Measuring the Value of Sponsorship

Ireland’s latest benchmark for sponsorship effectiveness was launched yesterday in front of many of the countries major sponsors and rights holders.

The National Sponsorship Index has been created by Core Sponsorship and is the result of two waves of research among 2,000 ‘fans’. It sets a national standard for sponsorship, weighted against commercial impact and rated by those who are the end consumers.

It has produced a list of the Top 50 performing sponsorships across all sectors and sport is the single largest grouping with nineteen partnerships listed in the 50.

The Index sets out to show how sponsorship drives positive business metrics.

In a market which is estimated by Core to be worth around €190 million in rights fees this calendar year, the Index seeks to grade the 50 biggest deals based on their connection to and acceptance by those who bought the tickets or tuned in.

In order for a sponsorship to really work you have to add value to the fan experience or to the activity that matters to people,” said Jamie Macken launching the report on Windmill Lane this morning.

The Top ten sponsorships in the inaugural National Sponsorship Index, powered by Core, are:

1. Electric Ireland: Darkness into Light
2. SuperValu: Tidy Towns
3. Aviva: Aviva Stadium
4. Three: The 3Arena
5. Vodafone: Irish Rugby
6. Heineken: European Rugby
7. SuperValu: GAA Football Championship
8. Bord Gais Energy: Bord Gais Energy Theatre
9. Three: Irish Football
10. AIB; All Ireland GAA Club Championship

The genre breakdown of the National Sponsorship Index Top 50 is perhaps even more interesting with 19 of the properties related to Sport, 11 to Music, 10 to Culture, 5 to Cause and Community and 5 to Venues.

The index shows that sponsorships can have an uplifting impact on commercial metrics (+30% growth in performance), and outlines how that uplift is more than doubled (71%) when consumers feel that their experience has been enhanced or a benefit has been transferred to the property itself.

That the top two spots in the inaugural National Sponsorship Index are cause and community initiatives demonstrates that sponsors who make genuine and sustained contributions to partnering with important causes generate a deep impact with audiences.

In terms of the Top 50 rankings, music properties feature prominently, especially the Electric Picnic Festival and Longitude. Electric Picnic sponsorships include Electric Ireland, Heineken, Three, Just Eat, Red Bull and Bacardi.

The power of Cultural events as a sponsorship platform is also evident. Aldi, FBD, Bank of Ireland and Eir’s sponsorship of the Ploughing Championship all make it into the Top 50, while film is present via Virgin Media’s sponsorship of the Dublin International Film Festival.

“We have been working on this initiative for almost three years and our aim was to help solve a key challenge for marketers – to demonstrate the commercial impact of sponsorship for Irish brands and to understand how these impacts can be unlocked,” said Jill Downey, Managing Director of Core Sponsorship.

“We have determined not only that sponsorship has a proven impact on brand metrics, but exactly how to quantify this impact and understand the levers that drive it.”

“Our National Sponsorship Index demonstrates that sponsorship has positive impacts on both propensity to purchase and long-term affinity, which are regarded as key metrics for any sponsor. Different categories of brands, properties and fan bases, lead to different levels of commercial impacts, but overall the better a sponsorship is activated, the larger the commercial returns are.”

As part of our planning for 2019 Sport for Business will once again be hosting our Partners event, giving sporting organisations of all sizes the opportunity to learn more about the science and commercial nuances of sponsorship and to pitch their best ideas to an audience of brands looking to learn more about different opportunities.

If you would like to register early interest in this event, scheduled to take place in April 2019, please email us quoting Partners 2019 in the subject line.

If you would like to learn more about the Core National Sponsorship Index contact Jamie Macken here.

Image Credits Andres Poveda, Rob Hartnett

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