Sponsorship as a sales driver: Nielsen FanLinks identifies fans and their FMCG buying behavior

Sponsorship as a sales driver: Nielsen FanLinks identifies fans and their FMCG buying behavior


In times of increasing sales and ROI pressure, a recurring challenge centres on how brands demonstrate ROI through existing sponsorship involvements. For the first time, Nielsen, in cooperation with Nielsen Sports – the independent research and consulting company in the sports and entertainment industry – offers a unique service in Switzerland that meets this need. With Nielsen FanLinks, FMCG brands can monitor the purchasing habits of consumers, matching them with the direct impact sponsorship has during the path to purchase and gain valuable insights for expanding and optimizing their sponsorship activations.


Nielsen FanLinks combines the measured buying behaviour of Swiss Households with their interests and passions across sports. The revised Nielsen household panel records the FMCG buying behaviour of 4,000 households in Switzerland with all the relevant shopping data – a total of 8,000 consumers.

Linking fan and consumer data

Which fan buys what, where, when and, above all, how much of a product? Nielsen can now answer these questions and also has the relevant information regarding his interest in the top sports in Switzerland. In addition, Nielsen FanLinks offers detailed insights into the interest in football, sports consumption in general, as well as the fan behaviour and fan-ties of the panellists.

Buying behaviour of Swiss football fans

Nielsen Sports has taken another decisive step in the analysis of buying behaviour. Among other things, the buying behaviour of fans of Swiss Football League (SFL) clubs is compared to the buying behaviour of neutral and negative respondents. Thus, the effects of sponsorship on sales within all groups can also be measured over time. For example, after a new entry of a new sponsor brand it can be demonstrated whether the partnership has an impact on the buying behaviour.

Additional sales in the millions possible

Long-standing and highly effective sponsorships ideally lead to above-average purchase and consumption of the sponsor brand by the respective fan groups. This is shown by Nielsen FanLinks using a sample calculation: 16 percent of the fans of SFL club X buy the products of the partner beer brand Y and thus much more than the overall market with six percent. With around 900,000 fans of the SFL club in Switzerland and an average price of around 2.90 CHF per litre of the beer brand, the additional revenue adds up to more than 24 million CHF per year. This is an impressive number, although other influencing factors such as regional sourcing or other marketing activities may influence the buying decision.

Extension of socio-psychographic data

Optionally, an analysis of the fan buying behaviour according to socio-demographic and / or – as a new service – psychographic criteria is available. Psychography combines the real FMCG buying behaviour (categories, brands, channels) of the panellists with their values, leisure behaviour and media usage. This provides a well-founded insight into groups of buyers that go far beyond classical socio-demographic criteria and also allows an analysis of the development over several years.

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