In Sport Sponsorship, Sports Marketing

Branding, in the age of digital transformation, has evolved far beyond simple logo placements and sponsored events. The dynamics of brand-customer relationships have shifted, and as marketers, we have an obligation to adapt. So, when we talk about sponsorships, it’s time to reimagine the metrics we hold dear and measure what truly matters.

The Evolution of Brand Goals: Beyond Awareness

We can all agree that sponsorship goals are multifaceted. Indeed, a primary objective might be to elevate brand awareness and kindle excitement around our products and services. But, as we’ve observed over the years, the essence of sponsorship extends beyond just awareness.

Brands sponsor for a plethora of reasons—breaking into new markets, aligning with meaningful causes, or even establishing authentic connections with their audiences. To truly evaluate the value of our sponsorship efforts, we must identify metrics that directly resonate with these nuanced goals.

Steering Clear of Vanity Metrics

It’s tempting to be swayed by large numbers and glossy metrics. But here’s a revelation: not all metrics are created equal. Consider social media impressions—a staggering count might make for an impressive report, but what’s its tangible contribution to brand objectives?

As brand custodians, our primary focus should be metrics that bridge our organizational aspirations with our audience’s behaviors and preferences. We advocate for metrics such as engagement rate, promotion quality, and logo visibility. These ‘primary’ metrics are vital irrespective of the sport or event you’re sponsoring. The bottom line? Align your primary metrics with overarching business objectives.

sponsorship metrics

Prioritizing Sponsorship ROI

At the heart of effective sponsorship lies the ability to measure and articulate its ROI. Sponsorship ROI isn’t just about expenditure against returns—it’s a nuanced view into how sponsored promotions resonate with audiences compared to other marketing efforts.

The Hookit Valuation Model (HVM) shines a light on this by focusing on genuine media costs coupled with the equivalent engagement expenses. The results? An apples-to-apples comparison that enables marketers to judiciously allocate budgets.

Brand Preference: An Uncharted Territory

While brand awareness is foundational, the future belongs to brand preference. We need to dig deeper into how our sponsorships affect brand perception and choice. With the digital ecosystem at our fingertips, we have the means to gauge real-time sentiment, campaign effectiveness, and the overall resonance of our sponsored activities. The endgame? Cultivating genuine, lasting relationships that propel brand preference.

The Quest for Localized Sales Lift

The crowning jewel of sponsorship measurement would undeniably be correlating it directly with sales uplift. While universally accepted methodologies might be elusive, emerging models linking promotional engagements with sales trends are promising. We are on the brink of a revolution where we can trace the sales efficacy of every dollar spent on sponsorship.

Independent Verification: An Imperative

The age-old adage, “Trust but verify”, has never been more relevant. Initially, we may lean into metrics provided by our sponsored partners. Yet, transparency and objectivity are paramount. Platforms like Hookit present an unbiased view, offering brands a comprehensive snapshot of their sponsorship’s true impact.

The Road Ahead: Embracing Metrics that Matter

In the digital age, sponsorship is no longer a game of guesswork. Metrics are our compass, guiding brands to make informed decisions, optimize budgets, and foster genuine connections. As we spearhead this metric-driven movement, platforms like Hookit stand as allies, ensuring our brand investments yield genuine, measurable returns.

In conclusion, it’s a brave new world out there—a world where sponsorships are dynamic, audiences are discerning, and metrics are revolutionary. As brand advocates, our mission is clear: to embrace these shifts, harness the power of relevant metrics, and redefine the future of sponsorship.

Can we help you sign your best sponsorship deal?

Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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