


Official Partners:

Alipay ($28.7m pa) ($6m pa)

Fedex ($4m pa)

Heineken ($45m pa)

Hisense ($5m pa)

Socar ($4m pa) ($4m pa)

Volkswagen ($7m pa)

Official Licensees:

Hublot ($3m pa)

Konami ($4m pa)

Panini ($3.5m pa)

Other UEFA Partners:

Coca-Cola ($35m pa)

Fanatics ($8m pa)

Macron ($2.5m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom – BBC & ITV

Australia – Optus

Belgium – RTBF & VRT

Brazil –

China – iQiyi 

Scandinavia – Nordic Entertainment Group 

France – beIN Sports & TFI & M6

Germany – ARD & ZDF

Indian Sub-Continent – Sony Pictures Networks

Japan – Wowow

USA – ESPN & ABC & Univision

While postponing the tournament is likely seen to be a worst case scenario for Uefa, the decision to spread the tournament across the continent has likely mitigated the impact of postponement. With no one nation having to take on all the associated costs, the financial impact will likely be more contained than if a single host nation was liable. As seen from the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, for one country having built infrastructure to host an event the financial impact will be significant. In the case of the European Championships, bar the cost of refurnishing existing stadia, the impact will likely come further down in the ecosystem, with local businesses losing out and broadcasters having to find new content for their schedules which would have been built around the European Championships. 

For brands looking to advertise against programming from the Championships, the impact is likely to be more acute. While some marketing budgets will be diverted to summer 2021, with advertising and marketing campaigns rolling over to next summer, brands and sponsors are having to readjust to changing circumstances in real time. With most brands building up to the Championships across a four year period, with the expectation that they will be able to capitalise on these marketing plans in the later half of 2020 and early 2021, this new reality in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic means that all these plans will need to readjusted. 

For broadcasters, this is likely to mean difficult conversations with brands who have already bought advertising in the expectation of the tournament going ahead. For Uefa itself, it will now need to manage the impact of postponing the tournament on all its partners.

In relation to sponsorship, the postponement is not likely to have too severe an impact for partner brands, with the delay offering sponsors a longer period of marketing opportunity. While the short term impact will be significant, with marketing budgets already set and brand activity focused around the tournament, the fees paid to partner with the tournament should roll over to 2021.  

Whilst a number of social and local businesses are being heavily affected by the current health crisis, the loss of the major European soccer competition this summer will also have a significant impact on local businesses such as pubs, bars and restaurants. Carlsberg research has previously shown that hosting live broadcasts of such events can contribute to a 60 per cent uplift in sales. Events such as major continental championships in the most popular sports represents a huge opportunity for pubs to capitalise on trade, with soccer tournaments reportedly worth more than £60 million ($80 million) in the UK alone.

Uefa has already announced that all supporters are set to be offered full refunds should they be unable to attended the revised tournament dates in 2021. Some supporters have also been told they can expect to receive refunds on pre-booked flights and hotels. However, most airlines and hotels remain under no obligation to pay back fans, unless government advice states they must do so.

In breaking down the total revenue generated by Uefa in 2016, some €1.05 billion ($1.16 billion) came from TV rights; €480 million ($532 million) from sponsorship; and a further €400 million ($443 million) from ticketing and hospitality. These sums mean Uefa brought in €1.93 billion ($2.14 billion).
The estimated costs associated with the staging of the event came to €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion); making the total income earnt by Uefa, around €830 million ($920 million). These earnings, were then shared across the organisations 55 member associations for 2016-20, with €600 million ($665 million) shared and the rest held by Uefa.

A study undertaken by the Observatoire de l’Economie du Sport in liaison with the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies has illustrated the direct financial and economic impact France enjoyed in 2016 as hosts. In total the event generated €1.22 billion ($1.29 bn) of business; €596 million through Uefa and another €625.8 million ($693.4 million) through tourism. Of the figure relating to revenue from tourism, 35 per cent came from accommodation, 30 per cent from restaurants and catering; 20 per cent from shopping and tourist visitations; and a further 15 per cent on transport. The report states that the country saw an estimated 613,000 foreign fans travel over to French borders. The fans stayed in the country for an average eight days, with an average spend of €154 ($171) per day. The additional income over the four-weeks saw an estimated €75 million ($83.1 million) in additional net tax revenues for the national government.

