Sports sponsorships are a major investment for many companies. But the ROI of those investments is often hard to measure. The problem? Companies don't invest in sponsorship analytics that track data and outcomes for the sponsorship. Without clear visibility into the results of a sports sponsorship, dollars are wasted. As a result, leadership sours on the idea of sponsoring sports teams and events as a viable marketing strategy.
This does not have to happen. Tools that measure the value and impact of a sports sponsorship are available. Even more, these tools can serve as a competitive advantage for brands willing to value data found in their sponsorship initiatives.
In this post, we'll explore why investing in a sports sponsorship intelligence platform improves ROI on every invested dollar. We will explain how sponsorship analytics provides a competitive advantage and supercharge marketing plans.
The Value of Sports Sponsorships
The world’s most valuable brands are investing in sports sponsorships. From Red Bull’s significant investment in a Formula 1 team to Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys’ long-time relationship with Pepsi, big brands are pouring dollars into sports.
Beyond numbers and statistics, people love sports. They follow their favorite athletes religiously on social media. Whether it's a basketball fan posting an emoji of James Harden or a hockey fan cheering for P.K. Subban, there's always a sports story to tell. Companies want to be part of that story. Everyone wins. The fans enjoy watching their favorite athletes on TV while using their products. They share memorable experiences at live events with family and friends. Ultimately, those fans become brand ambassadors for a lifetime. Companies invest in sports sponsorships to tap into this passion and excitement. However, brands have to be able to prove that value if they want leadership to re-invest in partnership opportunities.
The Need for Sponsorship Analytics
Consider these questions from the perspective of a company engaged in sports sponsorship. Which athletes drive the most value for our products? How do fans view our brand after sponsoring this particular athlete? What is the impact of a sports sponsorship on key business metrics? These are some questions companies want to answer when investing in a sports sponsorship. The answers are elusive because they can't find the right tools.
Today there is no standard for measuring ROI from a sports sponsorship program. Many brands still rely on inadequate solutions. Using half-baked tools to measure sponsorship effectiveness is not wise.
Proving Sports Sponsorship Value to Leadership
Leadership wants to know how much they can spend on a sports sponsorship and still expect a positive ROI. It's not just about sales or revenue generated. It's also about fan engagement levels and social media reach. Investment is about product trials, brand awareness, and thought leadership opportunities. Leaders want to know if marketing is driving business results. If not, why are you investing there?
When reporting to company leadership about sponsorship investment, it is important to have tools in place to help measure the ROI. Sponsorship investments are often made with the intent of increasing brand awareness and sales. Without accurate data, it can be difficult to know if these goals are being met. Sponsorship analytics tools can help track things like social media reach, product trials, and brand awareness. This tracking helps leadership make informed decisions about future sponsorship investments.
Sponsorship analytics tools can help companies pinpoint the ROI of their sports sponsorships. These tools can highlight which athletes and teams drive the most value for their products. They show how fans view their brand after sponsoring a particular individual or team. They measure the overall impact of these partnerships on key business metrics. Sponsorship analytics can determine what percentage of consumers have been reached through local appearances as opposed to print media or other forms of advertising. Additionally, if certain engagement campaigns are planned during a season with specific players, the analytics tools should indicate whether or not this has increased engagement with said athletes among fans. These results can also be used to inform future sponsorship decisions made by leadership who seek clear data about where marketing dollars are being spent and how they are translating to sales.
Providing leadership with the proper data means informed decisions about future sponsorship investments. Sponsorship analytics and intelligence tools give organizations the ability to identify the best-performing campaigns, the broadcasts that drive the most conversions, and the events that show increases in streaming numbers. The ability to gather this information allows companies to think about future sponsorships.
For example, tracking when and where a logo appears on television broadcasts is extremely valuable. More valuable? Tracking when that logo appears in a video clip that makes itself to SportsCenter’s nightly highlights or a viral video clip. Receiving this data in near real-time gives brands the chance to recalibrate and modify positioning and investment, but also to optimize ROI across all sponsorships.
Not only can companies track engagement levels with specific athletes and teams, but also how fans view a company's brand. By not using such tools, organizations may be making decisions based on gut feeling alone. This may lead to detrimental consequences down the road. In contrast, gaining an understanding of what fans expect or want can help increase business opportunities.
Lastly, sponsorship analytics tools can measure the overall impact of these partnerships. It is important to measure key business metrics like sales and ROI. If certain athletes are doing well in terms of social media impressions, product trials, or market awareness (for example) this could be indicative that they are driving value for the company.
Understanding the Impact of Sponsorship Data
Understanding how your organization is performing through sports sponsorships means making informed decisions about future marketing plans. If companies do not invest in these types of solutions they will continue to fly blind. This could lead them to make poor marketing investment decisions.
Believe it or not, companies engaged in sports sponsorships invest less than 2% of their sponsorship budget in tracking sponsorship performance. Would you activate any other marketing initiative with such a paltry investment in tracking success metrics?
Perhaps the best way to prove value to leadership is by attaching meaningful and consistent KPIs to your marketing campaigns. Being able to compare “apples to apples” by evaluating conversions or site visits or some other easily understood metric can make clear the value of a sports sponsorship.
Analytics as a Competitive Advantage
The good news is that this lack of investment in tracking success presents an opportunity for savvy organizations. By investing in tracking the performance of sports sponsorships, you can turn analytics into a competitive advantage. By understanding how your sponsorships are performing, how they are driving conversions and revenue, your organization can optimize for maximum return on investment. While the competition is investing in in-stadium placements or streaming advertising and hoping for the best, you can course-correct in real-time and maximize the impact of your sponsorships.
How Relo Metrics Can Help
If you are looking to activate a sports sponsorship, data is everything. By tracking the impact of your sponsorships you learn more about your investment. This means you can better optimize future programs. This optimization drives maximum return on investment and increases campaign efficiency. Showing leadership that the money invested in a sports sponsorship is well spent relative to other possible marketing strategies should be based on data, not supposition.
Relo Metrics is a sponsorship intelligence platform that helps organizations understand the impact of their sports sponsorship investments. Brands need actionable insights, not just data. Relo Metrics is the sponsorship intelligence platform that gives sponsorship teams the control they need to effectively plan, track and report on their investments. Brands that work with Relo are more efficient with their sponsorship spend, they devote less time to data consolidation, and ensure alignment of their sponsorship portfolio to strategic business objectives.
To find out more, check out Relo Metrics' capabilities page.