Steve Morton, Head of Corporate Sales

Sponsoring sports properties isn’t an emotional decision, as consumers when it comes to sport we are driven by emotion, but as business professionals decisions have to be strategic and based on evidence of commercial return. So while your love for a sports team might ignite your interest in engaging in a sponsorship deal, you’ll want re assurance that your business will see the benefits.

So if you’re considering sponsoring a sports property what metrics should you be looking to measure to determine your ROI?

Media Exposure Value

One of the strongest benefits of sports sponsorship is media exposure. Many sponsors receive equivalent media value (compared to traditional marketing channels) that is worth several times the rights fee. With the multitude of channels providing coverage to sports events, athletes and teams, brands can achieve global exposure with a media value that would stretch even the biggest marketing budgets.

Social Media Reach

Strictly another form of media but another useful metric for evaluation sponsorship success is noting the impact it has on your social media reach. While followers are important – and an easy measurement – sponsorship is more likely to impact your reach i.e. the eyeballs on your social media posts or profile. Sports accounts have huge following, it’s estimated that of Facebook’s 1.3bn users, over 500 million are hardcore football fans. Cristiano Ronaldo alone has a Facebook following that is 10 times the population of his native Portugal. Sponsors leveraging their social media rights might not see a sudden transfer of these followers, but an appropriate Retweet or Share could see your reach multiply far beyond the number of followers you have, and potentially the sports property being sponsored. And actually, eyeballs on your brand are more important than followers who may not log in regularly and rarely see your posts.

Brand awareness

This is often a key objective for brands engaging in sponsorships, however it can be difficult to measure. Conducting surveys independently or through the property you sponsor and questioning consumers to identify whether they recall your brand and also whether they associate it with the sponsorship is the most effective measure of brand awareness. Having a ‘before’ figure to compare the results to should also be factored in to the execution process

Lead generation / sales

It’s unlikely that there are many sponsorship deals in place where the sponsor is not at least hoping for sales as a result! The most tangible Return on Investment and likely the metric that the Board are most likely to want to see. It can be a challenge to track which sales come as a direct result of the sponsorship but monitoring web traffic that originates from the sports property’s digital platforms and results in sales or enquiries is a good place to start. In addition monitoring sales activity around the geographic location of the sports property or times when they have a strong presence in the media could offer a greater insight into the effect the sponsorship has on sales.

Cost of customer acquisition

For sponsors who are all about the sales, the true measure of the success of a sponsorship, and the foundation for a business case on whether the deal should be renewed, is cost of customer acquisition as a result of the sponsorship compared to traditional channels. So basically, taking the full cost of the sponsorship into account, does the number of customers the activity brought in prove sponsorship to be a more cost-effective channel than TV advertising for example? If the answer is yes then it’s clear where your budget should go!

At Wolves, we’re dedicated to ensuring our sponsors achieve their objectives which inevitably means delivering a healthy return on investment. Some sponsors run their own analytics but we regularly provide data to help them understand what’s working for them and what could be tweaked to deliver better results. One sponsor saw a 2000% increase in sign ups to their product in the local area during the period of the sponsorship deal, demonstrating the importance of considering geography and timing when analysing success.

To find out about sponsorship opportunities with Wolves and to discuss how we can help you achieve your goals call us on 0871 222 2220 option 4.


Steven Morton
Head of Corporate Sales