Sponsorship works best when the sponsor and property work together.
The sponsorship helps the sponsor address a marketing challenge. The property benefits by receiving a fee and “free” promotion. Yet, how do sponsors and properties evaluate the impact of a sponsorship?
The following represents common objectives and metrics seen in sponsorships across markets and industries:
Does the sponsorship enhance the sponsor’s image?
Audience surveys can demonstrate whether consumers understand the link between the sponsorship and the sponsor. If attitudes improve towards the sponsor or its products, the sponsorship has a positive impact.
Do consumers have greater loyalty to sponsors than non-sponsors?
In many circumstances, studies have indicated that the property’s audience (like event attendees) shows higher loyalty to the sponsor and an increased likelihood of buying the sponsor’s products or services. A good survey will verify if this impact occurred in your sponsorship.
Did the sponsorship generate brand awareness?
Many sponsors and properties measure this popular objective. Again, a well-written survey will indicate whether the property’s audience knew the sponsor’s identity, products, or services.
Did the sponsor’s web traffic increase?
We live in the Age of Digital Tracking. With pre-planning, the sponsor can track the traffic through a hot link or banner ad on the property’s website or social media feed.
Did the sponsorship generate leads?
I appreciate a well-executed event activation because it can generate impact for the sponsor, primarily related to sales. If consumer names, phone numbers, or emails are (voluntarily) collected, the sponsor builds an email list through opt-ins or direct sales leads from ready buyers.
Did the sponsorship produce sales?
Sometimes it’s difficult to trace a sale to a sponsorship. However, various methods can be used to demonstrate impact here. A coupon campaign tied to the sponsorship creates a paper trail to sales. Also, many sales teams understand the value of sponsorship hospitality to shrink the sales cycle and turn prospects into customers more quickly than usual.
Did the sponsorship generate exposure?
Some of my sponsorship colleagues hate exposure as a measure. Why? They claim it’s “too fluffy” to measure because you can’t directly tie exposure to an impact like sales. I disagree. Just like advertisers want to maximize the reach and frequency of a message, the more a sponsor’s name or logo is seen or heard, the more its brand becomes sticky in the consumer’s mind. How can that not have an impact?
Which objectives should I use?
Every sponsorship is different, and each sponsor brings a unique challenge to the relationship. If sponsors and properties understand the basics of evaluating a sponsorship, they can assess the impacts in their partnership and (hopefully) celebrate success together.