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Why Full Funnel Attribution Is Key to Sports Sponsorship Success

Best Practices & Innovation   |   Apr 19, 2022   |  by Antoine Laurient

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Every week, hundreds of sports and brand marketers engage Relo Metrics to measure the effectiveness of their sponsorship partnerships. Most of them are eager to tie sponsorship investments to sales conversions. This makes sense. Understanding the financial return on invested resources is of paramount importance. This is how sponsors justify the sponsorship to their leadership and gain support for future initiatives.

Yet the goal of evaluating conversions at the bottom of the funnel often misses. Other key performance indicators (KPIs) have a material impact on the success of a sponsorship. Optimizing for metrics earlier in the sales funnel can have an outsized impact on conversions, sales, and, ultimately, the overall success of the campaign.

If the bottom of the funnel where conversions and sales happen is getting all of your attention then you are missing meaningful data and insights that happen earlier in the viewer or prospect's interaction with your brand. In this post, we will examine full-funnel attribution and detail why a more holistic view of sponsorships is key to unlocking peak return on investment.

Understanding Full Funnel Management

Full funnel measurement is a process by which marketers track the effectiveness of their sponsorships. This is done by measuring (KPIs) throughout the entire customer journey. This journey starts with awareness, leading to conversion, customer satisfaction & repeat business. By taking a holistic view of sponsorship effectiveness, marketers can better understand how their investments are impacting overall brand awareness, engagement, and sales.

5 Key Reasons Why Full-Funnel Attribution is Important 

  1. It allows you to track the effectiveness of your sponsorships at every stage of the customer journey.
  2. It provides insight into which sponsorship activities are most effective at driving awareness, engagement, and conversion.
  3. It helps you optimize your sponsorships for the greatest return on investment (ROI).
  4. It gives you a more complete picture of your sponsorship portfolio’s performance.
  5. It can help you identify new sponsorship opportunities.

How to Measure Full-Funnel Attribution

There are a few different ways to measure full-funnel attribution. The most common method is to use multi-touchpoint attribution models. These models attribute credit to each touchpoint in the customer journey.

Another method is to use single-touchpoint attribution models. These models attribute credit to only one touchpoint in the customer journey.

Finally, brands can use a hybrid approach. A hybrid approach combines elements of both multi-touchpoint and single-touchpoint attribution models.

The best way to measure full-funnel attribution will vary depending on a number of factors: business goals, target audience, and budget. All three methods can be useful in understanding the impact of your sponsorships at every stage of the customer journey.

Full-Funnel Attribution in Action

Consider Oracle's $300M deal in Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing. Now "Oracle Red Bull Racing," the enterprise software company and race team are engaged in a multi-year sponsorship. The success of the partnership is dependent on full-funnel measurement. This measurement can ensure that Oracle maximizes return on their significant investment.

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To a common fan, this deal may look like a traditional sponsorship deal. Oracle receives the naming rights of the racing team, sponsorship placements on drivers’ overalls & cars and of course activations with the team at selected events throughout the year. While this is true, Oracle's real goal is to bring awareness and new sales of their technology solutions. These solutions are powering the data, speed, and reliability that the Oracle Red Bull racing team requires. The racing performance data Oracle provides to Red Bull is a significant benefit to the team. Using the sponsorship to bridge the gap between how Oracle empowers Red Bull Racing and how Oracle can help other potential customers is key. The only way to recognize the momentum the sponsorship creates is through full-funnel attribution.

Oracle embraces the need to measure and optimize across the full funnel. And so, the ability to have traditional sponsorship rights around naming and sponsorship placements become as important to Oracle as it is to be the integrated technology solution for the Red Bull Racing team and ensuring that they are delivering to the racing team's need to give them the highest chances to win every race and ultimately the championship.

Red Bull counts on Oracle to power the data, computation, and competitive technological edge to help them succeed on the racetrack. However, if Oracle wasn't associated as the naming partner, or clearly visible across the team's cars & overalls and integrated with the current world champion, would any prospective customers really know that Oracle is the partner helping to drive the team's success?

By leveraging a full-funnel approach, Oracle is making their brand synonymous with a winning team and athlete. Oracle wants to show prospects how their technology can be a winning technology solution for their businesses. Oracle understands that their success includes being able to drive the awareness and viewability of their brand. This includes connecting that brand to the results of the race team. This association can and should drive sales and is proving a huge success as evidenced by their stock price increase in 2021 by 35% (from 64.69 to 87.21).

Without full funnel measurement and care for each interaction between the brand and prospect, Oracle would be left waiting for conversions instead of taking a proactive approach to maximizing ROI of their sponsorships. 

Finding True Sponsorship Effectiveness Through Full Funnel Measurement 

Many sports marketers spend significant amounts of time talking about sales as a result of sponsorship return on investment. Unfortunately, most do so without a holistic view of the full level of engagement. From brand awareness to lead attribution, there is so much more to pay attention to then focusing on conversions at the bottom of the funnel. Without tracking the full funnel independently to ensure a sponsorship is creating the right type of value, it is no wonder that so many brands question what ROI a sponsorship drives.

Full funnel attribution is important for sports marketers because it allows them to track the effectiveness of their sponsorships at every stage of the customer journey. By taking a holistic view of sponsorship effectiveness, marketers can better understand how their investments are impacting overall brand awareness, engagement, and sales. Additionally, full-funnel attribution can help marketers optimize their sponsorships for maximum return on investment.

Relo Metrics help brands like Oracle recognize the value of their sports sponsorships. From detailing the quality and value of logo exposure, measuring posts, followers & engagement on social media to reporting on impressions, duration & ‘viewability’ on TV broadcasts. This combination of data provides information and insight that paint the full value picture for brands and teams alike and underpinned Oracle’s additional investment in Red Bull Racing.

Relo Metrics are delivering data as evidence of the value of brand exposure resulting from a sponsorship investment. Using media cost as a ‘common currency’ to compare against the cost of investing directly in traditional paid media channels. To learn more about how Relo Metrics can spotlight the full scope of your sports sponsorship impact, contact us here.

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