A consultancy that does things differently, Advanced Sponsorship Insights uses data science to answer specific questions for brands, quantifying the return of a partnership in the most accurate way possible.
“GWI helps us work faster. We can pull together a portfolio analysis in an hour or two and make faster decisions. That’s the ROI for us."
When a global financial services client wanted to optimize their portfolio, the team used their unique, tried-and-trusted approach to accurately predict the success of their investments.
Pinpointing the ideal sponsorships
On the surface, the financial client’s portfolio of 22 partners was impressive - including major football clubs, Olympic athletes, influencers, global sporting events, and huge sponsorship investment groups in one of their key markets.
But as Paolo Pinto, CEO of Advanced Sponsorship Insights explains, it’s often hard for brands to pinpoint what’s working, and what really isn’t.
“We always felt that what the industry was offering was simply not enough. You couldn’t get a true ROI, specific to the brand. The market didn’t have an answer for that.”
That means the client could be spending millions on these sports partnerships every year, with no tangible way to measure the ROI.
“In the future, justifying sponsorship spend will be a huge issue, because you can’t measure the impact against any sort of digital tactics. That’s the problem we’re trying to solve.”
Matching clear objectives with rich data
To tackle this challenge, the team focused on measuring the predictive impact of partnerships, pulling in multiple data sources to make a reliable, accurate assessment of their client’s investments.
“First we look into strategic fit. The audiences, the positioning of the branch, all the elements around it. Then we map the objectives of the brand to what each partner can offer.”
To get an accurate projection of partnership value, they used their own 4-step ‘Reach’ model in tandem with GWI data.
Here’s how they did it.
With the additional volume of partner data available in GWI Sports, the consultancy didn’t have to model as much this time round, as they had actual data to hand.
“GWI helps us understand things like past purchase behaviors. You're better at predicting future purchases if you know what consumers bought in the last six to eight months.”
The beauty of this ‘Reach’ model is that it can be used both before and after signing a partnership deal. Before - to make sure they’re the right fit for the business, and after - to ensure the partnership is achieving the objectives set out in the beginning.
They then analyzed each partnership through 4 key lenses, putting this data into context to give a better estimation of the brand impact:
These lenses cover the main reasons why brands enter partnerships, helping to find the right fit for the client.
“The key principle is trying to get away from traditional ways of measuring, media equivalencies, or vanity KPIs. What’s the real impact to my business, to my brand, to my people? And am I doing something better for the world? The better data we have, the more confident we are.”
Analysis found the client’s portfolio skewed towards older male sports enthusiasts. While this accounted for many of their existing sports partners, it also highlighted big gaps. The client would need to expand their target market and partner roster to grow - so what did their future buyers really look like?
“If brands are going to introduce a new sponsor, it’s because it makes sense. It fits into their portfolio and their strategy. And they know what gaps to fill because they have all this data that supports their decision.”
The consultancy soon found a potential growth opportunity targeting consumers aged 16-24 with an interest in insurance - a world away from their current audience, and a great chance to attract new partners.
“Using GWI’s core data set, you can track the top rights holders in the market to understand how many people know about them across 48 countries. This allows us to predict the global reach when we don’t have actual data.”
Driving the right return with fast decisions
By incorporating GWI data into their custom ‘Reach’ model, Advanced Sponsorship Insights presented a clear projective view of the partnership’s reach and potential.
They provided confident data-led recommendations to prove:
- where the gaps were in their portfolio
- how they could better engage fans across countries
- which partnerships they needed to drop
- where to drive more investment to achieve growth
The ability to compare various portfolio partners against one another, all in one go, gives clients a simple framework to make big investment choices, fast.
“The biggest ROI of GWI is it gives us fast, confident answers on whether a sponsor fits a brand’s strategy, closes gaps, or is risky or redundant. That’s amazing for us.”
It’s also an incredibly cost-efficient service for the client. By canceling contracts that just aren’t cutting it with consumers, they can reinvest the money in partners who better align with their objectives and audiences’ interests. And with an accurate projection of ROI and ROO, optimizing budget spend and aiding trade-off decisions gets a whole lot easier.
“Using GWI, we can answer really difficult questions in a heartbeat.”