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Repucom’s sponsorship evaluation in the sports industry context

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Sports make lot of sense as a way to enhance corporate image and increase product visibility. Sports Sponsorship in India is pegged at 3250 cr. and is estimated to be 12500 Cr. in the next 5 years. With so much of money involved the sports industry has embraced sponsorship ROI/ROO and statistical analysis as never before. Sponsorships are made for sound business reasons and need for effective data and research to advise that decision is vital.



Repucom, a global sports marketing research firm, utilizing the leading technology and facilities for market research, media evaluation and commercial auditing, has created a full-service portfolio for sports marketing research and consultancy.



In the following article Repucom’s Senior Vice President – South Asia, Joseph Eapen, provides key snippets from the report along with market data and insights.



As you look at the changing consumption of goods, sport sticks out. Sports attract a strong and engaged audience, and certain sports can attract hard-to-reach demographic. Though live viewing drove most of it, now social media is also driving the conversation hard and can be used as the counter on sports. Social media tells the whole story about attitudes of people sitting out there in living rooms, venues and even bars.



The relationship between sports and entertainment is inseparable and interchangeable.



Need to Evaluate



In a country as obsessed with sports (also beyond cricket) as India, Sports Sponsorship Evaluation is the foundation of all relevant information, public perception and to-the-minute statistics. With finances of this magnitude and the fervent passions of an entire nation at stake, a sustained and reliable inflow of premium information and analytics is of crucial importance.



The best way to make sure the sponsors understands the returns is to provide an evaluation report detailing the benefits received. It is also good business practice to show evidence of accountability. Evaluation also helps a club/franchise/right owner/sponsors formally review its activities, provides a frame of reference for future projects and aids the planning process.



The keys to success lie in bringing a marketer’s sponsorship to life in real and meaningful ways.  A key element of the sponsorship decision is determining what success looks like at the outset of a campaign. You can't start to measure success until you know what success means for you; any evaluation program is therefore a measurement and a comparative tool.



It doesn’t also help if key constituencies have a different view of desired results and don’t have a clear understanding of what success looks like before committing money and resources needed to support a sponsorship investment.



Other common problems in developing sponsorship programs is spending the majority of marketing dollars on the cost of sponsorship with little or nothing left to advertise, promote and publicize a company’s involvement.



And more importantly, in assigning value on a sponsorship, brands should consider the cost of not being a sponsor.



For developing strategic and creative sponsorship campaigns, one has to consider all elements in the marketing toolbox.  More often than not, public relations, product placement and social media set the stage for future advertising, sales, events, promotions, and hospitality that will drive the sponsorship message home. And all of these need to be evaluated, benchmarked and developed into a KPI scorecard.





The key elements of Sponsorship evaluation area as follows



MEDIA EVALUATION



Sports holds a prominent role in the global media landscape as a means to drive audience, passion and engagement. The need to measure, evaluate and audit sponsorship activations and campaigns across TV, online, radio and social networks, print and mobile devices is vital to arrive at media analytics, focused on the impact of sponsorship in various broadcast and other media environments.



Media evaluation and audit involves constant surveillance on sporting ventures, cutting-edge media monitoring and analytics to determine the nature, impact and presence of sport sponsorships for individual types of sports, across multiple broadcast environments across various cultures, geographies and investment markets.



Combining updated and intensively-verified information and valuable industry insights from experts, media evaluation and analytics incorporate extremely comprehensive and accurate market analytics on in-stadia, print, online and on-air broadcast networks; maintaining exclusive databases containing exhaustive details, press bytes, performance benchmarks and competition analytics that allow unrivalled access to brands, signage points, teams, stadiums, sporting meets and sponsorship bodies.



Add to it the use of all emerging social media channels to constantly track properties and monitor sports assets, giving the clients a hawk-eye insight into the chaotic world of popular commercial sports.



All these is used to build data into extensive databases that deliver analytics and insight that allow comparative media equivalencies across brands, signage locations, teams, stadiums, sports and markets. We’ll design outputs based on specific objectives, including competitor analysis, portfolio benchmarking, stadia rating, best practice knowledge, and much more.



The outcome of Media Evaluation is the universally accepted measure called Quality Index (QI) developed by Repucom - is used to measure the quality and duration of sports fans’ exposure to sponsorship elements such as on-screen graphics, branding on apparels, courtside signage and courtside branded assets such as cups and coolers etc..





RESEARCH & ANALYSIS



Social Media Measurement, Syndicated Sports Studies & Fan Research are the heart of the whole process as the ultimate focus is to deliver intelligence and analytics on viewer behavior and sports-fan access for major sporting events. There is almost always a massive buzz of feedback, reviews, expectations and analysis from sports-fan around major sporting events and tournaments that happen in the public sphere, from broadcast media to blogs and social media networks. If it’s pure, uninterrupted fan support that you are interested in, then these fan reviews and crucial, allowing brand owners, agencies and federations to build greater brand recognition, marketing opportunities and commercial awareness.



To close the loop, it is imperative to study an understand sports markets through Fan Research to identify and tap into exclusive catchment areas of each sport, asking the right questions and gathering unique insights about the sports, and their stars who are constantly in limelight. By systematically gathering, collating and analyzing crucial data on sports and sports brand, the studies can accurately report brand impact, reach and value in key markets.



Continuous studies, fan interviews, market surveys and monitoring brand associations with individual supporter bases to deliver accurate and highly customizable brand insight form a knowledge base for clients. Clients use these databases across policy meetings and board congregations to accurately estimate emerging trends, fan reviews and reactions and even gauge future business opportunities. Sports Studies, with their unique market and brand insights, and their sophisticated analyses, also allow firms to accurately rate, profile and monitor public perception of specific sporting franchises and events, and thereby estimate endorsement values, advertising rates and brand impact.



Popular large studies available are SportsDNA & SponsorLink, covering 30 countries in a continuous manner. It covers all sports and associated sponsors/brands in their respective markets. The studies also allows clients to add specific/custom questions related to their brand and it associations. Apart from these syndicated studies, bespoke research are conducted during, in and post tournaments, leagues and events and a KPI model and scorecard is developed for tracking ROO.



CELEBRITY DBI (Davie-Brown Index)



Celebrities posit massive exposure and associative brand-recognition to any brand they endorse, and global celebrity evaluation services are instrumental in breaking down the DNA of popular stardom, and find out what is it that makes celebrities such global phenomenon. Instruments like Celebrity DBI undertakes brand evaluation and assessment, delivering accurate analytical data and maintaining extensive databases on stars and their stardom across the world.



Global and local clients count on these measurement to deliver data on an international basis that tracks various celebrity endorsements, market impact on specific demographics, market reach and brand recognition.



The Celebrity DBI is an independent index that quantifies and qualifies consumer perceptions of celebrities. It’s the only global celebrity evaluation service designed to provide superior brand-relevant insights. The Celebrity Index employ superior research methodology that allow them to go deep inside celebrity catchment areas, and deliver research data filtered through age, market, gender and income levels, to name but a few.



Be it an international rock star or the next Diaego Maradona, celebrities all over the world have an immense capability to influence consumer habits for a multitude of products, and celebrity evaluation services provide updated, relevant market intelligence to identify key markets that account for maximum celebrity brand impact.



The list of celebrities (over 5500 worldwide) tested can also go beyond Sportsmen, Film stars, Musician’s etc. The recent wave of Celebrity DBI in India covered Arvind Kerjiwal, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, measured on all the 8 factors of the study - Appeal, Aspiration, Awareness, Breakthrough, Endorsement, Influence, Trendsetter and Trust.


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