Five slam-dunk tactics to improve your return on sports marketing investments
Ahead of the New Year’s first tennis Grand Slam at the Australian Open, the Super Bowl and the cricket World Cup, sport and the business behind it are front page news.
Sports sponsorship places brands in front of millions of receptive consumers, and the scale of the sponsorship investment demands that brands build the right strategy and effectively measure the return on investment.
There are companies bidding hundreds of millions of dollars to be associated with top-tier sporting events, everything from uniform design through to stadium naming rights. If the sponsorship is executed well, marketers are going to put their brand in front of tremendous audiences, up to one billion people in the case of the FIFA World Cup. Effective measurement is at the heart of maximising the investment.
OPPORTUNITIES AT EVERY LEVEL
The outlook for the sports sponsorship market in the Asia Pacific region is positive. In the medium- to long-term, the market is poised for healthy growth and brands can take advantage of that to generate substantial returns on their sports sponsorship investment.
PricewaterhouseCoopers that estimates the Asia Pacific market alone was worth more than US$12 billion in 2014 and accounted for more than one quarter of the worldwide sports sponsorship spend of about US$45billion.*
Nielsen examines the importance of aligning sports sponsorship with existing marketing strategy and objectives, how to determine the right event and reach the right audience, methods to forge stronger connections with audiences, and effective measurement techniques.
ALIGN WITH BROADER BUSINESS PLANS
Any new investment should mesh with existing business goals and align with broader business objectives. The aims of a sponsorship vary over time, and marketing teams should focus on a measurement approach that includes at least three metrics: reach, resonance (or how consumer perceptions will change as a result), and reaction.
FIND THE RIGHT EVENT
Sports audiences have deep emotional affiliations and audiences can overlap. Indentify who the sponsorship will actually reach and augment the strategy for harder to reach consumer groups. Be aware that audiences change and mature, which will impact on a long-term sponsorship deal.
REACH OUT EFFICIENTLY
Sports events can appeal to a broad demographic, so it’s important to undertake a market segmentation and to consider using technology to deliver communication.
KEEP THE PARTY GOING
Interacting with fans during the tournament is important, but building positive sentiment over the long term should be the ultimate goal. Sponsorship activation activities should reflect the event’s positioning and ideals to generate positive reactions. Think about how technology or music, for example, helps enhance an audience’s experience.
MEASURE AND REVIEW
When calculating the investment, wherever possible, centre on a hard metric for the core audience and not the entire brand. This approach provides a more precise result when determining return on investment.
*PwC Changing the Game: Outlook for the Global Sports Market 2011–2015
Insights contained in this article are taken from Nielsen’s sports sponsorship whitepaper, Going for gold: Five strategies to win at sports marketing. For further information contact Craig Johnson or your Nielsen representative, or click ‘request report download’ to download the complete report now.