Across the ten host cities in France for Euro 2016, the collective regional economic boost totaled slightly over €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion). This financial impact shows that the European Championships saw Uefa’s profits almost double that which was generated in 2012, with the event in Ukraine/Poland taking only $724 million by comparison. The majority of this income is occurred through fan stadium expenditure, for which €840.7 million ($931.6 million) was earned. The economic impact felt across the cities ranged between €66 million and €221 million ($245 million), with Toulouse enjoying the lowest financial benefit, and Saint-Denis enjoying the highest. Outside of visitors to the stadiums on match days, the cities also benefitted from local fan zones, the lowest in Lens (39,000) and highest in Paris (468,000).

July/August - Olympics


Original Date:  
24 July – 9 August

Following growing pressure from a number of National Olympic Committees (NOC’s), which included the Canadian NOC stating they would not send athletes to the Games in Tokyo in 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the postponement of the Games in Japan on 24 March 2020. The decision to delay the Games was announced via a joint statement from the national organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the IOC, stating that the event would be moved to a date no later than Summer 2021, following on going consultation with the World Health Organisation (WHO). Throughout the Games’ 124-year modern history, the event has never been delayed, although the Games of 1916, 1940 and 1944 had been cancelled entirely following the outbreaks of the Great War and World War Two.

The decision to postpone the Olympics includes the postponement of the Paralympics by a year, with the original competition slated to take place between 25 August and 6 September 2020.

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:
$1,280.6 million

Total Media Rights Value (IOC, 2013-2016):

$4.2 billion


Worldwide Partners:

Coca-Cola ($25m pa)
Airbnb ($55.56m pa)
Alibaba ($66.67m pa)
Atos ($25m pa)
Bridgestone ($34.4m pa)
DOW ($15m pa)
General Electric ($25m pa)
Intel ($50m pa)
Omega ($25m pa)
Panasonic ($25m pa)
P&G ($15m pa)
Samsung ($25m pa)
Toyota ($83.5m pa)

Visa ($25m pa)

Gold Partners:

Asahi ($21.18m pa)
Asics ($22.93m pa)
Canon ($21.06m pa)
Eneos ($22m pa)
Tokyo Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. ($20.74m pa)
Nippon Life Insurance Company ($20.68m pa)

NEC ($20.98m pa)

NTT ($21.23m pa)
Nomura ($20.9m pa)
Fujitsu ($20.98m pa)
Mizuho ($20.78m pa)
SMBC ($20.78m pa)
Mitsui Fudosan ($21.04m pa)
Meiji ($5m pa)

Lixil ($24.48m pa)

Official Partners:

Ajinomoto ($10.58m pa)
Earth Chemical ($15.07m pa)
Education First ($13m pa)
Airweave ($10.8m pa)
Kikkoman ($12.2m pa)
KNT ($10.67m pa)
JTB ($10.67m pa)
Cisco ($12.46m pa)
Secom ($9.14m pa)
All Nippon Airlines ($8.85m pa)
Alsok ($9.14m pa)
DNP ($12.74m pa)
Daiwa House ($12.71m pa)
Tokyo Gas ($8.81m pa)
Tokyo Metro ($12.4m pa)
Toto ($10.69m pa)
Tobu Top Tours ($10.67m pa)

Toppan ($12.74m pa)

Yamato ($8.76m pa)
Recruit-Holdings ($13.48m pa)
Japan News
The Asahi Shimbun 

Mainichi (all news outlets - $10.25m pa)

Official Supporters:

Aoki ($10m pa)
Aggreko ($100m pa)
ECC ($4.4m pa)
EY Japan ($3.2m pa)
Kadokawa ($3m pa)
Google ($3m pa)
Kokuyo ($2.99m pa)
Shimzu Corporation ($4.46m pa)
Tanaka Holdings ($3m pa)
Technogym ($6m pa)


Park24 ($11.97m pa)
Pasona Group ($9.04m pa)
BCG Japan ($3m pa)
Marudai Food ($3.11m pa)
Morisawa ($3m pa)
Yahoo Japan ($3m pa)
The Sankei Shimbun ($2.96m pa)

The Hokkaido Shimbun Press ($2.96m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

