April 12, 2019

Is This Sports Sponsorship Worth the Money?

David Watkins

David Watkins
Founder/Team Watkins

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As a former professional sports executive and now a marketing/advertising consultant, I can look at sports sponsorship opportunities from two different perspectives: seller and buyer.  The metrics of a sports buy go well beyond the numbers: sports fans LOVE their team, they are loyal, fanatical and will pay more than the face value for anything team-related.

From a buyer perspective, I have rarely seen an opportunity that wasn't at least somewhat inflated when it came to cost per thousand (CPM) or per person (CPP).

This is where a lot of research and creativity comes into play.

The seller needs to go beyond the numbers to support the buy. Research is invaluable here.

What makes up the psychographics of the audience? Attitudes, values, likes, dislikes. Let’s say I’m looking at a sponsorship for an online jewelry store, whose products are above average in cost, appealing not only to women but to men as well. As part of the sponsorship, my client has the rights to put the team logo on several items, including watches and pendants.

Female buyers account for 60% of the jewelry company’s business, low by industry standards.

I know that the team (let’s say basketball), number-wise, has comparable demos: 55% of the in-arena audience is male; 62% of the TV audience is male. That’s pretty darn close to our jewelry business demos.

What lifestyle information does the team offer about its fans? What other events do they attend? Musical concerts, plays, movies? What about physical activities? Hiking, running, golf, tennis, etc. How often do they go out to dinner and where do they dine? How much do they spend annually on jewelry? Brands of watches?

The additional research helps the buyer see how well (or not) the team’s fan base matches up with the buyer’s line of products, pricing, etc.

So as a buyer, I first evaluate the media value, then the added value of how well the fans’ lifestyle matches both my current customer-base as well as any other customer demo we might want to pursue.

It’s on the team to provide the pieces of the pie that will both attract and sell the potential buyer on the sponsorship buy.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my AdvisoryCloud profile.

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