Optimizing Sponsorship in Spain

10 years ago

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Proving and maximizing sponsorship ROI can be a major headache. Sergi Guillot explains how his company used monitoring and analysis expertise to help Vodafone drive improved performance from its Spanish sponsorship portfolio.



Would you argue about the fact that life is pure change and changes occur in everyone’s life all the time? The digital age is teaching those of us who work in the communication/information industry that having to be alert to changes is a must. The implication is that we must adapt our strategies and tactics as quickly as the market demands; but also there is a huge need to continuously invest in analysis, training, and development of innovative tools which make our work more efficient and our lives easier.

Outcomes are the ultimate goal we aim for. Organizations need positive effects for their business, image and reputation. The internet and the fast changing world we live in bring our publics closer to us. They are no longer our audience. Our publics have much to say about what we do or not do, and about how we do it. Dialogue and interaction with our publics, as well as measuring and analyzing our communication approaches, objectives, planning and programming, will help us more than ever move easily and be sure of where we stand.

Monitoring and analysis

For organizations, one of those key domains always worthy of good analysis is sponsorship. Regardless of the type and size of the event they support – whether cultural, sports, entertainment or any other, big or small – all organizations want to have a ROI: a positive impact on their image and reputation and, the more the better, an impact on sales.

The 2009 Sponsorship Portfolio of Vodafone in Spain was focused on Formula1 through the broadcasting of the Grand Prix in close combination with sponsorship of music events. At the same time Vodafone carried out promotional activities based on predefined communication key attributes. Vodafone provided Acceso with the insights and the sponsorship portfolio to be analyzed.

Vodafone objectives were:

1. To know what type of sponsorship (musical/sports) has more impact in Spain.
2. To understand which events within their entire sponsorship portfolio had greatest media presence and influence in their key publics.
3. To know if the communication attributes set were being reflected in the sponsorships.
4. To optimize sponsorship portfolio to increase media impact in 2010.

Meeting the goals

Acceso based its strategy on three areas of expertise to meet Vodafone goals: first, the measurement and analysis of all the events in which Vodafone took part in order to determine their media impact and the brand’s coverage, and classify them as "strong or weak" events. The measurement was carried out in press, television, and online media.

In addition, the individual measurement and analysis of each one of the events supported. Vodafone wanted to obtain the profitability of the sponsorship as well as to be able to draw the comparative advantages among them. Qualitative analysis of comments and information regarding Vodafone’s sponsorship in events gathered from online media, television and press was key to identify the presence of key attributes linked to the brand.

And last, Acceso conducted a global analysis of the 2009 sponsorship portfolio and handed recommendations for the 2010 campaign.

The execution phase of the study was essential in order to carry out this latter analysis. So as to collect all the information about each one of the sponsorships in the online media, press and television, the multimedia monitoring started one month before events took place and ended one month after they finished. The analysis was made on both a qualitative and quantitative basis.

According to data and results provided by Acceso, Vodafone concluded they should boost their own initiatives in parallel to sponsorships like Beatclips and the Fast Lap with Pedro Martínez de la Rosa. The rationale was that these bring strong positive association to Vodafone brand with music and sports, and are very well received by online media increasing their publicity. In addition, boosting their sponsorship as "title sponsor" would lead Vodafone to obtain clearer brand recognition. Applying this to musical events as well would be a plus for their brand. In musical sponsorships, in particular, Acceso recommendation was to boost the use of physical elements strongly visible by the media present in the site, and pay close attention to their location in stages.

After these, among other key recommendations, Vodafone was able to tailor its optimized 2010 sponsorship strategy. Close media monitoring and analysis of the 2010 sponsorship actions have been undertaken in order to assess the brand’s positioning – improvements and changes – in the media, and how it is linked to an increased profitability of both the sponsored events and Vodafone’s own events.

Once a thorough analysis of its sponsorship portfolio was done, a proven greater impact in its audiences gave Vodafone clarity about focusing on events they create, such as social music creation project Beatclips, or events they promote directly. In addition, the brand decided to withdraw from sponsoring some music events which had great media impact but little or no sponsor presence. The 2009 analysis by Acceso helped Vodafone to set a reference basis of media impact for the following sponsorship campaigns and to establish better positioning rules inside events.


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The Author

Sergi Guillot

CEO of Acceso, Sergi Guillot is an Industrial Engineer from Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Spain, and MBA by IESE and Columbia Business School. He has consolidated his career in positions of high responsibility such as Director of Corporate Development for the city of Barcelona entrepreneurial project “[email protected]”. In addition, Sergi Guillot contributed to the establishment of the Parque Barcelona Media through a consortium of relevant media enterprises, universities and research centers in Spain. Guillot is also Director of AMEC, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, where he is very active in the leadership of new research and consensus initiatives. He is also a member of the Board of the IAI (Institute for the Analysis of Intangibles), DIRCOM, the Spanish Association of Communication Directors, and FIBEP (the World Association of Media Monitors).

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