Australia – Seven Network

Brazil – Globo TV 

Canada – TSN & RDS 

China – CCTV

Germany – ARD & ZDF

Japan– Consortium inc. NHK, Nippon TV, Tokyo Broadcasting System and others

Europe – Eurosport 

MENA – beIN Sports

South Korea – SBS 


France – France Televisions


The postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021 was a decision not taken lightly, with the decision expected to have huge financial repercussions for Japan, the IOC and television networks. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has estimated that around 33 million visitors were expected to visit Tokyo in 2020 whilst the ‘aggregate construction investment associated with the Olympics Games will amount to a total of 10 trillion yen ($92 billion). Other estimations put the Japanese spend in facilities and preparation work at around $7.1 billion, whilst CBS News has that figure at somewhere within a range of $12.6 and $25.2 billion. Economists at the Japan Times have predicted that the country’s GDP is also likely to significantly suffer, with predictions currently at a 0.7 per cent contraction, but warn this could rise to 1.5 per cent. Takashi Miwa, at the Japan Times has claimed that the main impact of any postponement (or cancellation) would be on domestic spending, with the setback likely to badly affect consumer confidence. Economists at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute have suggested that the impact of the coronavirus could be as significant as the 2008 financial crisis to the country. For the fans, the postponement is also likely to affect millions that planned to attend, with the IOC previously stating that it had sold 4.5 million tickets in Japan, with the organisation expecting to sell 7.8 million overall. Other potential costs around the postponement could come from the IOC having to bail out a number of international sports federations. Local businesses in Japan are also expected to take a big hit from the postponement, with Imperial Hotel recently dropping its net profit forecast for the fiscal year to 2.3 billion yen, which represents a 37 per cent  fall on the previous year. The company is due to suffer financial losses through the loss of bookings from foreign guests, which typically account for 50 per cent of its bookings. Further impact financial and social impact on the country stands in other construction costs due to take place after completion of the competition. The Olympic Village is due to be converted into condominiums, with its developers having already begun selling its 4,145 units that had been given a provisional move in date of March 2023.

From a media perspective, one of the biggest deals associated with the Games comes from networks in the United States, with Comcast’s NBC reportedly having paid $1 billion for the right to air the games, which forms part of a larger $4.38 billion deal which covers four Olympics, first signed in 2011. Whilst the broadcaster will retain media rights next year, and for the following Games in Paris, 2024, the network has previously stated that it sold more than $1.25 billion in advertising for this coming Olympics, which stands as a record for any broadcaster. Whilst this sounds like it would be a huge financial set back for the broadcaster, its CEO Brian Roberts has previously claimed at a conference “There should be no losses should there be no Olympics are [or if they are] cancelled” citing that NBC would be able to fall back on a comprehensive insurance policy which covers this scenario. 

In addition, the loss of income from these deals will also affect the IOC, with the organisation retaining a revenue sharing agreement with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) which includes 12 per cent of the fees from NBC. For the IOC, its partnerships with media networks accounts for half of the organisations revenue.

Whist financial and economic losses are expected to be incurred throughout the Olympic movement, these affiliated organisations and brands are likely to be partially protected by insurance policies. Previous annual reports by the IOC show that past Winter and Summer Olympic Games in Rio and PyeongChang the committee had taken out an insurance premium protecting against any cancellation at a value of $14.4 million.

Looking at the effect postponement could have on its sponsors, Michael Lynch, a former director of sponsorship marketing for Visa, has claimed that all companies who have spent over $100 million in its partnership deal will face extreme difficulty and issues, with the Olympics typically representing a third of these companies sponsorship efforts. Total spend for 2020 Olympics currently stands  at $1.298 billion, which  looks set to be another Olympic record, with the previous Games in Rio (2016) and London (2012) generating $1.2 billion and $1 billion from sponsorship respectively. New brand sponsors such as Airbnb, which signed a $500 million 3-Olympic Games deal to become the IOC’s latest TOP partner, are also likely to suffer from the postponement, without the historic Olympic affiliation to successfully market. The IOC has however told its commercial partners that any deals set to expire this year will roll over and remain valid for the Games in 2021, with the Games expected to continue to be named and marketed as Tokyo 2020. The announcement by the IOC will come as reassurance to a number of the Olympic sponsors, especially Atos, Dow, Proctor & Gamble and General Electric, all of which have a TOP sponsorship deal expected to end in 2020. Two brands, Allianz and Mengniu (through a joint deal with Coca-Cola) will also see their agreements activated in 2021.

