Brand Week 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.  

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.

Time to Start Optimizing. Activating. Engaging.

Time to Start Optimizing. Activating. Engaging.

Let's talk about how your team can gain exceptional value from KORE's deep and connected ecosystem.