Member in the spotlights
We have recently joined the European Sponsorship Association. The ESA membership contributes to our ambition to meet international sponsors, rightsholders and other organisations in the sponsorship industry. As an introduction, ESA has interviewed Eva Gerritse, Business Lead of Sponsorship Impact about our approach and strategy.
Can you tell us what your company does?
Blauw Sponsorship Impact has more than 20 years’ expertise in sponsorship insights. We work with global brands and rightsholders in domains like UEFA competitions, Formula One, Formula E, cricket, rugby, tennis and athletics.
Our insights enable sponsors and rightsholders to make decisions that contribute to sponsorship success. We help them understand how to build a relationship with relevant target groups through sponsorship, leading to increased brand impact.
Who are your customers?
Our clients are sponsoring, marketing and partnership managers who are responsible for a global (sports) sponsorship portfolio. To give you an idea: we work with six different UEFA sponsors on five different UEFA properties, with four Formula One sponsors, two Formula E sponsors, several sponsors of European football competitions and football clubs, and we work with several of the biggest rightsholders in sports globally.
Our clients are mostly based in Europe, and some in the US and Latin America. For most of these clients we work on their entire global sponsorship portfolio by measuring the impact of each sponsorship at several moments throughout the year or even continuously (every day of the year).
How do your insights help your customers?
Sponsoring and partnership managers use our insights-based advice to take better strategic sponsorship decisions. These include, for example, decisions about new campaigns, reaching new target audiences, contract extensions or terminations, or finding new sponsorships or sponsors.
We are committed to not just delivering research data, but to always enabling our clients to take a step forward with their sponsorship. Every insight we deliver should help them take the next step towards increased sponsorship success. Each research project is therefore led by one of our strategic research consultants who have extensive experience in sports sponsorships and can interpret the results in the context of our clients’ sponsorship strategy.
Can you explain your approach to sponsorship measurements? How does it work?
We use online surveys to collect consumer insights in markets worldwide. We currently measure the impact of sponsorships in more than 40 markets across the globe combined in multi-country studies. Surveys are of course translated into local languages, taking into account cultural differences, and are accessible on all devices. We conduct consistent measurements over time and our results are updated (in real-time) in dynamic state-of-the-art online dashboards.
Our measurements consist of two main components: 1) consumers’ behaviour and attitudes towards the sponsorship and 2) their relationship with the brand. We apply implicit research techniques in our surveys to interpret and predict consumer behaviour. Moreover, we have developed several proprietary research models which help us to analyse and understand the impact of sponsorships on brand strength.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
Most research agencies specialising in sponsorships have a core focus on measuring media values and/or social media analytics. Our core focus, however, is to understand and interpret consumer behaviour and attitudes. We believe this ties in with the unique value of sponsoring: enabling brands to build an emotional relationship with their target audience.
Our goal is to help our clients understand how the sponsorship influences the relationship between their brand and consumers, and what they can do to strengthen that relationship.
Another thing that characterises us is our customer-focused way of working. We believe that every brand and every sponsorship is unique and therefore demands a unique approach when measuring sponsorship impact. We do not provide general industry insights. Our research studies always have a bespoke set-up, designed to measure the specific objectives of the sponsorships we are working on.
Part of the bespoke set-up of our projects is also our custom online dashboard: for each client, the results are available on a dashboard with a client-specific design. The dashboard is updated in real-time and does not just give them access to all reporting, but also allows them to conduct their own analyses or create their own presentations.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you deal with them?
One of the biggest challenges of the past few years has been to adapt our research models to the changing media behaviour of sports fans. The younger generation in particular has a completely different relationship with their favourite sport: they consume different content on different channels.
We know that building a meaningful relationship with consumers leads to sponsorship success. To be able to provide advice on how to increase sponsorship impact, it has become essential to understand how and where brands can connect with all fans. In recent years, detailed media behaviour metrics have therefore become an indispensable part of our measurements.
What are the current trends in sponsorship, and how are they affecting how you work and how you deliver on strategy?
Global brands increasingly value their social purpose and want their sponsorship to contribute to that purpose. We see more and more sponsors looking for ways to be of greater value, wanting to add value to the sport, to fans or to the community. Sponsors and rightsholders increasingly work together to develop truly meaningful partnerships.
For us, it is important to incorporate these developments in our research models, so we can help our clients to understand how these meaningful partnerships can contribute to the strength of a sponsor’s brand. We have learned from extensive global research in 15 sponsorship domains that sports fans’ feelings about a sponsorship largely predict the impact the sponsorship will have on the brand of a sponsor. One of the four main success factors for sponsorship impact is the added value the sponsor offers to the sport, to fans or to society. By including this in our analyses, we can provide actionable advice on delivering greater value as a sponsor.
About Sponsorship Impact
We have been helping international brands optimise their sponsorship strategies for over 20 years. We not only prove the brand growth that sponsoring provides, but also identify opportunities to improve sponsorship strategies.