August - Premier League 


Original Date:  
8 August


The beginning of the new season continues to be slated for the start of August. The main issues for the organisers starting the new 2020-21 season on this date surrounds the ongoing uncertainty of the completion of the current 2019-20 season. The Premier League is currently assessing its options as it retains ideals of restarting the current season on the 1st of June, which would then enable the season to be completed and allow a six-week gap before the start of the 2020-21 season. Whilst official dates have yet to be set in stone, it is expected that the remaining games of the 2019-20 season will be played behind closed doors.  

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:
$70.48 million

Total Annual Media Rights Value:

$3.9 billion


EA Sports ($5m pa)

Barclays ($12.98m pa)

Budweiser ($10m pa)

Cadbury ($8m pa)

Coca-Cola ($12.5m pa)

Nike ($13m pa)

Tag Heuer ($6m pa)

Official Licensees:

Avery Dennison ($1.5m pa)

Panini ($1.5m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom – Sky Sports ($1.65bn a year, BT Sport ($408.21m) & Amazon Prime

Brazil – ESPN,  $84.8m a year

China – PPTV, $233.94m a year

Greece – Cosmote TV, $11.41m

Denmark, Finland, Sweden – $115.3m a year

MENA – beIN Sports - $172.04m a year

USA – NBC - $166.67m a year

The Premier League stands as one of a number of European soccer leagues that has been heavily impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, with organisers attempting to plan a new schedule that can see the current 2019-20 season completed. Whilst there has been no official update from the Premier League on when or how the remaining games of the season will be played out, one of the options available could see games be played behind closed doors. This scenario would allow the league to appease its contractual obligations with media broadcasters, however would have a substantial impact on revenue for premier league teams as just under £1 in every £7 of revenue is accrued from match day gate receipts which could significantly impact some of the lower teams in the division. Last season the Premier League took a collective £720 million in match day sales, which represents 14 per cent of all its revenues. Despite the potential loss, some Premier League executives have reported that most teams do have insurance policies against ticketing income, which would likely kick in if games were to be played behind closed doors.

Some of the biggest challenges facing sponsors in the Premier League stems from reduced exposure from match day and television audiences, which is likely to significantly decrease a brands return on investment. Currently the Premier League has only nine games left of the season, which represents 23.7 per cent of the overall league matches – a significant portion of the season that sponsors have so far missed out on. Whilst the Premier League looks to find a solution for the remaining league games, the league sponsors and media partners will likely be looking into legal compensation opportunities for a breach of contract, if a fully finished season does not materialise. For the Premier League, their priority will certainly be to look at getting the current season completed to reduce the potential financial losses from domestic and international broadcasting contracts. In the domestic (UK) market these rights are worth $2.193 billion a season, from its four main contracts (with the BBC, Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime), whilst it is expected to rake in excess of $3 billion each year (including international broadcasters). According to KPMG, the Premier League is expected to lose between €1.15 and 1.25 billion in a worse-case scenario, whereby the remaining games are not played or broadcast. Other estimates from The Athletic put the total outlay from a cancelled season at £762 million ($901.7 million).

Should the Premier League successfully be able to reschedule its remaining games for the 2019-20 season, this could then have a knock-on effect for the start of the 2020-21 season, which would likely see the organisations incur in more financial losses.

September - NFL


Original Date:  
Regular Season: 10 September 2020 – 3 January 2021
Playoffs: 9 January 2021 – 7 February 2021


The NFL has benefitted somewhat from its annual scheduling which sees its games played throughout the Autumn and Winter months only, between September and January. As such, the competitions start date of 10 September 2020 is currently expected to continue as planned. Ongoing conversations between the NFL and media executives suggest that the original timetable is not expected to be adjusted.

At present, the NFL looks set to continue with its 2020 Draft (the event which see’s teams pick up players from a huge list of the best college players in the US). The Draft’s current date of 23 April 2020 appears likely to be pushed back in the coming weeks, with the leagues general managers unanimously calling for the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goddell to push back the draft, stating that teams have been unable to collect enough verified information on available players and believe there is not enough time to get all necessary testing completed before it starts.  

