The David Beckham marketingeffect – already reaching saturation point on football fields, in newspapers and on advertising billboards, is about to rub off on brokers.

Armchair sports fans are the prime targets for financial products, finds market researchers Datamonitor.

It says the football club affinity market is still relatively untapped and predicts a massive increase in motor and household policies.

"The penetration of sports affinity household insurance will rise at a rate of 37.6% a year, increasing the number of providers holding a sports branded household policy from 4,200 in 2000 to 23,600 in 2005," the report states.

"Meanwhile, 21,400 sports enthusiasts are forecast to hold sports motor insurance policies."

But the fastest growth over the next five years will be in the life and pensions markets which will increase at an annual growth rate of 40.4%.

Much of this growth will be fuelled by football clubs looking to add other financial products to their portfolios alongside credit cards.

There are 430 different sports affinity products in the UK which are offered to 9.8 million sports fans.

These are offered by some 250 sports clubs.

However, the majority – 154 of these – currently offer only a credit card.

Datamonitor believes football clubs will be most successful at selling low-value products.

"Where this tied relationship between financial providers and football clubs has a viable future is with products such as motor and travel insurance that are already highly commoditised and customer retention is a key issue," said senior analyst Godfrey Sullivan.

The report says that the scope for using links with sports institutions to sell general and long-term insurance products is only just being exploited.

Key findings of the report 'Marketing Financial Services':

  • Some 69% of sports enthusiasts in the UK have access to at least one financial product related to their most keenly pursued sporting interests
  • 411,000 sports fans currently hold a credit card from their favourite team
  • The number of sports affinity household insurance policies will increase from about 4,200 in 2000 to 26,300 in 2005.

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