IEG’s 32nd annual year-end sponsorship industry forecast sees a continued upward trend in sponsorship global spending growth in 2017. Global sponsorship spending is projected to rise 4.5 percent in 2017 to $62.8 billion from the $60.1 billion spent in 2016.
To maintain the boom in sponsorship spending, rights holders will need to adapt to an ever-changing activation landscape. One key factor that needs to be addressed by sponsorship properties is the ability to deliver value added benefits that are tailored to to the sponsors needs.
Sponsors are increasingly requiring a lot more than just an ‘off the shelf’ package that traditionally features tickets, branding, hospitality and signage. Increasingly, sponsor expectations are higher and more digital savvy. It is essential that the rights holders have an ability to deliver when it comes to both personalised marketing opportunities based on UX, audience data, digital content and social media platforms.
In this day and age of market saturation of sponsorship opportunties across sport, arts, causes, festivals, events and broadcast, it simply isn’t enough for a rights holder to offer the basics in return for significant investment, Instead, they have to show additional value added benefits that provide a tailored wow factor. There are a number of new activation areas that are becoming essential toolkits for sponsorship delivery programmes:-
Live streaming. The explosion of live streams via Facebook Live, Snapchat Live, Instagram Live Stories, Twitter moments etc, will enable sponsors to have the opportunity to create content away from the event and onto a screen and device – with better coordination and connection to bring live events towards audiences for them to remotely to engage, interact and participate.
Social media influencers. With the scale of influence that these individuals have, along with core passions that many of them showcase, we’ll see more social media influencers will huge numbers of followers begin to work closer with sponsors to co-develop and promote products and services via the sponsorship programme.
Data capture. Sponsors will try and negotiate data into their sponsorship rights as a way to obtain audience data from rights holders to pair with their own audience data. This data capture will enable a sponsor to tailor experiences to audience interests and target further through the channels of social media and digital marketing.
Connected experiences. New technology will create new interactive experiences for audiences to interact during on-site sponsorship platform activation. Given this adoption, brands will look to integrate ways to tailor the on-site experience even further in real-time through virtual reality, social media updates and live streaming.
Cutting to the chase, for the sponsorship market to continue to flourish, rights holders will have to adapt and create sponsorship rights models that reflect their own customer lifestyle choices. The old model of traditional media is being replaced by digital and social media. The holy grail for sponsors is to connect with the consumer on an emotional level through a shared passion. Sponsorship has the opportunity to do this in a way that is much deeper than any traditional form of advertising.
For rights holders who understand this and are willing to adapt, this presents a huge challenge and also a huge opportunity. The opportunity to create bespoke rights packages through any number of digital channels is open ended. But, this will require a willingness, flexibility and skill base than can deliver on their delivery promises to the sponsor.