Numbers don't lie

£1bn ... is the figure set to be smashed for the first time by sponsorship spending in the UK next year, according to WPP investment arm Group M.

The boom will be fuelled by the London Olympic Games, with 2007 seeing the first tranche of Olympic money. The London Games are hoping to raise £750m between now and 2012, and £400m is due to be booked next year alone.

Group M predicts a further £200m in 2008, when it expects sponsorship to remain above the £1bn mark and, according to report author Adam Smith, head of futures at the company, "never come back below".

TV sponsorship is likely to be the biggest benefactor, with a £130m injection in 2007, also including the "all ITV no-BBC Rugby World Cup", with sponsorship as a whole rising by nearly 50% in the year.

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