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:

$1,126 million

Total Annual Media Rights Value:

More than $5 billion


Fanatics ($15m pa)

Rocket Mortgage ($3m pa)

Oakley ($75m pa)

DraftKings ($2.5m pa)

Verizon ($400m pa)

P&G ($15m pa)

Pizza Hut ($5m pa)

Ticketmaster ($1.5m pa)

Anheuser-Busch ($230m pa)

Nationwide Insurance ($2m pa)

Amazon ($75m pa)

Bridgestone ($5m pa)

EA Sports ($7m pa)

Pepsi ($100m pa)

Campbell’s Soup ($2m pa)

FedEx ($8 m pa)

Mars ($4m pa)

Dairy Management ($1.5m pa)

Barclays ($5m pa)

USAA ($2.5m pa)

Microsoft ($90m pa)

Zebra ($2m pa)

Genesis ($5m pa)

Dannon ($5m pa)

Ford ($10m pa)

Intel ($10m pa)

Aramark ($5m pa)

Intuit ($5m pa) ($30m pa)

Lowe’s ($5m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom – Sky Sports

Canada – DAZN & Bell Media 

Denmark – MTG 

Germany – ProSieben 

India – FanCode 

Sub-Saharan Africa – Kwese 

Italy – DAZN

Worldwide – Facebook & Twitter 

USA – Verizon ($400m pa), Fox ($1.1bn pa), CBS ($1bn pa), NBC ($950m pa), ESPN ($1.9bn)

The most pressing concern surrounding the NFL at the minute surrounds its annual Draft, which is currently expected to take place in April. Given the events high publicity and popular following the event alone represents a huge financial opportunity for the NFL to exploit, and one it will be reluctant to postpone or cancel. In 2018 the event took place in Dallas and is reported to have generated an economic impact of $125 million, which included $74 million in direct spending, with the event also attracting over 200,000 fans. These figures again grew for the 2019 event, in Nashville, which saw the economic impact hit $224 million, including $133 million in direct spending from across the 600,000 visitors who attended the event. Changes to the draft for 2020 hit the NFL and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association (LVCVA) hard, cutting into how much both can benefit, with the host city having already spend $2.4 million on preparations for the Draft. 

Away from the draft, the NFL’s media revenue could also be impacted by the coronavirus, despite action from the league not expected to be greatly impacted, with the league not running until September this year. Prior to the outbreak, the renewal of TV rights in the Untied States was expected to ramp up negotiations in the coming months, with rights from 2022 onwards up for grabs and with the NFL keen to significantly increase its broadcasting rates across all of its different packages – Thursday night, Sunday afternoon, Sunday night and Monday night games. Some of the reported rates being discussed included an increase from $1 billion to $2 billion a year for Sunday afternoon games, whilst ESPN had been expected to have to increase its budget from $2 billion to $3 billion annually for Monday night games. The change in the current climate is likely to see these number revised by different networks, following a fall in the stock market in recent weeks, and growing marketplace uncertainty. 

The uncertainty around this years draft would also have a significant impact for prospective college players, with no event, comes less publicity and reduced marketing opportunities for brands and athletes alike.

Whilst there are no certainties around how long the coronavirus will continue to impact the world, it would seem that the NFL’s autumn/winter schedule should see it less affected than other major sporting competitions. In the United States the NFL remains the biggest sporting attraction for fans, with other sporting leagues scheduled throughout the year when the NFL in not in-season. Because of this, the NFL typically enjoys somewhat unrivalled domestic competition for audiences, this said, any rescheduling across other major American sports leagues, could see future rescheduling problems in which the NFL will have more competition on tv ratings.

September - Ryder Cup 


Original Date:  
25 September – 28 September


As of the time of writing, the Ryder Cup, due to be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September 2020, is expected to go ahead as scheduled. Despite it being reported in recent days that the event is likely to be postponed to 2021, European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington quashed these rumours, stating that “September is a long way off” and that “there’s no change to the situation at all at this stage”.

Golf has seen a number of high profile and PGA Tour events cancelled or postponed recently, namely the Players Championships, the Masters and PGA Championship. Should the Ryder Cup eventually get postponed, it would not be the first time in the competitions history that such a decision has been made, with event organisers postponing the 2001 Ryder Cup by a year until 2002, following the September 11 attacks in the same year.

