Evaluation Remains “A Key Challenge” For Sponsorship

May 14, 2019

The sponsorship market is established, growing and multifunctional with new opportunities being created and new audiences reached, but evaluation remains a key challenge.

This year’s MKTG Frontier report, conducted in association with Think! Sponsorship and the European Sponsorship Association, found only 19% of respondents confident they can measure return on investment.

This figure is unchanged year on year suggesting an urgent need for the industry to develop key metrics and prove business return.

The report, based on a survey of over 300 sponsorship professionals worldwide, revealed that 50% of respondents are expecting to see growth in sponsorship this year, particularly in new areas such as women’s sport.

The research also revealed that two thirds of respondents believe brands are now considering sponsorship as an essential part of marketing mix, with 90% of respondents believing it works best when combined with other marketing channels and three quarters of brands demanding exclusive digital and social content as part of the sponsorship package.

Some key findings:

  • over 50% of respondents agreed women’s sport is growing, and 70% have seen an increase in media coverage of women’s sport.
  • 80% agree that streaming and OTT channels are changing the way sport is consumed
  • 72% want access to money can’t buy experiences.
  • 75% of brands want exclusive social and digital content.
  • 84% of audiences are demanding experiences rather than things and 85% agree online communities are widening the reach and connection with fans
  • only 19% are confident they can measure return on investment, while only 11% are confident they can prove value of talent IP to a brand.

Sandra Greer, Insight Director at MKTG commented: “Sponsorship is sophisticated, multi-functional and continuing to grow. We are seeing an increase in the combination of different platforms, with sponsorship working best when utilised within the overall advertising mix.  It is catering for an experience-hungry audience and there is a rising call from brands for exclusive and tailored content as part of their sponsorship agreement.”