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Why the Industry Needs to Reset Sponsorship Measurement Standards

News & Updates, Insider   |   Sep 02, 2021   |  by Brian Kim

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As sports consumer behavior has changed, so has our need for reliable, accurate, and timely sponsorship measurement data. Long gone are the days when a family would sit together and watch an NFL game on TV or watch every shot of Tiger Woods winning the Masters. Instead, the modern day household has at least 4-5 devices consuming content while sitting in their living room. 

In today’s household, a parent, or maybe even a grandparent will be the main person watching content on the TV. They might be looking up to check some sports highlights or see what’s on the screen, but your phone is probably in your hand and you’re scrolling through news content, sports highlights, or social media. For the kids, the TV probably feels as outdated as a cassette player. Their faces are glued to TikTok, Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and every other new platform vying for their attention.

Yet, while consumer behavior has dramatically changed in a short period of time, our approach to sponsorship measurement has operated the same way for over 10 years, and the last few weeks have proven that the traditional measurement model is broken. It’s now time to make a change. 

Look no further than NBCUniversal’s decision to claim Nielsen “independence” by requesting proposals from over 40 other measurement partners to build out NBCU’s measurement tech stack for the future. And, Nielsen’s self-proclaimed “hiatus” has now resulted in the MRC’s decision to strip Nielsen of its accreditation for National and Local TV measurement services (MRC evaluates and accredits measurement tools to ensure figure accuracy and reliability for the advertising community).  

Antiquated measurement solutions have not only fallen behind from a capabilities standpoint, but their methodologies and business approach no longer fulfill the needs of today’s businesses and the digital consumer.

As an industry, it’s time for us to require accountability, transparency, and innovation in data measurement. If we don’t, our businesses may become as obsolete as a cassette player. Just like your phone has now become your utility belt to listen to music, consume content, and communicate, your measurement platform needs to support the evolving, complex needs of your business. 

A few years ago, one could say that a decision to work with Nielsen was a choice that wouldn’t get you fired -- can you believe that now? It is time for us all to demand more from one another and to hold ourselves to a higher measurement standard. The times are changing and our consumers are showing us that the playing field we operate in today is vastly different than that of the past. To keep up with them, we need to modernize our solutions, or risk being a footnote in Wikipedia. 



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