The number of reported new sponsorship deals dropped 46pc in the first half of 2020 versus the same period last year, according to the latest research from sponsorship consultants Onside.
However, supermarkets were the one sector that collectively grew in sponsorship appeal performance during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Despite the declines, sport continues to account for the lion's share of sponsorship in Ireland, with eight in 10 deals completed in 2020 to date in the that area.
Reported sponsorships were down 86pc across April and May, there were signs of recovery beginning in June with new campaigns such as the RTE Does Comic Relief supported by sponsors including Bank of Ireland, JustEat and TK Maxx.
"2020 opened strongly in terms of high-profile major renewal deals including Aldi and PwC's multi-year extension of their Irish Rugby sponsorships and Allianz's sponsorship renewal of GAA Leagues," said John Trainor, founder and CEO of Onside.
There had also been a steady stream of sponsorships in horse racing by major names including Paddy Power and Dubai Duty Free.
"However, since March, sponsorship industry deal-doing has switched to adjusting existing arrangements between top sponsors and rights holders to account for the impact of Covid-19 on current deals, rather than any significant volumes of new deals," said Trainor.
Following on from a sharp decline in activity and spend in the sponsorship arena, the public saw a 12pc drop in recall of sports sponsors that appealed most to them in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Onside report.
Super-Valu, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl were in the top four of more than 35 sponsors seen by the public to stand out during the Covid-19 crisis by using sponsorship to help communities in the past three months.
"Our survey chimes with other gauges of public sentiment toward supermarkets generally at present," Trainor said.
He believes that value of the sponsorship market could shrink 10pc this year.
Sunday Indo Business