A return to sports played behind closed doors over the summer helped curb the decline in sponsorship deals seen earlier this year.
According to the latest update from consultants Onside, the rate of new reported sports sponsorship deals in Ireland dropped 19pc year on year in the third quarter. This compared with a 49pc plunge in the first half of 2020.
This averages out at a fall off in deals of 38pc so far this year, although sports sponsorships are faring better than other categories.
So far, three in four deals to date have been in sports, while food and drink firms and financial services brands have been the most active sponsors. Car brands, supermarkets and professional services have also featured more strongly.
John Trainor, founder and CEO of Onside said: "With the return of sports, July has been the most active month to date in 2020 for related sponsorship deals. However, any early signs of a recovery for non-sports sponsorship deals lagged until September as non-sport platforms such as the arts continued to bear the brunt of restrictions.
"Some significant deals began to emerge including the announcement of the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, providing €1m to support artists and arts projects across the island. Opel's new sponsorship of Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio also signalled seeds of renewed potential seen by sponsors in broadcast and media sponsorships."
In terms of personalities most admired by consumers, broadcasters Ryan Tubridy and Claire Byrne have emerged strongly.
According to Trainor: "the Late Late Show presenter doubled his fanbase this year to over half a million adults that rate him as the Irish television or radio presenter they admire most".
Byrne was the other big mover in the latest edition of the Onside Star Track 2020, jumping straight into the Top 10 for the first time this year at number two behind Tubridy.
Katie Taylor was named as the most admired Irish sports personality' again this year, while Tour de France star Sam Bennett was the only new entry to the Onside Top 10 Stars in Sport for 2020.