The year 2020 is the perfect time to focus on elevating your brand’s reach and profitably. The continued rise of sponsorship marketing as an advertising tool has created the need to evaluate the ROI provided by sponsorship. Has your organization asked itself any of these questions: how can we optimize our sponsorships, who should we be partnering with and how are we evaluating the impact of our sponsorship? If not, it should.
As the landscape diversifies and expands, zoning in on the most effective sponsorship practices is critical. Just because there is a trendy avenue for activating your sponsorship, like Instagram Stories or TikTok, doesn’t mean it is the right move for your brand. Here’s a look at a few areas with great potential to heighten your impact and ROI in the year ahead.
Over the last four years, esports has skyrocketed in popularity, elevating its visibility and reach. Twitch alone averaged 3.6M unique monthly viewers last year, and the broader esports audience grew by 48 million, generating $1 billion in global audience revenue, according to Forbes.
With a highly-engaged user base, esports has opened up an array of opportunities for sponsorships with endemic and non-endemic brands. With multiple streaming platforms like YouTube, Smashcast and Mixer, valuating your options and impact within each is a must.
So, you’ve found the ideal platform for your brand, but you’re still not sure who or what you should sponsor. Esports offers unique sponsorship opportunities, like in-stream advertisements, influencer activations and apparel deals with players.
Brands can utilize the social followings of streamers and celebrity influencers alike, such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Drake, who streamed their Fornite matchup on Twitch, bringing in 600K viewers to the stream.
Esports activations also include apparel sponsorships with individual streamers and teams. Last August, Ninja announced he was moving to Mixer, a Microsoft-owned streaming platform.
After his move, he locked down a multi-year apparel deal with Adidas; joining the likings of Imane Anys, better known as Pokimane, another streamer with an Adidas apparel deal. MVP calculated that in the last year, both streamers brought in a combined $1.7M in social value for Adidas.
With Business Insider projecting that esports will see a 9% growth rate per year through 2023, now is the time to lean into esports sponsorships.
Sometimes, your campaign may need a boost to elevate visibility or alter public perception of your brand: enter cause alignment. In 2020, the marketing message of your brand matters to your intended audience, and aligning your brand with a cause that reflects where you’re going can enhance brand impact.
Let’s use the Houston Dynamo and their partnership with MD Anderson, for example. MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform, executes programs and events dedicated to improving the communities that the teams play and live in. This platform united the two organizations under one cause: ending cancer.
The Dynamo has held numerous sponsored events with MD Anderson, such as their Soccer Kicks Cancer Night. Hosting pre-game and in-game giveaways for those in attendance, the Dynamo and MD Anderson created a pathway for the players and patients to connect beyond the soccer field.
Events aren’t the only way to showcase and implement cause alignment. Properly tagged Instagram posts can generate more engagements than any other social platform.
For Instance, in the Dynamo’s Instagram post revealing their new kit (right), you’ll see both the organization’s logos along with properly placed shop tags, allowing visitors to seamlessly transition into a sales funnel.
This post drove the highest engagement for the club in the last month with 5.19K engagements; 136% higher than their second most engaging post on Twitter.
Precise Data Reporting
In 2020, new ways to source and analyze rich data will continue to emerge. Advancements in artificial intelligence and data-collecting methods have opened numerous doors within data analytics. Gathering data that stems beyond age, location and gender will be the new norm in data optimization.
Emarsys reported that there are 3.2B active social media users around the world, generating public shares of personalized and public data. This information can help you uncover who your target audience is, how they interact and why. Although GDPR Compliance shifted how third-party companies can gather user data, it didn’t remove the overall ability to do so.
Twitter is one platform that allows third-party companies to collect self-identified data. This type of data is provided by users through their public profiles and posts that share their likes, dislikes, favorite shows, brands and more. According to SproutSocial, 500K tweets are sent every minute, providing an abundance of rich data to identify and dissect.
Rich data tells you more than just your demographic. Streaming services such as YouTube TV and Netflix are a few streaming services that track user behavior. While there are limitations to what data you can collect, these platforms have user-provided data files with information like phone numbers, online purchases and in-game user activity.
Audience affinity research opens the doors to additional user data, like their current passions, interests and how they interact online. By diving into areas outside of social, such as you’re able to create a holistic image of your audience and see the value that each partner can bring.
Global spending on sponsorships is on the rise, with roughly $65B spent in 2019 alone. If you’re investing thousands of dollars into something, you should know where it’s going and what you’re getting out of it. With MVP, you’ll be able to locate the areas of highest return for your specific brand and target audience to decide which moves your brand should make based on rich data. Let MVP help you tell the right story; reach out today.