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:
$17 million

Total Annual Media Right Value:

$16.45 million


Aon ($3m pa)

BMW ($3m pa)

Rolex ($2m pa)

Official Suppliers:

PepsiCo ($3m pa)

Toro ($2m pa)

UPS ($2m pa)

On Location Experiences ($2m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom – BBC Sport (20-22) & Sky (19-22)

Spain – Movistar (19-21) 

Germany – Sky Deutschland

France – Canal Plus (17-20) 

USA – NBC (15-30) 

Scandinavia & Russia – Viasat (18-24)

At the previous edition of the Ryder Cup, the competition saw the action in France generate an economic boost in excess of $266 million, as it marked the first time the competition had been held in the country. In 2014, the competition, held in Scotland, generated only half of what was achieved in France, at $134 million in economic activity. 

The competition had a significant boost to the local economy of Paris, which saw 220,000 commercial bed nights, with eight per cent of visitors opting to stay beyond the golf action. In total more than 270,000 people attended the Parisian golf course.

October - NBA


Original Date:  
TBA (Schedules expected to be released between 12 and 16 August


On 11 March 2020, the league suspended play for its current 2019-20 season indefinitely following news that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz became the first player to be diagnosed with the virus. Since then the event has yet to announce a new date for which the season will resume, with Commissioner Adam Silver on 18 March stating that he does not know, adding that he did not have a ‘good enough sense of how long a period this is going to be’. Reports have suggested that the league wants to play out some form of conclusion for the current season. Because of this desire to finish the current season (for which teams have around 17 games left of the regular season), the delay will likely see the 2020-21 season pushed back to accommodate this. Potential scenarios could see radical changes to the NBA schedule including, moving the NBA Finals to August, free agency to September and starting the new season in December.

Total (Select) Sponsorship Value:
$441.97 million

Total Annual Media Rights Value:

$2.67 billion

Select Sponsors:

Louis Vuitton ($1.5m pa)

PointsBet ($2m pa)

New Balance ($8m pa)

AT&T ($15m pa)

UBI Banca ($2.5m pa)

DraftKings ($1.5m pa)

William Hill US ($4m pa)

Beats Electronic ($20m pa)

MGM Resorts ($8.33m pa)

2K Sports ($157.14m pa )

FanDuel ($15m pa)

Fanatics ($12m pa)

Nike ($125m pa)

Tissot ($40m pa)

State Farm Insurance ($30m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom – Sky Sports

China – Tencent  

Italy – Sky Italia  

Australia – SBS TV 

Baltics – All Media Baltics 

Portugal – Sport TV Portugal 

Australia, Latin America, Brazil & Caribbean – ESPN 


According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver “It’s too soon to tell what the economic impact will be […] We’ve been analysing multiple scenarios on a daily if not hourly basis and we’ll continue to review the financial implications. Obviously, it’s not a pretty picture but everyone, regardless of what industry they work in, is in the same boat.”

The NBA is currently in the middle of a nine-year media deal with ESPN and TNT, which brings in $24 billion for the NBA. Whilst this is a major TV deal, a number of teams also boast their own separate regional TV deals, which offer regional rights for individual team franchises. One of the biggest such regional deals is the LA Lakers 25-year deal with Spectrum Sports, which is valued at $5 billion. The NBA, like the majority of major sports leagues acquires the bulk of its revenue through its TV deals, with local and regional deals in the NBA accounting for over half its revenue, bringing in $8.8 billion a season. One of the big issues around these deals for the NBA is that they are heavily weighted towards its play-offs, the highlight of the season. With 20 per cent of the season still to be played before the Play-Offs the NBA will be keen to find a resolution as to not avoid missing out on this financial windfall. 

Based on the current league resuming its activity, and completing a full season, Forbes estimates that the total loss to the NBA could reach around $1.2 billion in revenue, with finances lost through ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships and TV deals.

Outside of the impact that will be felt by brands and leagues, there will be a number of people hit vocationally by the leagues suspension. Whilst a number of players have already made donations to relief funds to aid victims of the outbreak, the leagues players also stand to lose out financially through the postponement. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)  with the NBA requires a portion of a plyers salary to be held in a separate account, which is then equally divided between players and owners at then end of a season. Another contractual clause which could impact player salaries, is a force majeure clause which allows salaries to be reduced by 1/92.6th for every game cancelled. If the remaining 20.7 per cent of the regular season left to play was to be cancelled it would cost the average payer $1.5 million.

November - Formula E 


Original Date:  
TBA (start: November/December 2020)


One of the big changes to Formula E for the 2020-21 season came at the start of the 2019-20 season, when it was announced that the electronic racing series would be awarded FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Championship status. 

