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Passion, People Purpose: ​Harnessing the Power of Sports Partnerships

Whether you’ve enjoyed cheering on the Lionesses, been glued to Tour de France or witnessed Novak Djokovic lift the Wimbledon trophy for 7th time, this year of sport so far has delivered plenty of drama. It has brought excitement, joy, tension and frustration, whilst restoring the buzz of live audience participation. ​

Sport is one of the nation’s greatest passions and has an unrivalled ability to bring people and brands together when passion and emotion are rarely more alive. ​

the7stars’ bespoke research, Connecting with the Crowd, spoke to sports fans to identify what people look for in authentic sports partnerships. We have identified three key pillars that can help guide brands in this space: passion, people and purpose. ​


Watching sport can elicit strong feelings. Our research revealed that 40% of Brits generally feel happier during major sporting events. However, the picture isn’t always rosy – 1 in 5 sports fans also admit to crying when watching sports. ​

Brands should consider how they can bring these emotions to life through compelling storytelling to inform or even surprise their audiences. ​


We found that passion is even more powerful when experienced together. 3 in 4 people feel a sense of national or community pride when watching sport, and this feeling can linger long after the event is over. Sports fans can connect with their favourite athletes increasingly more easily, due to social media, drawing people further into the world of sport, and extending their memorable moments. ​

Therefore, brands have an opportunity to enhance the fan experience in many ways beyond the event itself, such as continuing the conversation on social media or partnering with their audiences’ favourite sporting stars. ​


Finally, fans want the sports they love to be a positive force in the world. 3 in 5 agree they want sports to make a meaningful change in society​. Furthermore, half of Brits believe that athletes should be role models to future generations, and this number is even higher among 18-34s.​

Therefore, brands need a reason to get involved. Fans not only welcome brands that can make a positive difference in sport, but they are actively expecting to witness it. ​

Tapping into at least one of these areas is a winning formula for sports partnerships. ​

To find out more about our research, as well as how the7stars can help you make the most of exciting sporting opportunities, do join us for an evening of wine and cheese on 15th September. Please contact your account team for more information.