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Tax benefits of sports sponsorship

| News | Culture, Sports & Entertainment

Interview with Patricia Motilla on the tax benefits of sports sponsorship

Interview | Patricia Motilla, partner at Andersen Tax & Legal who leads the culture, sports and entertainment area, highlighted that in Spain sport enjoys state aid in the form of tax deductions which brands are not benefiting from: "The return and profitability of sponsorship is something that must be analysed jointly by the marketing department, the person responsible for planning sponsorship acts, and the financial department. In the end, both pursue the same objective: that the company obtains optimum results, both in terms of revenue and cost reduction.

With this in mind, the members of the debate acknowledged that more work is needed to create synergies between the two management areas, because, as Fernández pointed out, "although taxation is not an end in itself, it is interesting in some cases". To understand why companies don't take advantage of the tax benefits of sponsorship better, interviews Patricia Motilla: According to the barometer, companies give little importance to the tax incentives obtained by investing in sports sponsorship, do you think this is because these tax benefits are scarce for them?

  • Patricia Motilla: They are not scarce, on the contrary, they represent a great opportunity for companies, but sometimes do not know how to maximize them. In addition, there is a great lack of knowledge in the market regarding these tax advantages. There are two types of companies. On the one hand, there are the big multinational sponsorship companies, which are probably already benefiting from these advantages. On the other hand, there are the sponsors who, even though they are aware of the existence of possible tax benefits, hold them in contempt by the ways in which their internal structures set the objectives for the different departments. Thus, if the marketing or sponsorship department has an annual allocation that it must spend and invests in sponsoring a sport, it will not receive any return, whether or not it obtains a tax benefit, because it is the financial department that will enjoy that tax benefit. The problem is that the finance department does nothing to derive the return to the marketing department, for example, by receiving a larger budget the following year. These tax structures are causing deductions, which are on a global scale, not being maximised. On the other hand, there is a great ignorance about the existence of these tax benefits, as happened seven years ago in the cultural sector -mainly audio-visual and theatre- when they were not maximised. Now they are applied massively with a final benefit, culture. The same thing must happen with sport, with sponsorship aimed at a grassroots sport, not an elite sport. Because we have to work at the base to get elite athletes. There are studies that warn: in 10 years' time, especially in the female arena, we will not have Olympic athletes. In what cases are tax benefits more interesting?

  • P.M. Whenever a company pays taxes, it is interesting. Everything is subject to the Patronage Law and is controlled by the Superior Sports Council. Depending on the type of sponsorship, some advantages can be obtained. Programmes to support events of exceptional public interest are proving extremely interesting. Thus, from the sponsorship money contributed by a company, it could be entitled to a tax deduction of up to 90%. Therefore, the actual cost of sponsorship would be 10% of the contribution. Does Andersen Tax & Legal have a specific service or product designed to help brands carry out sports sponsorship actions?

  • P.M. Yes, we are developing a program that can be applied to any sport, but with a focus on women. For example, we have a project - from base to elite, tennis. I am a woman, I am a sportswoman, I am a tennis player-where the sponsor improves its image in a very significant way, given that other issues are mixed, including academic, in addition to merely sports. Of course, it will only be interesting for some companies, because everything depends on the culture and philosophy with which you want to position yourself in the market as a sponsor.


For further information, please contact:

Patricia Motilla Bonías

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