On 13 March 2020 the championship announced that the current 2019-20 season would be temporarily suspended for a period of two-months. The series also implemented a (red, yellow, and green) flag system to determine different phases where races could be rearranged. A red flagged events represents no races, yellow flags means that the opportunity will remain monitored and potentially open to racing, and green flags indicating that the events will continue to go ahead as planned. The months of March and April have since been red flagged; May given a yellow flag, and June and July operating under a green flag. This system means that the championship races initially slated for Paris, Seoul and Jakarta will not go ahead on their original dates. 

With the current season not due to finish until July, the delay will likely not affect the start of the new (2020-21) season too much, and, at the time of writing, has not been altered. 

Total Annual Sponsorship Value:
$59.5 million
Total Annual Media Rights Value:

$35 million


ABB ($10m pa)

Julius Bar ($6m pa)

Michelin ($2.5m pa)

Tag Heuer ($6m pa)

DHL ($5m pa)

BMW ($6.5m pa)

Saudi Airlines ($4.5m pa)

Allianz ($1m pa)

Bosch ($3m pa)

Heineken ($4m pa)

Enel X ($1.75m pa)

Hugo Boss ($500,000 pa)

Modis ($1m pa)

Antofagasta Minerals ($1.5m pa)

Moet & Chandon ($2.75m pa)

Geox ($1m pa)

CBMM ($1m pa) ($1.5m pa)

Select List of Broadcasters:

United Kingdom – BBC Sport

Germany - ARD

Latin America – Fox Sports 

Europe - Eurosport


France – Canal Plus

Italy - Mediaset

Indian Sub-Continent – Sony Pictures Network

Select Chinese Broadcasters: CCTV, Weibo, Tencent & Youku

The last Formula E season, 2018-19 represented the first time the racing series had made an underlying profit, with it making a combined net loss of $155 million across its first six seasons. Its two most recent series represented substantial growth and interest in the series, as the event organisers have finally started reducing the gap between its revenue and costs. As such, whilst Formula E certainly stands to incur millions of dollars worth of losses because of the delays and cancellations to its race calendar, one of the biggest effects may be the loss of momentum the series was enjoying prior to the outbreak. 

In its early year the motor racing championship did not charge cities a fee for hosting one of its races, however in recent years has changed its position on this as it looks to capitalise on its increasing popularity. Any cancellations of races will have a huge impact on the series’ total revenue. Although the race Riyadh has already taken place and as such will not be affected by the coronavirus for this season, the event organisers in Saudi Arabia pay the biggest host rights fee at $25 million a year.

With any further postponements or cancellations to the racing calendar, Formula E is likely to incur greater financial losses in the same way as other global sporting competitions, through its sponsors and media rights partners looking to recoup compensation through force majeure clauses in their contracts.

Impact Summary 

Wimbledon - $243.07 million
90 per cent from sponsorship and media value (=$190m)
Add loss of $52.51 million from ticket sales and $560,000 from no sales of strawberries and cream

Tour de France – $11.58 million
10 per cent from sponsorship and media value 

European Championships – $263 million
20 per cent from sponsorship and media value loss

Olympics – $548 million (sponsorship and media only)
10 per cent from sponsorship and media value loss

Premier League - $1.17 billion
25 per cent of season left so 25 per cent of sponsorship and media loss (=987,620,000)
Add $180 million from no ticket sales 

NFL - $100 million
Taken from the loss of potential earnings from the NFL Draft

Ryder Cup - $94.9 million
90 per cent of sponsorship and media value loss = 30,100,000

270,000 (people attended in 2018) x 240 (average price of ticket) = $64,800,000

NBA - $868 million
22 per cent of season left = 22 per cent of sponsorship and media value loss (which equals $622.4 million)
Then add ticket costs (if no spectators for remaining 18 games) = average fans per game (17,857) x Average ticket price ($51)= $910,707. Games remaining = 270. 270 x 910,707 = $245,890,890

Formula E - $31.8 million 
Three races postponed (potentially cancelled), average attendance of 23,000, at a ticket price of $50 = 1,150,000 x 3 (races) = $3.45 million. 

Then add an estimated 30 per cent of sponsorship and media value ($17.85 million and $10.5 million) 

Overall Impact Figure - $3.38bn