Sponsorship Snacks

Week 22

Advanced Sponsorship Insights
6 min readJun 7, 2021
Picture by Advanced Sponsorship Insights


‘So, where will you travel to next ?’ That will probably replace ‘can you hear me?’ as the most frequent question whenever you and your friends get together. Seldom was there a time where the business world was so interested in travel behavior.

Nine out of ten Americans plan to travel in the next six months (Source). Prices are soaring due to the travel mania, so make sure to book your flight in advance. Interestingly, working from home positively impacts one’s ability to travel. And for those of you who think Anguilla must be an expensive wine, here is a refresher for your geography knowledge. See you there.

Tokyo 2020 a Suicide Mission for Sponsors?

The Situation

First, some good news: The majority of the Olympic athletes will be vaccinated before Tokyo 2020. That means we will hopefully see few cases of superstars missing the events. In addition, up to 5000 Japanese fans are allowed in the venues. They will certainly boost the mood in the arenas.

However, the Japanese are not very keen on the games, with 80% of the population favoring canceling the Olympics (Source). But the IOC and its president Bach are determined to go through with the event. That puts sponsors in a tough place. They paid a significant amount to be associated with the Olympics. Now they face a lot of controversies. Just look at this rollercoaster graph that depicts the 2020 Olympic’s sentiment.

One clear thing is that this edition of the Olympic Games will go down in the history books. That leaves sponsors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of world history. The question that arises is: How should Olympic sponsors activate their property?

With great parts of the world still suffering from Covid19 international brands are careful to promote the post-pandemic life. In an interview with the Japanese Times, Norm O’Reilly, director of the International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership at the University of Guelph indicated that brands should focus on the athletes. That’s exactly what Procter and Gamble did for their Tokyo 2020 ad campaign.

The Complication

But it will be essential for brands to prepare for different scenarios throughout the games, and gauging the public’s sentiment might become more important than ever before. Toyota executives worry that the public opposition towards Toyko 2020 could be redirected towards the athletes (Source).

In the past, brands often experimented with creative on-site activations. For example, Procter and Gamble offered complementary services, including hot shaves in barber chairs, hair styling, makeovers, and nail treatments in Rio 2016 (Source). But marketers feel it could send the wrong message in a time where many people still struggle with the virus (Source).

Many brands will focus on digital media to activate their brand. Brands must set appropriate KPIs for their digital campaigns to successfully analyze their campaign performance.

Especially local sponsors could use their knowledge of regional trends to boost their brand image. Take this marketing stunt from a sushi restaurant in the neighboring country Taiwan. The restaurant offered free food for themselves and five friends for anyone named ‘salmon’. The catch? In Taiwan, it is possible to legally change your name three times. To pull off an activation like that, the restaurant must know its audience, be aware of regional peculiarities and indentify the right timing.

The Solution

Even though sponsors are in a very tough position, they can certainly make the Olympics a success for themselves. The key ingredients for all Olympic sponsors are:

1) Follow the public sentiment and adapt campaigns if possible

2) Measure and evaluate your digital campaigns

3) Plan with different scenarios

Strategy Matters for Women’s Football

ESPN has just released the stats for the first five games of the 2021 WNBA season, and viewership is up 74% after five games. With the women’s side gaining traction, sports professionals continue to gather data around it. FIFA conducted a study on the women’s football clubs. Here are the most important results for sponsorship:

  • Sponsorship plays a crucial role in the success of women’s clubs. The top clubs (revenues over US$1 million) received 50% from sponsorship deals. The rest only manages to raise less than 33% of their revenue through sponsorship (Source).
  • The study also confirmed the effectiveness of a current trend; 72% of the interviewed women’s clubs have exclusive sponsorship deals. Clubs with exclusive sponsorship deals generate higher total revenue and higher sponsorship revenue.
  • Another finding could prove to be even more interesting for sponsors; FIFA states that clubs who have written down a strategy generate 224% more average revenue than clubs who freestyle. Two weeks ago, we reported how Google could lift the WNBA to the next level. FIFA’s study validates our assumption.

Our analysis revealed further insights. As the graph below shows, women’s football fans are more likely to engage with the sponsor, purchase brand products, and talk to family and friends about it.

In addition, there are also differences between the types of sponsorships women’s football fans and men’s football fans notice. Women’s football fans are 9% more likely to notice sponsors on branded experiences like pop-up shops and the training kit. Sponsors should continue to harvest data to tailor their sponsoring.

By offering women’s clubs strategic or business advice, sponsors can drastically improve their financial performance while also establishing a symbiotic relationship. If the sponsor is present while the club grows, fans will also form strong relationships with the brand. That offers a unique opportunity for brands to develop life-lasting relationships with the next generation of women’s sports fans.

Sports Clubs Hire Data Analysts to Keep Up With the Industry Trend

In a sentiment tracker of the marketing landscape in December 2020, 73% of the participating marketers stated that Data and Analytics hold the key to sponsorship recovery, 53% indiicated that measurement is essential for a recovery.

Sports clubs seem to notice the same. Clubs are increasingly hiring data analysts to evaluate their performance on and off the court. The wave of advanced analytics concerning on-court data has taken over the world of sport. Yet, while many American clubs are familiar with the ‘Moneyball’ approach, they are still catching up on the data and analytics revolution off the field.

The football clubs were the first to invest in data and analytics to boost their business, mainly because they have the money to do so. Zaheer Benjamin, the new VP of business intelligence and analytics of the Washington Football Club came from the Spanish football giant Real Madrid. Lately, Kevin De Bruyne has made headlines because he used data to negotiate one of the most lucrative deals in football.

The future belongs to data

That could be the beginning of the next wave of advanced statistics. Clubs are looking to use data and analytics to negotiate sponsor deals. To do so, they need professionals who are capable of analyzing, interpreting, and contextualizing the data. These skills will be crucial for sports professionals around the world. According to Linkedin, last month alone, 2880 jobs as ‘data analyst in sports” were offered worldwide.

Sponsors have more experience when analyzing business data, while clubs are more experienced with on-court data. That creates an intriguing dynamic between sponsors and clubs. Sponsors need to improve their understanding of on-court data to find the optimal price tag for their properties, while clubs need to understand how to use their business data to sell their licenses. Whatever side has both skills has an advantage when it comes to the negotiation of a new deal.

Bottom Line: Both brands and clubs need data to be succesful in the future.

For more expert insights into sponsorship data & analytics visit us on Advanced Sponsorship Insights. Or write us directly