Escalent has been the acknowledged expert in sponsorship research in many areas of our business, but this program has really been the highlight. Their lever of both qual and quant creates unique opportunities for us to leverage our investment and return really huge numbers to our leadership.
A large US wireless operator had taken up a multi-year sports sponsorship worth hundreds of millions of dollars and wanted to be sure that it was getting a real return on that investment. While it needed to measure all of the traditional metrics such as awareness and favorability in relation to some of the other sponsors, it was especially interested in understanding how the sponsorship translated into actions on the part of consumers. Most importantly, it wanted to identify opportunities where it could occupy niches that were particularly appealing to its target market.
For the ongoing measurement of sponsorship value, we established a tracking program that surveys 1,200 avid and casual fans each quarter to assess their awareness, perceptions and engagement with the sponsorship over time. The program has now run for more than five years, and by reporting highly granular data, helped identify numerous pockets of opportunity for growth. In addition to the tracking, we also conducted in-home ethnographies with avid fans, diving deep into what inspires their fandom and how their sporting needs can best be met by a sponsor. We used this to generate a range of new sponsorship activation options.
Escalent’s tracking program provided immediate insights that allowed the client to tailor its approach, resulting in a 42% increase in sponsorship awareness by year two, placing it on par with major sports sponsors such as Reebok and Budweiser, and ultimately leading to a 27% lift in future consideration versus general market. The ethnographies also allowed the client to conceptualize and implement an entirely new channel of multimedia content that brought avid fans closer to the sport, resulting in engagement with the sponsorship more than doubling over the course of the program.
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