Evaluating Sponsorship Performance – Some Recent Findings from SponsorMap

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The question often asked about sports marketing and sponsorship itself is how effective is it? It is a fairly straightforward question and it really is a something that is a key issue any CEO, Marketing Director, Finance Director would be expected to question. Answering this question does generally require market research as a key component of the evaluation process. This is because both attitudes and behavior metrics are usually part of the overall business objectives. (See the Sponsorship Research & ROI presentation for more details on objective measurement).

Looking at the results of SponsorMap evaluations we can take a deeper look at what tends to drive a high performance sponsorship as opposed to one that is less effective. (A high performance sponsorship delivers above required business and marketing objectives).

In the attached diagram involves results based on various types of sponsors and property types from sports through to TV sponsorship and looking at different categories of sponsors as well. They include variety of evaluations that have conducted for sponsors in more than 18 markets.

One the left axis we measured the Passion Index, or passion that the target audience feels towards the sponsored property. The higher the emotional bond to the property, the higher the Passion Index. Generally, this means that the property (eg., sporting team, league, event or personality) that has the high rating has the strongest appeal to a target audience. Properties with less emotional appeal have a lower Passion Index rating. Sponsors generally, seek properties that have the highest appeal to the target audience itself and naturally these properties themselves tend to be more valuable.

On the horizontal axis we measure sponsor appreciation (Gratitude Index). This is a measure of the level of appreciation that a targeted audience feels towards the sponsor based on their sponsorship itself. Appreciation has be influenced by activation strategy, goodwill and general sponsorship fit itself. Some sponsors do not create a lot of appreciation if it is simply a logo viewing experience, but others that activate the sponsorship and engage consumers can create appreciation with consumers in the process. A well planned sponsorship integrated into a variety of marketing activities can certainly improve this rating.

Now the diagram below shows the Passion Index and Gratitude Index ratings from sponsorships where people were able to recall the sponsor itself. So we are looking at all those being aware of the sponsor, so it is a sponsorship related impact we are examining in detail.

What is interesting is that the high performance sponsorships have often involved both a high level of passion to the property and strong appreciation to the sponsor itself. The are the sponsorships most likely to achieve the best results.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but the implication for sponsorship itself should be a focus on effective property selection together with effective sponsorship activation. Many in the industry would already know this, but if anything, our research does tend to confirm good industry best practice. Nevertheless,  we are continuing to develop useful benchmarks for industry performance that should better answer the question on how to measure sponsorship effectiveness.


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