No Venue Left Behind

No Venue Left Behind

In the world of sponsorship assets, sports venues are about to enter a Golden Age as the epicenter of fan engagement and monetization. What more could a team owner want?

And, we are only seeing the very beginnings of what will ultimately be an extreme makeover for dozens of venues, as teams attempt to 1) get closer to fans with all sorts of gimmicks (as well as real technology breakthroughs – more on that in a minute) while at the same time 2) maximize revenue from every square inch of the stadium, inside and out (and the air in between and above the stadium).

To be clear, venue revenue is crucial for a team for two main reasons:

1) It’s accretive to the bottom line: Nearly all teams in all sports get to keep most of the revenue that comes from the venue – advertising, concessions, luxury seats – whereas sponsorship revenue is often shared with the league and other teams. So, cracking the code on the in-stadium fan experience equals potential big dollars for team owners.

2) Putting big revenue numbers on the board is a way for a team to flex their muscle during complex negotiations with sponsors: Make no mistake, the stronger a team’s venue revenue, the better leverage they have from a sponsor in the overall relationship, which often can amount to $10’s and $100’s of millions for multi-year agreements.

And, nailing the fan experience is often the best path to strong negotiations with sponsors. Avid and engaged fans equals stronger negotiating power with sponsors. The most cutting-edge stadiums of today (i.e. Dallas Cowboys’ $1B new stadium) are getting closer to cracking the code on fan experience.

But, we’re about to see a renaissance of innovation regarding the in-stadium experience and nearly all of it revolves around the use of technology. Sure, food quality is better and the “walking around” experience is higher end, even Beverly-Hills-Mall-like, but those are easy upgrades that owners didn’t do in the past because of cost considerations and lack of need by fans.

Now, wifi is being deployed across entire stadiums in anticipation of fans engaging with massive TV screens that are 25-50 yards long – in fact, one could argue that TV is the only platform that matters for the NFL. Therefore, nailing the in-stadium ‘screen’ experience is crucial. On the technology front, companies such as Gimbal, PoGoSeat and Audience Entertainment are reinventing (and reinvigorating) the fan experience by providing powerful vehicles for sponsors to engage more deeply with fans.

From in-game seat upgrades and geofencing to extending social media to engaging fans outside the stadium, the fan experience is top of mind for team owners. The teams that nail this wave of innovation will also reap the financial rewards.

World Cup Digital War Room is Here

For those of you in the sports arena (or with clients in sports), SponsorHub’s World Cup “Digital War Room” is now up and running, monitoring billions of fan reactions (and, notably, quantifying them). 
We’re tracking all of the World Cup teams and the Top 50 most influential athletes, bringing this unique ’sponsorship science’ to you. Digital impressions mean absolutely nothing unless you can measure and observe the reactions of the fans – who is reacting and why? How do they feel about the Cup? A team? An athlete? Your brand? Other sponsors? Our automated dashboard is cutting through the noise to show which impressions matter most, and why. If you would like to gain access to the dashboard, please let me know.
Also, our Win8 App landed as a “Staff Pick” today and the editors at Microsoft described the app perfectly:

“The new SponsorHub app for Windows provides a next-gen way to discover and rank your favorite athletes in professional sports. Using Xscore – Sponsorhub’s proprietary algorithm – you can track the true value of an athlete by combining the perfect mix of that athlete’s performance, social following, and fan sentiment.

 world cup digital war room











Personally, I like using the search feature on top athletes to quickly find their Xscore, links to news articles, quick background breakdowns, current season and career stats, and the right links to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

At its core though, SponsorHub is a data company that allows brands and agencies to efficiently quantify the impacts of their sponsorships. By leveraging its proprietary big data platform and metrics, clients optimize their marketing spend on sponsorship rights and activation tactics to deliver best-in-class sponsorship portfolio value.”

Sponsoring MLB Players – Who’s On First?

It’s spring, and that means the baseball season is off to a roaring start! But which player is on first when it comes to delivering exposure for sponsors?  Sponsorhub’s proprietary XScore algorithm combines the perfect mix of athlete’s performance, social following and fan sentiment to help the advertiser judge the likely impact on their brand from sponsoring that athlete.  Let’s play ball!

Xscore MLB Sponsorhub

Who Won the “Social Superbowl”?

The Big Game drew a TV audience of over 100 million, and commanded $4 million for a 30-second ad spot.

At SponsorHub, of course we’re interested in the game! But we’re also very interested in the value of brand investment – and there’s a lot of brand investment in the Superbowl!

So we were watching – not only the action on the field, but we watched the buzz generated by the big names, before and during Sunday night’s Clash of the Champions.

We watched – and quantified – the chatter on social channels: Twitter, blogs, forums, etc. And we came up with our own ideas of the “winners”. And there were even some surprises!

This infographic highlights some of the analysis we did. For deeper insights or your own customized view of the impact of your investments in athletes, celebrities, teams — or even campaigns — click on ‘Schedule a Demo’ to learn more!

We live for this stuff!

The 3D Sponsorship Theory – A.K.A. Removing the Mystery Out of Sponsorship Measurement

The big problem with sponsorship measurement is that it’s difficult to see all sides of your activation with true clarity. Thus, measurement has historically been one-dimensional: either biased, inadequate or both.

Bias comes into play with time-consuming and expensive polling and surveys; inadequacy comes into play with human error manipulating tedious sponsorship measurement spreadsheets (does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone).

But, there’s a better way to review the success of a sponsorship to gain much better transparency – and, it does not have to cost a lot of money, take a lot of time nor rely on Excel spreadsheets.

Three dimensional sponsorship measurement
There are 3 sides to judging the efficacy of a sponsorship (and, in fact, any marketing campaign) and being aware of them will make or break your activation:

1)   How you perceive your sponsorships – Subjective responses from you and your team; usually biased, not surprisingly

2)   How others perceive your sponsorships – Subjective responses from surveying and polling attendees; survey bias

3)   How they are really perceived – Objective responses from consumers; outcomes that are quantified

How you and others perceive an activation can be important, but your CMO and CFO want quantifiable feedback that is rooted in real data, just like the quantification and reporting they get from your company’s digital and TV ad spending!

One of the ways to move beyond expensive and time-consuming polling is to track the efficacy of the social media data surrounding your sponsorship. This can be done quickly, inexpensively and in an automated way. Some of the key items to look for include:

  • Brand/product lift pre-, during and post-activation: did your key performance indicators move up or down during the time period you measured? And, so what? How will this dictate your tactics for future activations?
  • Share of voice with other sponsors during the activation: Did your activation resonate with the attendees/fans or was your voice drowned out by a savvier sponsor?
  • Share of voice vs. your competitors: If your competitors sponsored the event, which of you got the most awareness and consideration?
  • Purchase intent: Are you tracking your activations to Lead Gen? If so, is it reliable?

Ultimately, efficacy is what matters when measuring the value of a sponsorship activation. And, you’ll be a hero if you can provide this data to management on time and on budget.

We’ll be discussing this topic during our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, November 12th. Please send me an email if you’d like to attend: