2022’s Cricket World Cup Social Engagement Kept Pace with the Last Olympics: A Short Twenty20 Social Recap

Cricket had one of its most engaged audiences ever. A quick comparison of 2022’s Cricket Twenty20 World Cup social data to the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo shows us that cricket fans watched 2.83B videos on the sport, versus 2.5B videos watched during the last Olympics. The social value created across both events was nearly identical ($67M during the games, versus $66.2M for cricket).

It wasn’t only legendary England who won the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup, but one could say that edtech brand, BYJU’S was victorious in terms of brand sponsorship value. The India-based app earned the most adjusted ad value (AAV) across social from the month-long activations of the year’s biggest cricket event. In this recap we will explain who created the most social sponsorship value, where it came from, how cricket compares to other sports, and tips on how the sport of cricket and its promoters can harness social content strategy.

First, Why is Adjusted Ad Value (AAV) Important to Understand for Sponsorship Impact on Social?

The AAV model assigns a dollar value to a social post based on how clearly logos or brand mentions are displayed within text, image, or video and how much engagement the post generates.

Text-only social listening tools miss significant visual attribution. Evaluate Social can capture up to 70% of a brand’s social value through:

  • Clear, quality logo visibility
  • Audience data and watch-through rates
  • Built-in authentication

These features create a robust data story. We can track the AAV of any content created on social media that displays clear logos, deliberate tags, and keyword mentions.

Our AI-driven Evaluate Social tool, powered by Hookit, (and found within the Portfolio Optimization Platform) enables any organization to easily track and analyze the AAV of their partners’ social media content. It’s a two-way street that helps drive stronger partnership value for brands, rights holders, athletes and influencers.

Visual Example of the AAV Model

The ‘Unseen behind-the-scenes’ footage post of India’s win over Pakistan on October 23, 2022 was the single most engaged post throughout our analysis.

What Was Analyzed

From October 1, through November 15, 2022, Evaluate Social examined 66.9k posts from athletes, organizations, leagues, team accounts (club and country), events and media accounts across the cricket world cup.

General Stats:
  • Total Engagements: 4.8B
  • Total Branded Posts: 22.8k (34% of all posts)
  • Total Branded Engagements: 3.48B
  • Promotion Quality: 16.1%
  • AAV: $66.2M

Fan Engagement Through Cricket Twenty20 World Cup

Notice the spike on October 23rd in the graph below, which is from the visual example above of the behind-the-scenes post by the International Cricket Council, with more than 600M engagements.

Top 10 Cricket Sponsors Based on AAV of Banded Posts

Any time the word “branded” is used (branded posts, branded engagement), we are referring to posts or content that includes either text (hashtag, mention, keyword) or visual (logo) promotion of a brand.

Below are the top brands that benefited from branded posts during the cricket world cup. Byjus gained the most value overall, by more than $6M, while 60% of the top 10 brands ranged between $1.99M – 6M.

  1. Byjus – $13.7M in AAV
  2. Pepsi – $7M in AAV
  3. Aramco – $5.99M in AAV
  4. MRF – $5.87M in AAV
  5. Booking.com – $4.35M in AAV
  6. Nissan – $4.35M in AAV
  7. Emirates – $3.2M in AAV
  8. Oppo – $1.99M in AAV
  9. Mastercard – $1.8M in AAV
  10. Bira 91- $1.73M in AAV

More noteworthy takeaways from the list above
  • 21% of all value goes to Byjus
  • 17% of the value comes from team accounts (club & country)
  • 95% of the value is coming from each entity’s owned accounts (vs. earned from mentions from other entities)
  • 76% of value is coming from Instagram, even though only 45% of branded posts are on Instagram
  • Twitter contributes 27% of posts, but only 8% of total value and 3% of total engagements
Top Value Drivers from an Entity’s own Social Channels

This means these three organizations or teams created the most value from their own social post strategies.

  • International Cricket Council – $31.2M in AAV, 47% of total value created
  • Indian Cricket Team – $9.4M in AAV, 14% of total value created
  • Pakistan Cricket Board — $6.5M in AAV, 10% of total value create
Top Cricket Athletes Based on AAV

These are the athletes that created the most value for sponsors.

  • Hardik Pandya drove 26% of the total value created from all athletes with $409k in AAV for:
    • Byjus — $131k
    • FTX – $56k
    • MRF – $42k
  • Rohit Sharma drove 12% of the total value created from all athletes with $192k in AAV for:
    • Emirates – $192k
  • Mohamed Shami drove 11% of the total value created from all athletes with $175k in AAV for:
    • Tourism West Australia — $102k
    • Byjus — $33k
    • FTX — $17k
Top Cricket Athletes based on Follower Growth
  • Suryakumar Yadav – 3.8% follower growth during tournament
  • Virat Kohli, 326M, 3% follower growth during tournament
  • Rohit Sharma, 68M, 1.2% follower growth during tournament (for comparison, this is two times the amount of Lebron James’ current followers across social.)
Country Cricket Teams That Grew the Most Followers
  • Indian Cricket Team – 55M, 1.1% follower growth during tournament
  • South Africa Cricket — 6.6M, 0.27% follower growth during tournament
  • Scotland cricket National Team — 231.5k, 2.3% follower growth during tournament
Club Cricket Teams That Grew the Most Followers

Club teams were much more active than country teams. The top three teams below had triple the growth over the country teams above.

  • Barbados Royals, 3.4% increase during tournament
  • Gujarat Titans, 3.2% increase during tournament
  • Multan Sultans, 2.8% increase during tournament
  • Average growth was 1.6%
How Cricket Compares to Other Sports
Total fans, engagement, and sponsorship value (AAV)
  • Cricket teams & leagues drive 6% of overall value in 2022 (1/1/22 – 11/15/22),
  • Cricket teams & leagues drive 7% of overall fan engagements in 2022, 3rd highest sport behind Basketball and Global Football
  • Cricket ranks 3rd in total followers (from team & league accounts) with 551.4M, only behind Basketball and Global Football
Discover More Opportunities

Earlier this year, we noticed a behavior shift in the popularity of short-form videos. Audience and creator preferences shifted from Instagram (IG) videos to reels. Further, the growth of IG Reels began to compete with TikTok, who was the leader of social video engagement. The data below (pulled from January 1, – November 1, 2022) demonstrates the investment opportunity that cricket offers, as the 5th largest driver of value across global sport.

Harness Content Strategy Across Your Partnerships

As audience preferences continue to shift towards short-form content, we don’t see the momentum of IG Reels slowing down in 2023. Social strategy is a critical part of investment strategy in the world of sports. If you’d like more key social insights like this, or tips on how to measure the value of your social activations then reach out for a demo on Evaluate Social, powered by Hookit.

CTA: Contact Us

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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Sponsorship & Fan Data is Overwhelming: What You Need to Know Before Diving into Data Intelligence

When it comes to sponsorships, it’s important to take things slow and steady in order to get the most out of them. This means taking the time to understand what you want to achieve before diving into data analytics. Without a clear goal in mind, it can be difficult to know what information is relevant and how to use it effectively. Before defining partnership goals, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are our overall objectives for this partnership?
  • What are our goals for this partnership?
  • What KPIs will we use to measure success?

Taking the time to answer these questions will help you focus on the data that matters most and make sure your partnership is heading in the right direction. We recommend following these three steps for defining your partnership objectives.

Once you have a good understanding of your goals, you can start looking for partners that match your criteria. It’s important to be as specific as possible in order to avoid wasting time and resources on unsuitable matches. Our new Portfolio Optimization Platform holds our Intake tool which helps brands find the right partnership matches based on the criteria defined by identifying your objectives and key results (OKRs). With Intake, the best matches will be surfaced regardless of the volume of submissions, so it can scale with your business needs.

When organizations are clear on their partnership objectives, and what they stand for, the framework needed to create unique collaborations quickly falls into place. 

Once you’ve found a partner, it’s essential to manage the relationship effectively. This includes setting up regular check-ins, tracking progress against goals, and making changes when needed. Implementing a data-driven approach will help make sure all of these steps are carried out smoothly. Using a tool like Evaluate Omni will allow your team to manage the performance of all your deals and assets and benchmark diverse types of partnerships against a universal set of standards.

In short, understanding data intelligence is key to successful partnerships. Using data analytics effectively and asking the right questions can help your team build successful partnerships for years to come.

Become a data-driven organization: here’s how you can help your brand stay ahead

Becoming a data-driven organization can be overwhelming, but it’s important to get organizational buy-in to make the transition as smooth as possible. One way to do this is by taking things one step at a time.

  1. Start by identifying a small team within the organization who will be responsible for data collection and analysis. This team should be dedicated to understanding and interpreting data, and then translating that information into actionable insights for the rest of the organization.
  2. Once the team is in place, it’s important to establish clear goals and objectives. These should be aligned with the overall strategy of the company and should be measurable so that progress can be tracked over time.
  3. Finally, it’s essential to provide training and support to ensure that everyone within the organization understands how to use data effectively. This includes not only understanding the numbers, but also knowing how to apply that information to make better decisions about partnerships and other areas of business.

By taking things one step at a time, it’s possible for any organization to become more data-driven. With a designated team dedicated and committed to leading change it’s possible to see significant improvements in performance and success evolve faster than ever.

In order to make the most of your partnerships, it’s important to understand data intelligence and use it effectively. This includes taking the time to ask the right questions and tracking progress against goals. By implementing a data-driven approach, you can ensure that all aspects of the partnership are carried out smoothly.

For more information on our centralized platform, contact us or request a demonstration to get ahead with next year’s planning

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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Sponsorship & Fan Data is Overwhelming: How to Support Dynamic Partnerships

Introduction

The sponsorship world is evolving as fast as technology. It’s hard for anyone to keep up. This means it’s critical for brands to learn how to cut through the noise and identify first what they want to achieve with their partnerships before diving into all the data available. Once partnerships are established, it’s important to take small steps at a time to manage, measure, and optimize them accordingly.

Data is Changing the Sponsorship World

Here we’ll explore some ways that data has impacted the sponsorship space, how brands and rights holders are responding, and what you can do to help your brand expand its data-driven initiatives.

With digital transformation comes more data, and more insights

People aren’t just watching their favorite teams or athletes on TV, or at the stadium. They interact with them on social media, in gaming and through newer digital spaces like the metaverse, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and through Augmented Reality (AR). People consume content via social media now more than ever. This futuristic reality is already here. When brands gain deeper digital insights into how their partnerships are impacting fan behavior this information can help organizations better understand their target markets and identify new opportunities, with a fresh perspective, leading to more creative and unique activations. Additionally, data can be used to improve existing partnership strategies by measuring different tactics’ success. For example, when a brand launches a social media campaign as part of its sponsorship activation, it can use certain types of data analytics to determine whether the campaign was successful. With so many types of data points, it’s hard to determine what the most important data points are. Below we outline just a few. 

Examples of social analytics vary, but can include:
  • Total Fans – Total number of followers
  • Likes – The number of times something has been liked (all platforms)
  • Impressions – (defined and supplied by each social platform)
  • Promotional Quality – Hookit defined factors include:
    • Position – Text within a post description
    • Coverage – Based on the number and size of logos in a post
    • Crowding – Consideration of non-branded text
    • Viewership – Based on exposure
  • Fan Engagement – Average interactions per post divided by follower count
  • Earned Media – Defined by Hookit and including but not limited to
    • Earned Promotion
    • Earned Posts
  • Adjusted Ad Value – a deep, key measurement of text, image, video, hashtags, quality and engagement combined within a formula
We don’t have to measure everything, just for the sake of it

Every brand has different goals and objectives and every partnership activation can be uniquely built to serve those objectives. The critical part to understanding what data or analytics to look at is to first understand what the partnership is trying to achieve. Go back to the basics. When the objectives are clear, it’s easier to determine the Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] for that partnership or activation.

Data-inspired partnerships are well-nurtured ones

Another way data is reshaping sponsorship is how partnerships between brands and rights holders are becoming more dynamic. Post-COVID-19, data analysis has shown that the number of partnership deals have dropped while the spending has gone up. This means brands are working with a smaller number of partners that have larger investments behind them. This has led to deeper collaboration yet more budget scrutiny.

Dynamic partnerships are strategic and mindful

Through the evolution of sponsorship over the past 20 years, KORE Software’s Chief Product Officer, Marc Roots, notes that traditionally, rights holders would measure and summarize various data points providing recaps to their brand partners as a supportive service. But now we see brands and rights holders sharing more data, like ticketing and fan journey information, or campaign activation data on a consistent basis. The shift has moved from intermittent recaps to an on-demand partnership recap. “It’s something more centralized where both brands and rights holders are looking at a common set of metrics as often as daily, but more often on a week-to-week or monthly basis.” Roots continues, “As a result, you’re seeing things like assets getting swapped out, activation plans changing, different campaigns running, choosing different social channels to hit certain types of targets.”  

Creating a stronger data pulse for both sides of the partnership can support more mindful planning and swift, strategic changes for business needs.

How Technology Can Support Dynamic Partnerships

The two ways we help rights holders and brands move together dynamically are through tools and platforms. Every brand and rights holder is on a different level with their data and business intelligence tools. First, we help both types of organizations align with data terminology and learn to speak the same language. Then we get focused on where each organization is in their partnership evaluation maturity. For example, with one brand we may focus on one partnership and really work through the pain points of that key partner and measure just one thing at a time. When you want to measure everything because there’s so much data, it’s overwhelming. Start small and expand as you go. This makes it easier to bring leadership along with you and for internal culture to adapt to recent changes.

Earlier this year we officially teamed up with a long-time industry partner, Hookit, an AI-powered analytics tool, to create an industry-first centralized system for both rights holders and brands where they can collaborate and manage, measure and optimize their partnership portfolios from one spot. Read the press release here

Data-driven partnerships can lead to creating clear sponsorship value because of the tools and measurements that deliver insights to explore. It’s important to use the right tools to gain productive measurements that both partners can act on. Because of this, data-driven organizations raise the bar with strategic planning. They create more engaging experiences for fans and can justify marketing spending. By taking the time to understand data intelligence and its impact on sponsorship, brands can stay ahead of the curve and continue to reap the benefits of this evolving industry.

Read What You Need to Know Before Diving into Data Intelligence, to understand how to set up your partnerships for long-term success and how to help your organization become more data-driven. If you have questions or would like more information on setting up a centralized system for your partnership strategy, contact us anytime. We’re here to help.

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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Why a single-source platform is essential for managing your sponsorship portfolio

Introduction

One of the most common complaints we hear in the sponsorship industry is from brands that are trying to measure ROI with no source of truth for sponsorship investments or portfolio allocation oversight. Whether it’s not being able to access or evaluate data from internal or external social teams, tracking multimillion-dollar partnership investments in spreadsheets or a lack of consistency and clarity on aligning for national or global campaigns, we’ve heard repeated frustrations about how not having a centralized system creates roadblocks, budget drains and lack of insight. A single-source platform for managing partnerships can help solve all of these issues and provide a way to measure your entire sponsorship portfolio.

What factors do you consider when measuring the success of a sponsorship?

To measure the success of sponsorship, there are a few key factors that need to be considered. The first is the overall objective of the sponsorship. What business outcome do you hope to achieve? Partnerships can be used to drive awareness, increase sales, attract a new fan base, or deepen loyalty among those fans. Once you know what your goals are, you can start to measure how well the sponsorship is performing in achieving that goal.

Another factor to consider is the target audience of the sponsorship. Are you targeting a new niche, or elevating your brand’s visibility? Additionally, you should track the reach of the sponsorship – how many people saw or heard about it? And finally, measure the engagement of the sponsorship. How many people interacted with it in some way? How did they feel about it? By tracking all of these factors, you can get a good idea of whether or not the sponsorship is successful. It sounds simple, right? We go deeper into this topic in our article on the steps for defining and measuring your sponsor partnership objectives, but first let’s look at how the right tools can save a vast amount of time and money for your organization, implementing a system that can do the managing, tracking, and measuring for you and your partners.

The benefits of using a single-source portfolio intelligence platform

In a single-source platform all data, insights, and communications are consolidated into one place. Brand directors and leadership can gain a bird’s-eye view into any aspect of how partnerships are performing. From brand activation, sports marketing, and asset creators, to finance and operational groups, any team involved can easily track partnership assets and activity and identify areas where they can improve communication, collaboration, and performance. We’ve taken a single-source platform a step further by including our data, one of the deepest datasets in the industry, to integrate with your data, delivering a game-changing Portfolio Optimization Platform that can provide real-time insights at every stage of the partnership life cycle. 

The Portfolio Intelligence Platform centralizes the following:
  • Key partnership details including deal terms, contact information and categorization features
  • Objectives and key results (OKRs) that help define partnership goals for teams to measure performance progress
  • Portfolio allocation insights that are presented in a visually appealing format for team and leadership review to support critical decisions
  • Data security from multi-level, cloud-based access with custom filters and views to see exactly what you need and when
Conclusion

Single-source platforms provide an essential overview of how all partnerships are performing collectively against set objectives. This allows for better allocation of resources and fine-tuned decision-making when it comes to investment in future partnerships. In addition, it offers a clear view of how much value different partnerships are generating so that underperforming ones can be addressed more efficiently. As such, using a Portfolio Intelligence Platform is an efficient way to manage your sponsorship portfolio and ensure you are achieving your desired business outcomes. Request a demo to see how we’ve been helping hundreds of brands meet their ROI goals with our industry-leading platform.

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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How to Define & Measure Your Brand’s Partnership Objectives in 3 Steps

Introduction

If you’re strategizing how to get the most out of your partnership, you’re not alone. With $57B being spent globally on sponsorships, forecasted to go up to $90B within the next five years, brands everywhere are under pressure to better manage, measure and optimize their sponsorship portfolios. By measuring sponsorships, organizations can maximize brand awareness, activations, and fan loyalty, improving the return on sponsorship investments. To create and maintain a successful partnership, both parties need to be on the same page from the beginning about what is expected and the general goals of the partnership. Defining and measuring objectives is one way to ensure alignment. In this article, we will explore three steps to help you and your partner achieve long-term success.

  • Defining objectives
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Measuring and tracking progress
Step 1: Defining Objectives
What are brand partnership objectives and why are they important to define and measure?

Partnership objectives are goals that a brand or organization wants to achieve through a sponsorship agreement. They can be things like increasing brand visibility through unique activations like sponsoring an athlete’s official avatar in popular video games or relating to a niche audience like an online cooking school with interactive guest teaching appearances from well known artists to generating leads from social posts, or driving ticket sales from ads. Defining and measuring these objectives is important because it helps ensure that both parties are on the same page about what is expected from the sponsorship and that the partnership is productive. Additionally, data collected from objectives can be used to improve marketing and promotional efforts.

Some common partnership objective examples include:
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Elevating the fan experience
  • Driving ticket sales or attendance
  • Generating leads or sales
  • Aligning with corporate CSR initiatives
  • Increasing onsite traffic or social media followers
  • Targeting and connecting with an expanded demographic

Once the objectives have been defined, it is important to set measurable goals that can be tracked to see if progress is being made. This can be done by creating a timeline with milestones and specific target values. For example, if increasing brand awareness is one of the objectives, then the goal might be to increase social media followers by a certain percentage in a certain amount of time. A more accurate, multidimensional way to measure brand value from your partner’s social accounts is to track each partnership and earned media post that have your clear logo within an image, video or text mention. This can be done through Evaluate Social, an industry-leading tool that has built-in automation to authenticate athletes’ and artists’ stories, audience data, and watch-through rates.

This tool evolved from the flagship AI-powered sponsorship technology developed by Hookit, who integrated into the KORE family earlier this year. With Evaluate Social you can set goals and measure and monitor them against KPIs, then share insights with your partners. Measuring against these objectives will help ensure that both parties are on track and meeting their goals. The best part is, this tool will help you quantify the value of your brand’s exposure so you can enhance your strategy and sponsorship ROI.

If you’d like to learn how the McLaren Formula 1 group used this tool to drive sponsorship revenues across their team, check out this case study.

Step 2: Setting Realistic Expectations

This step can be simultaneously done while also defining objectives, yet before measuring progress. It is important to set realistic expectations. Both parties should have a good understanding of what is possible and what isn’t. A lack of communication or unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration for either side and can even damage the partnership. It is important to be flexible and understand that not everything will go according to plan. Learn more about the balancing act of being reactive and proactive in our article on how to research partnerships for long-term success.

Things to keep in mind when setting expectations:
  • Partnerships require effort from both sides; setting up checkpoints will help everyone stay accountable.
  • Objectives should be achievable and relevant to support momentum and motivation.
  • Not every objective can be measured equally or quantitatively, yet a Portfolio Optimization Platform can support every type of objective and easily track complex performance measurements.
  • Not all partnerships are successful, but a single-source platform can increase the likelihood of long-term success.
  • Results may take time to materialize, but with KORE’s centralized platform, you can access real-time insights faster, in between a regular cadence of analysis.
Step 3: Managing and Tracking Objectives

According to recent marketing studies, executives who implement a comprehensive approach to quantifying the impact of their sponsorships can increase returns by as much as 30%. (McKinsey & Company, Bauer Gordan, and Sellecke, n.d.)

Once objectives have been set between both parties it’s important to define measurable goals so that both sides can track and evaluate progress throughout the relationship. This is what our Activate tool does for you, all in a single- source-platform, so you can spend more of your time on strategy and revenue growth. Additionally, it is helpful if the partner is aligned with the organization’s target audience and has a similar brand message. Finally, ongoing communication is key – ensure that there is regular contact between both sides to discuss progress and update each other on new initiatives.

What’s an Example of a Good Partnership?

T-Mobile sponsors Major League Baseball (MLB) and has seen much success over the ten years they have been partnered. The company has been able to increase brand awareness amongst baseball fans, deepen fan engagement, and drive ticket sales. Their activations have been creative and engaging, such as providing free in-game Wi-Fi, offering unique giveaways, and streaming games for free on their social media channels and through MLB.TV for “T-Mobile Tuesdays”.

How Exactly Do We Track and Measure Partnership Success?

Every brand has a different culture and different goals. A common theme we hear is that there are so many different data points to look at that it’s hard to identify Key Performance Indicators  (KPIs) to even measure objectives. Outside of feeling like things are going well, brands want tools that tell them what the ROI really is, but a common struggle is “there aren’t consistent KPIs across our organization because oftentimes sports marketing’s goals are different than the brand marketing team.” If this sounds all too familiar, then you’re probably in need of a source of truth that can capture all KPIs and Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), that can stretch across your organization. In a few short weeks we’ll be revealing our new single-source of truth platform holding all the tools and solutions that our clients use to gain a competitive advantage, plus more. Request a demo now of the platform that contains all the tools, data and insights that currently meet the needs of hundreds of other leading brands that we work with.

Conclusion

Partnerships are a big investment, and it’s important to make sure that both parties are getting the most out of the partnership. If you follow these steps and lean on the right tools to help you define, manage and track your partnerships it will keep both sides moving in a positive direction ensuring benefits for everyone involved. While managing and tracking objectives can be difficult, our Activate tool can help you define unique objectives, measure and track progress with real-time results to adjust things as you go.  With regular communication between partners and across the teams supporting them, you can create a successful track record of sponsorship relationships that benefit everyone involved.

More Research

Read the case study on how Shell V-Power Racing is using Activate as their centralized platform, gaining real-time asset tracking, alignment and secure data transparency across their organization.

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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Brandweek Retrospect: The Pressure of Justifying Partnership Investment, Explained

We understand that the unique value of an investment in sports and entertainment sponsorships is gigantic, and we understand that it’s hard to measure. From purpose-driven influencers like Nico Rosberg, and sports stars like Alex Morgan to branded naming rights for the world’s largest stadiums like the Toyota Center or digital spaces in Decentraland, across the board these partnerships surprise and delight. They elevate expectations, connect with people, drive fan engagement, and level up your brand awareness in unexpected ways, and at times, drive the bottom line. While at 2022 Brandweek hosted by AdWeek, we shared inspiring stories, assessed virtual reality as shared experiences, and discussed aspirational activations. Yet, there was a low line buzz we picked up on. Underneath it all, we kept running into the murmur of concern over the economy and how that was going to impact budgets for next year’s partnership investments and potential deals. An aspirational buzz kill, we know.  

Sponsorship Investment Will Only Grow

Partnership accountability continues to surface at the executive level, as C-suite executives are pressed to report financials to their boards. This ultimately results in teams under them being pressured to bring financial results to light for their partnership initiatives. We feel it. Everyone in the industry feels it. But if we know that clever and meaningful partnerships and investments pay off well, then why is there so much pressure? Simply put, this recently evaluated $60B sponsorship industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with a variety of measurement tools without clear benchmarks and tracking mechanisms.  When Roger Federer announced ending his relationship with Nike in 2018, to move to Japanese apparel manufacturer Uniqlo, their stock went up 500% the next day. That’s a clear measurement. But not every brand is publicly traded or can manage huge numbers for tennis legends. The failure to clearly quantify and communicate how partnership investments impact the company’s financials comes down to a breakdown from fragmented communication across organizations, and de-centralized tracking and measurement abilities.

Overcoming Partnership Budget Fears

As recent as 2020, the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released research indicating that 60% of marketers didn’t have tools in place to communicate, measure, and grow the investments in their long-term sponsorship relationships within their portfolio. The industry is behind the times of current data and measurement capabilities.  

We see this repeatedly with our own clients consisting of 100s of rights holders and brands. After a single system with tracking, measurement, and optimization of the organization’s data in one centralized spot occurs, we hear instant gratification. It’s a process to implement, especially when companies are already in a large matrix setup, but it’s achievable. It’s even better when smaller organizations can implement the right tools to scale with their business. When it happens, we hear results like; “We’ve transformed how we administer our partnerships.” or “For our newer partners, we’ve been able to more than double their investment into us year over year, specifically based off [the platform] and the reports.” The accolades go on. Here at KORE Software, we are quietly changing the game. Over the past year we merged our solutions into one holistic system that can be tailored to any brand wanting to quantify ROI from sponsorships. Learn how you can research any partnership with your own data and our data, and manage, measure and optimize your entire partnership portfolio from one single source platform.  

To learn more about our Portfolio Optimization Platform or any of our tools found within it, reach out to us for a demo.  

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Brand Defining Moments: 4 Tips for Creating Long-Term Sponsorship Partner Success

One of the most common planning frustrations we hear from brands is that instead of researching partnership best fits, they heavily depend on the timing of opportunities that walk through the door. This creates a constant reactive cycle. Brands big and small know how critical athlete, artist, and influencer sponsorships are, which is why it’s important to be both reactive and proactive when researching and identifying potential partnerships. Here, we walk you through our tips on how to balance the two approaches. Then, we’ll guide you on how to research your partnership decisions faster using your own data, your potential partner’s data, and real-time insights tracked across the entire sports and influencer network.

The importance of balancing proactive and reactive research for partnerships

Many organizations have come to us with concerns over missed opportunities, looking for tools or support to help fill in the gaps. When proactive research is in place, and a new opportunity arises, team’s can confidently seize opportunities that matched criteria. Having the right tools in place will help you attract, filter and quickly find the the best matches.  Our Intake tool streamlines most of this type of work for you, allowing you to take advantage of trends before your competitors do. Making space for both proactive and reactive research leads to better decision-making overall. Being able to react and plan simultaneously keeps your organization flexible and adaptable in a constantly changing world. This sets you up to recognize brand defining moments as they arise culturally. When it comes to partnerships, proactive brands are always looking for potential opportunities. Here’s how we suggest balancing the overall approach.

1. Understand your goals, and identify clear KPIs and target demographics.

Before you begin reaching out to potential partners or reviewing them, ensure you understand or have developed your business goals for the partnership. If other teams will be supporting the partnership in any way, from finance and operations to social, digital, and event brand activations, sharing these goals and their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will provide awareness for other teams to support the cause and create more alignment. Some of the brands we work with have told us how hard it is to align goals between teams. For example, what sports marketing’s goals are, could be wholly different than brand activation. While you may benefit from the same partnerships, your KPIs could be vastly different. Having a single-source of truth to track every team’s needs can create massive amounts of cost savings, and efficiency for your brand, while ensuring consistency for fans who deeply engage with those partnerships.  It’s important to identify the attributes of your target demographic. This will help you better align yourself with the right partners and support content that is more likely to resonate with their fans and your brand.

2. Leverage your own data to research partnerships.

Brands have a wealth of data at their fingertips. Your own customer data can give you incredible insights into who your target demographic is, what they care about, and how to reach them. Additionally, analyzing your website’s traffic sources can help you identify which channels are most effective at driving traffic and leads. Yet, often we hear frustration from sponsorship teams who are not only chasing the data, but require access to it in a timely manner or and help translating it. Getting the full snapshot into your brand’s data isn’t easy though.  Our Portfolio Optimization Platform is the industry-first solution that streamlines your brand’s data into one single tool which teams across your organization can access versus people working in silos chasing down data points across various teams and orgs.

3. Examine your potential partner’s data to research partnerships.

Many brands make the mistake of only looking at their own data when researching partnerships. However, by looking at your potential partner’s data as well, you can gain a much broader understanding of their target demographic, what content they produce and share, and how they engage with their fans/followers and how they can compliment your brand.

Gain real-time insights across the social sport and influencer network to research partnerships.

One of the best ways to get real-time insights into potential partnerships is to track conversations happening across the social sport and influencer network. This will allow you to see what content is resonating with fans, what athletes/artists/influencers are generating the most engagement, and which sponsorships are generating the most buzz.

The KORE Sport & Entertainment Graph tracks:
  • 100k athletes & influencers
  • 10K+ teams, leagues, events
  • 1M+ deals & assets
  • 2B+ fans & fan data

If you want access to the largest Sports and Influencer Network, that analyzes spend, and tracks social output for more than 500,000 entities across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Weibo, VK and TikTok, then learn how the McClaren Formula 1 Racing team uses it in this case study. Or reach out for a demo to learn how to leverage it for your own research. 

4. Stay agile

No one can predict the future, but by planning for potential problems, you can avoid or minimize them. For example, being able to swiftly swap content assets to another partnership that meets the criteria of the goals, or creating space to react mindfully over a situation garnering public attention are common issues.  By having a solid plan in place, and easy visibility over all of your assets, you’ll be able to act quickly and decisively when something unexpected does come up. 

The world is constantly changing and businesses need to be flexible and adaptable in order to stay ahead of the curve. Staying proactive will allow you to react quickly to changes in the market and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise.

Conclusion

Fine-tuned research to make critical decisions on partnership spend is necessary in today’s industry. Creating successful partnerships means finding a balance between being proactive and responsive. If you’re too reactive, you’ll be at the mercy of current events and trends, potentially losing track of long-term relationship goals and KPIs. However, if you’re too proactive, you won’t be able to take advantage of new opportunities. This will allow for a more well-rounded, long-term partnership that can grow over time. By using your own data, potential partner’s data, and real-time insights tracked across the internet, you can research partnerships faster than ever before. Reach out for a demo on how our industry-leading single source platform can bring the research and KPIs together. A streamlined system will help you not just seize the right opportunities but quickly recognize those brand defining moments to elevate, ultimately shaping and shifting the future of your organization.

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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KORE’s 2022 Action & Outdoor Sports Annual Brand Review

Learn which brands are being promoted the most across action sports, who’s creating the highest sponsorship value and fan engagement, and what topics their fans are talking about on social media. We also discuss how value is determined across social and share insights on how the most distinctive action sport brands are defining successful partnerships.

Action & Outdoor Sports Analysis Includes

Posts from athletes, organizations, and events across action & outdoor sports published on social media from July 1, 2021 – July 1, 2022. 

  • BMX
  • Climbing
  • Cyclocross
  • Fishing
  • Kiteboarding
  • Motocross
  • Mountain Bike
  • Skateboard
  • Ski
  • Snowboard
  • Surf
  • Wakeboard
The Pursuit of Meaningful and Measurable Partnerships

Recently, our team hosted more than 20 global action and outdoor sport brands for annual workshops where we review the state of action & outdoor sport partnerships across the social sphere. With the ripple effect of social media, choosing the right sponsorships, or athletes and influencers to partner with has never had more scrutiny and pressure. The key takeaway was that brands want to measure the success of their entire partnership; from lifestyle, event, performance and community-driven objectives, to digital activations. Yet, we heard over and over that it’s hard to determine what to compare against, which tools to use and how one measures authenticity and quality– two of the most important aspects for a successful relationship.

How are Action & Outdoor Sport Brands Measuring Up?

There are no surprises here, with Red Bull and Monster Energy in the lead with twice the amount of total sponsorship value over the leading pack. Yet the sporting goods and apparel industry stand out achieving the highest adjusted ad value per promoted post.

What is Adjusted Ad Value and Why Does it Matter?

The adjusted ad value (AAV) is a measurement that determines a dollar value to assign to a social post based on how clearly logos or brand mentions are prominently displayed, combined with the level of engagement the post creates. With our Evaluate Social tool  (formerly called Hookit) brands can easily see and track the AAV of their partners social media content displaying their logo, tags or mentions. Now, on the other side of the fence, major sports teams, like McLaren Formula 1 Racing Team also use AAV to demonstrate to their partners where and how brand exposure is happening across their social channels to support strategic planning. Understanding your partner’s AAV is a two-way street that helps drive stronger partnership value for brands, rights holders, athletes and influencers. 

Which Sport is Creating the Most Brand Value?

While skateboarding is at the top of the arena right now, it’s interesting that when the snowboarding community, a smaller group online than most other action sports, do show up on social they have the highest level of engagement. 

Skateboarding leads again, per our recent analysis of the value of women in sport  where teen athlete Rayssa Leal leads more AAV per social post than any other female athlete, outshining household names like Serena Williams and Simone Biles, who didn’t make the top five.

What do Action Sport Fans Talk About on Social Media?

Compared to the wider sports industry where topics around cryptocurrency, and automotive innovation are high engagement drivers, fans of action and outdoor sports are more focused on topics that impact human equity, self worth and the environment. Listening for this information is critical to choosing the right partnerships.

Brand Discussion: Capturing Insights Beyond the Metrics

For a more in depth look at each action and outdoor sport category, best practices for engagement, and key takeaways, take a look at our comprehensive analysis here. If you’re looking for a way to measure your own partnerships beyond basic social metrics, request a demo to see our industry-leading Portfolio Optimization Platform in action. Besides organizing your assets and data, our unrivaled solution provides the industry’s most comprehensive dataset for a deeper understanding of how your partnership portfolio is performing.

