With lockdown measures lifting and live events resuming, it’s a good time to reflect on all things sponsorship, from the ways it is expected to change to the value it offers brands. This week’s reading list looks at some industry predictions for sponsorship, how the pandemic is impacting influencer culture, a clever brand example, and last but certainly not least, the importance of advanced measurement.
1COVID-19’s impact on sponsorships
Our Covid-19 Emotion Tracker has given us insight into what consumers think about sponsorships but what do the industry experts think? A recent survey by SponsorshipX asked professionals across the world for their thoughts on the future of sponsorships. The report covers the return to normalcy, the impact on budgets and innovations to consider. One surprising finding from the research was that Esports is not being considered as a viable sponsorship: less than 5% of the experts were investing in it. The full report is available through a webinar. Watch it here.
2Sponsoring on streaming platforms
Speaking of sports sponsorships, a nice example of a brand who have previously innovated in this space comes from Corona – the Mexican beer, not the virus! The brand sponsored Club de Cuervos, a fictional football team at the centre of a successful Netflix series of the same name. Corona not only integrated itself into the series through branded jerseys and stadium signage, it also brought the sponsorship into reality by covering the football matches on its social media and by creating real-life jerseys and special edition cans. With the current pandemic driving people to stay at home and watch TV more, Corona shows a successful way forward for brands to contend with the rise of ad-free streaming services. Read more here.
The impact of Covid-19 is no doubt being felt sharply among one group in particular: online influencers. With cancelled events and travel bans, most of them are being forced to pivot their content and swap the beaches and brunches for the living room couch. In an article for The Guardian, Katie Bishop writes that there is an even more significant shift beyond the change in content:
“The marketing model that makes up most of an influencer’s income is falling apart, with brands pulling out of lucrative sponsorship deals and advertising revenue plummeting. As we face a new economic era, it is unclear whether the aspirational lifestyle lauded by influencers can emerge unscathed. Could Coronavirus provoke a reconfiguration of the influencer age?”
4Solving the mystery of sponsorship measurement
While we know sponsorship is a key activity in brand building, unfortunately we don’t always know how effective it is. According to the Association of National Advertisers, only 37% of marketers have a standardised approach to measurement and only one quarter of practitioners understand the business return of their sponsorships. In the February issue of Admap, Tom Goodchild argues that brands should evolve their measures beyond the usual aspects of media exposure and awareness and outlines three steps for brands to take when approaching sponsorship measurement. Read more here.