Measurement beyond impressions
The increasing demand from sponsors for more comprehensive measurement requires properties to go beyond impression numbers. For the most part, end of the season recaps include nice photos of the sponsor’s assets along with impression summaries for TV visible signs and attendance figures. Many properties are using third party vendors such as Repucom or Nielsen to provide this information. This feedback is valuable, but it is just one part of the equation. For a sponsor who is not as concerned with awareness or eyeballs, it becomes even less important. So if sponsors are looking for more, what other data points should properties consider? As with any partnership, it begins with understanding objectives and then determining what criteria will be used to measure the results. The following are a couple of areas to consider.
Impressions may give you a macro sense of any particular sponsorship, but engagement shows the real impact. Look at how many fans participated in a particular promotion, fan vote, special event and social media (e.g. tweets, posts, shares, etc.). Provide numbers for these activities and showcase how you supported each one. If you are in a multi-year deal, compare year to year results to show growth. Examine all the touch points where a sponsor interacts with fans at games, in the marketplace and at home. It may be in the form of point of sale utilizing team marks, on-site at a sponsor booth or on-line with social media. All of these aspects will help paint a more detailed picture.
Each sponsor’s business is different and their objectives will vary. Providing sales figures is often difficult and may depend on the sponsors willingness to share internal measurements. Some data such as in-stadium or arena sales figures for select sponsors is easy (e.g. beer, soft drink, food, etc.). Retail sales numbers are more of a challenge. Try working with the sponsor to establish particular benchmarks. Comparing year to year sales totals during a promotional window is one idea (e.g. June 2013 vs June 2012). Coupon redemption and lead generation are others. If a sponsor is focused on B2B, look at new accounts or relationships established as a result of the team partnership. Again, show how the property helped. In some cases, it may be in the form of direct business back from the property (e.g. shipping, airline, waste management, etc.).
Most sponsors don’t want or need a glorified picture book. Providing as many data points as possible will help build a stronger business case for renewal. There is also no reason to wait until the end of the season to offer this feedback. Consider the concept of “Real Time” recaps and provide progress along the way. This will help your partner showcase their involvement internally and ultimately offer more value.