Want to learn more how KORE Software can help your brand? Request a demo today.

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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Top 3 Key Takeaways from Sports Business Journal’s Brand Innovation Summit 2022

Here, we lean into the most buzzworthy topics at the 2022 Sports Business Journal’s Brand Innovation Summit. From data predictions, ideation and innovation constantly in motion, to the way consumer engagement continues to evolve. See our key takeaways to learn more.

1. Data is the Driving Force Behind all Decision-Making

Data has been the mantra for some time now, but brands and rights holders are doubling down on it to create new ways to connect to their audience at the right time and in meaningful ways. At this year’s summit, brands like FritoLay and Pepsi—alongside major sports leagues like the NHL—touted data as the lifeblood of their organizations that’s at the core of how they plan and activate. It’s not merely about gathering raw data but harnessing its power efficiently. Having precise, clean, actionable data enables brands to be more agile, responsive, and far more targeted than ever before. Harnessing data effectively provides insights into your audience’s preferences and unique behaviors. It helps you define KPIs to achieve business goals faster. Data inspires creativity—ideas that will delight your audience and deepen their emotional connection.

The most successful brands and rights holders can immediately see how effectively their content, ticketing & engagement platforms, data integrations, and sponsorships perform. With social running 24 hours a day, it’s no longer just about the event, the ad spot, or placement—the most successful campaigns or interactions are ready to engage at any time of day with a global audience. Any organization that doesn’t have a source of truth or an efficient route to understanding their data is well behind. To survive, it’s imperative for brands to have effective management and measurement tools to support all their engagement marketing activities.

Data Checklist to Thrive

Optimizing your marketing and operational plans requires efficiency.  Can you accurately answer “yes” to each of these questions regarding all aspects of your portfolio—from ticketing and fan engagement to data integrations to brand/athlete/influencer partnerships?

  • Do you have a true source of truth to rely on? 
  • Have you established strong benchmarks to measure your KPIs against?  
  • Do you have a clear 30,000 ft view of how your entire portfolio is performing? 
  • Can you quickly find the answers you’re looking for in your data? 
  • Can you identify a variety of trends easily?  
Key Takeaway

If you’re spending large amounts of money on sponsorship and partnerships, you’re only getting your money’s worth if you’re also investing in solutions that help you understand the data behind your investments. Data is the deciding factor behind how much brands invest and how they negotiate deals. No matter which side of the sponsorship deal you are on, staying on top of your metrics will help you secure stronger partnerships and reach your business goals faster.   

Learn how KORE Evaluate can help you make the best data-driven decisions.  

2. The Need for Continuous Innovation & the Unknown Impact of Future Technologies

Topics such as crypto, the metaverse, and the NCAA’s name, image, likeness (NIL) rule, dominated the conference. We can’t control the future, so adjusting on the fly or trying something new is critical to remaining relevant and growing. Take Absolut Vodka for example, who collaborated with Coachella to create a popup festival in the metaverse, Decentraland, as an alternative to attending Coachella in person. The Absolut bottle-shaped digital space was packed with exclusive free virtual cocktails, games, and prizes like festival wearables for your avatar. This large-scale brand partnership in a metaverse was a brilliant move and one of the first of its kind in a space that is only just starting to take shape.

Questions for Your Team
  • How will the need for continuous innovation impact your partnerships and sponsorship tactics moving forward? 
  • With the speed of technology evolving, how will your team iterate and create new ways to engage with your audience in person and virtually?  
  • How will you measure the success of these new activations? 

Learn how KORE Activate can help you measure your activations performance and adjust quickly, for both yourself and your partner

3. Humanizing Players and Influencers: The New Consumer Engagement Model

As online social interactions continue to evolve, fandom and engagement with brands and teams are changing too. Thanks to the internet and streaming services, it’s more likely for an American to be a Premier League fan, a Californian to be a Boston Celtics fan, or a transplanted Aussie to catch all their rugby team’s matches. Fandom is no longer restricted to where you grew up or where you currently live.  It goes hand-in-hand with the influencer boom where the audience can relate on a personal level: people are becoming bigger fans of individual players and their lives instead of focusing just on their team. Fans are following their favorite players regardless of which team they’re on.

Questions for Your Team
  • What are the stats behind your players and influencers’ stories?
  • How impactful is a single influencer on social media to your brand or team?
  • How can you track their influence?
Key Takeaway

Brands and rights holders need to adjust to the new reality of personal influence. This can include training players to use their social platforms better, adjusting to more individualized endorsement deals, and learning how to share the whole person instead of just “the athlete” with their fans. Engaging with an athlete’s family content, hobbies, and personal life humanizes the athlete in the eyes of fans and builds a connection that was unattainable in recent years. Today’s audiences expect relatable, personal content—how can we track and nurture that influence? 

Embrace the future of sponsorship and learn how Hookit can help you understand the impact and value of a player’s post. 

KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.

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