Marketers believe that sponsorship is now a vital ingredient in the marketing mix, achieving multiple objectives such as shifting brand perception and consideration, and playing an increasingly important role in employee engagement, according to a report published by MKTG in association with the European Sponsorship Association.
Frontier 2017 is a based on a survey of over 200 sponsorship professionals in the sports and entertainment industry worldwide to understand key market drivers and current thinking as well as determine future trends
The report reveals a major shift in the perception and role of sponsorship within the marketing ecosystem which can be summarised into the following key insights:
Growth: Respondents believe the sponsorship marketis growing and
as a vital, integrated role in the marketing and communications mix,with 53% anticipating overall growth in the sector in 2017, and 90% seeing more potential for growth in 2018 and
Experiences: Audiences value experiences over things, with 91% of respondents agreeing that audiences now demand memorable, shareable and increasingly, interactive experiences rather than “just a ticket”
Business Return: Sponsorship is now predominantly used to shift brand preference and consideration, not just generate exposure – the research showed a 20% decrease in media exposure being an objective and a 15% decrease in TV exposure being used for evaluation
Employees : Employee engagement is the next main focus for sponsorship with 80% of respondents feeling that it is under-utilised for these purposes, especially as employees are in the top three of target audiences
Furthermore, the study also revealed some conflict between rights holders and brands. There is a gap in terms of expectation and opinions around rights assets and usage, with 36% of brands strongly agreeing that access to rights-holders’ databases is fundamental for engagement versus 11% of rights holders, while 46% of rights holders say they are using talent influencers to a high level compared with only 19% of brands.
Charlie Wylie, Managing Partner, at MKTG commented: “The report shows that there is real confidence in the market which will see sponsorship continue to grow. With a growing comprehension of the multiple and diverse ways it can be used, sponsorship has now established itself as an effective platform to drive brand saliency, consideration, and ultimately to drive sales. The future will see more brands looking to use metrics beyond exposure and awareness to fully understand the benefits that sponsorship can offer them
and demonstrate the return to their business.”