In the multibillion dollar sports industry, sports sponsorships account for a major portion of the billions of dollars spent each year. As reported by IEG, a leading sponsorship research firm, companies paid $18 billion for sports sponsorships in North America just in 2011. With substantial amounts of money invested in sponsorships, companies and sports properties alike also spend significant amounts of money to various sponsorship firms to determine the effectiveness of their sponsorship agreements. This past week, Chicago-based Navigate Research partnered with The Nielsen Company and Scarborough Sports Marketing to launch Sponsorship Navigator, a cost-effective software program that helps users determine the value of sponsorship investments utilizing a leading valuation model.
The three partnering companies provide various analytic and measurement data in their respective fields. Navigate leads the sports and entertainment sponsorship industry in researching, measuring, and analyzing the effectiveness of sponsorship deals. Nielsen holds leading market positions in researching consumer information and media measurement. Scarborough measures local and national consumer lifestyle habits by directly interviewing consumers.
Sponsorship Navigator gives clients the ability to perform their own valuation analysis to determine what they will actually get from the money that they invest in sponsorship deals.
“As the business side of the sports industry dives deeper into the world of analytics, we are proud partners with Navigate on this exciting new product that, quite simply, serves as a tool to justify the spend,” explains Bill Nielsen, the Vice President of Sales at Scarborough.
Professionals can now use an online portal to accurately measure the media value, quantitative benefits and qualitative benefits of a sponsorship investment. The portal enables users to assess the fair market value and demographic reach of various corporate sponsorships. Using Navigate’s industry leading methodology on sponsorship valuation, the software equips users with data regarding all aspects of sponsorship assets. Navigate also provides ongoing technical and customer support to its users.
The addition of data collected by Nielsen and Scarborough to the Sponsorship Navigator provides users with additional data not traditionally provided with Navigate’s valuation services. While Nielsen adds information about the ratings and pricing data of different events, Scarborough provides users with local demographic data based on sports fans’ insights.
The Appeal of the New Software
In its early stages, Navigate is finding that the new software appeals to sponsorship professionals because the new software accommodates the need of companies wishing to valuate sponsorship packages of any size. Traditionally, companies hired sponsorship consulting firms only to analyze large sponsorship deals. However, hiring companies such as Navigate or one of its competitors only made financial sense for deals amounting to about $250,000 or higher.
Even though several sports properties and teams commonly partner with major corporations for sponsorships costing around $250,000 or more, they also form several smaller agreements as well which tend to add up fast. Arming sponsorship professionals with a cost-effective method of valuating both small and large sponsorship deals gives properties, brands and agencies the ability to more accurately project the return on total sponsorship investments and determine if the investments makes sense.
What’s the Big Deal?
For those still unaware of the impact of sponsorship dollars in the sports business, note that mere coincidence did not lead the Sacramento Kings front office to make a recent press announcement regarding their formation of one year corporate sponsorship deals with Walmart, Nokia and several other smaller corporations. In the midst of recent rumors that the National Basketball Association (NBA) might relocate the NBA franchise to a new market, the Kings sought out several corporations to form new partnerships with.
Reading between the lines, many sports industry professionals likely recognized this announcement as an attempt by the Kings to show the NBA their ability to bring in revenue to the franchise. While the Kings need to impress the NBA to remain in the Bay Area next season, they also need to impress their sponsors enough to renew longer term agreements in the future.
In situations such as these, the Sponsorship Navigator tool will be able to ease some uncertainties of industry professionals by providing sports properties and brands alike with sophisticated estimates of the expected outcomes of various sponsorship deals.
At a time when several corporations look to reduce unnecessary spending and reduce excess costs, the sports sponsorship industry welcomes the new software with open arms. Sports properties, brands and agencies now have access to a cost-effective tool which allows them to valuate several quantitative and qualitative factors of both small and large sponsorship investments.
For more information about Software Navigator, visit www.sponsorshipnavigator.com.
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