Media release: Commercial director to speak about being a rights holder, at upcoming sports sponsorship conference

AFC grounds & Training

THE commercial director of Aberdeen Football Club believes rights holders must increasingly focus on how to prepare themselves for the future of a rapidly-changing sponsorship market and therefore looks to educate at what is believed to be Scotland’s first educational sports sponsorship conference.

Robert Wicks’ wealth of experience and success within the sports marketing industry has put him in a prime position to identify, understand and successfully tackle the changes occurring within the sponsorship market.

With increased competition and advances in technology, rights holders are looking for more from their sports sponsorship spending requesting more detailed data and insight to prove a greater return on investment. It is therefore important for rights holders to gain a full understanding of what they should be looking for, what technology is out there and how best to use it.

After eight years in World Superbikes and MotoGP, he joined Powerboat P1 in 2007 as commercial director, transforming what was a hobbyist pursuit into a global sporting property. He joined Aberdeen Football Club in March 2018.

Robert said: “The sponsorship market is changing very rapidly and is increasingly focused around the insight and data which rights holders can provide to a brand. To be successful in sponsorship it is about understanding what technology is out there and how it can best be used.

“Sponsors are quite rightly becoming more demanding of the rights holder and expecting higher levels of quality information and requesting more efficient ways of measurement. We can give brands that we partner with accurate daily feedback through technology on levels of engagement and resulting ROI when in the past one would have to wait weeks for the data to come back.”

The club’s new sponsorship deal with health and wellbeing partner, Health Shield, also brings a new concept to sponsorship within their marketing strategy to help prepare for the future of sponsorship.

Health Shield’s work goes beyond a traditional benefits package and adds real value to the club, its staff and the wider community in Aberdeen. As well as looking after the health and wellbeing of the staff, Health Shield are engaged with the club’s award-winning community trust to bring positive change across the local community.  This includes a new initiative in which they are about to embark on which involves screening people for prostate cancer. He believes it will be a very successful partnership as the mission, values and objectives of the new sponsor match those of the club.

The club have also recently announced the new management of Aberdeen Football club’s women’s team, with Boskalis as the new sponsor.

To learn more about the changing sponsorship market and Aberdeen Football Club’s development of integrated new training facilities and the first new-build football stadium in Scotland in 100 years, catch Robert Wicks’ speech along with a number of other key figures from the sponsorship industry at the Via Sponsorship’s event hosted at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow 5-6 March 2019.

Via Sponsorship aims to increase the knowledge, understanding and benefits of sponsorship in sport as well as educate businesses and professional athletes on the importance, processes and power of corporate sponsorship in making their careers a success. The Via Sponsorship conference is an unique event which will feature workshops, presentations by guest speakers, attract sponsors, delegates in the industry and young athletes at the start of their careers. It will also provide opportunities to network and knowledge development within this industry.

The tickets for this conference are available from for more information on the programme, speakers, venue, sponsors and exhibition, visit the Via Sponsorship website at

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