The Digital Value of Sponsorship 6th December, 2016

Rights holders need to begin realising the value digital can bring to their sponsorship packages. Due to the current lack of understanding around what constitutes a digital asset and how to incorporate this into a partnership, this will take a while.

Digital technology empowers rights holders. It allows them to understand who their audience is, where they spend their time and what they spend their money on. Some rights holders are using this digital understanding to improve fan engagement, but they’re not packaging and presenting it to brands in the correct way.

“I have an audience of 500,000” won’t wash. “We have an audience of 500,000; 75% Male, 65% between the ages of 40-60 and with an average income of £120,000” is where it should be – at a minimum. Communicating this to brands should be detailed and well thought out. Rights holders need to form ideas and strategies around how brands can access this audience intelligently rather than simply “I have an affluent male audience for you to target”.

Packaged creatively and informatively online audiences not only bolster an asset list but provide evidence and substance, rather than a vague reference point, that impacts a sponsorship far beyond the digital assets in discussion. Brands will invariably trust the rights holder more as they clearly have a good understanding of their fan base as well as the brands target audience.

The ROI can also be tracked far more accurately than before. There are now tangible click-by-click measurements such as how many fans bought a brands product, how many engagements content receives, how many fans entered a competition.

For example, rights holders can now offer feedback such as “our fans bought 500 of your products, and engaged with branded posts 4,000 times, giving you an ROI of 250% on a £50,000 investment”. Giving brands this accurate insight is invaluable and will be music to Marketing Directors’ ears.

These areas of measurement help identify the value of a partnership, its failures and successes. Meaning resources can be dedicated to improving areas of weakness, or focus on an entirely new partnership if the results prove to be that poor.

Brands are much more accustomed to the above way of thinking about digital. This is not rocket science, the above examples are simple yet worryingly foreign to the majority of rights holders. Those that adopt digital in the way it should be will attract more brands with far more exciting propositions than their logo focused counterparts – which is the name of the game right?