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Published August 10th 2018

2018: A Year of Epic Sponsorship Opportunities – But How Can Brands Track The ROI?

The World Cup, the Super Bowl, Wimbledon and other huge events have given brands the chance to get in front of millions (maybe even billions) of eyeballs this year. How can they measure whether that investment was worth it? The Brandwatch React team is on the case.

The stakes are high when considering sponsorship opportunities, particularly when measuring the success of the initiative once the money’s spent can be messy and incomplete.

The sponsorship might involve a magical, unplanned moment that sees your brand name immortalised in a stunning photograph or, more likely, a viral meme. It might encourage a whole new audience to take an interest in your products. It might go totally unnoticed.

Tracking online conversation around a brand at the centre of a multi-million dollar sponsorship is just part of the story, but an important one to say the least. And, as we’ll find, this measurement goes way beyond simple text mentions.

Serving up the data

One prime opportunity for getting your brand in front of thousands of viewers this year was Wimbledon, a glitzy tennis event taking place in the UK.

This year Brandwatch pro Kelly Roche analyzed how official suppliers to Wimbledon fared against each other when it came to generating online conversation.

Pimm’s, the lovable drink best served with lemonade and fruit, came in first.

It became clear that without a monitoring set up that accounted for mentions of Pimm’s that didn’t include @ mentions, the brand could be missing out on a lot of the conversation generated by their sponsorship. Kelly wrote:

“We found that of all the Pimm’s mentions (12,475 mentions), only 8% (1,012)  included the @PimmsGB Twitter or Instagram handle. The other 92% used Pimm’s, Pimms, #Pimms or #PimmsOClock. If Pimm’s’ community managers aren’t monitoring the full range of Pimm’s related keywords they’re likely missing out on a lot of this content”

Using social media mentions in text, whether you’re @ mentioned or not, is one way to track how far reaching your marketing spend has been. But you could be missing out on a lot, as we’ll find when analyzing World Cup kit sponsors.

Kicking off the competition

2018 also saw the biggest sporting event in the world – one that doesn’t take place very often, so it adds an extra layer of exclusivity to sponsorship opportunities.

We covered almost every aspect of the World Cup in our 2018 Football Report, from the food people were snacking on while watching to the people they watched with. But one of our main goals was to track the rivalry between Nike and Adidas when it came to getting their logos in front of the eyes of the world.

In this case, given that football (or soccer) is such a visual medium, we didn’t even search for their brand names in text mentions. Instead, we simply searched for their logos being shared across Twitter.

Adidas was the clear victor.

This example doesn’t just show the power of logo detection in finding tens of thousands of instances where logos are shared.

When I returned to this data and searched for text mentions of the two brand names within conversations where their logos were featured, only around 2% of those actually mentioned them. That means, without logo detection, thousands upon thousands of mentions would go totally unmeasured – all extra proof of your sponsorship getting further exposure.

So many more examples

You can join myself and Jonny Phipps on August 15th or 16th to hear our webinar on optimizing your marketing spend on sponsorships using social intelligence (or listen on demand later).

We’ll go through examples from all sorts of industries, sharing opportunities for better sponsorship measurement.

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Optimize your marketing spend on sponsorships using social intelligence

How you can prove the ROI of sponsoring major events.


Gemma Joyce

Head of Content

Jonny Phipps

Solutions Consultant

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