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  • Writer's pictureSmart Sponsorship

"Study: Sports continue to be undervalued as an advertising platform."

Study: Sports continue to be undervalued as an advertising platform. Sports sponsorship can be more effective than traditional television advertisements. At SMART, we have been conveying this reasoning for a long time based on studies we continuously conduct nationwide. Now, here I present another opinion on the advertising effectiveness of sponsorships. Brands can obtain a 'Sports Dividend' through effective sponsorship, according to a study conducted by sports agency FUSE in partnership with the creative effectiveness platform System1. The study "Brand Growth Through Sport Sponsorship" revealed that a range of activations associated with sports sponsorship, whether in traditional advertising or digital content, have more potential for recall than traditional product/brand-driven communication. Specifically, sponsorship generates stronger feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and group well-being in fans, and happiness enhances memory structures around a brand, particularly when we are about to make a purchase decision. As a result, sponsorship activation is expected to achieve stronger commercial effects for brands. This holds true for both B2C and B2B. The study was based on exhaustive testing of 170 sports sponsorship campaigns, collecting emotional data from over 33,000 individuals in Germany, France, the UK, and the US. System1 tested the assets with representative samples to support how emotional response to sports sponsorship campaigns differs between sports fans and the general public. Using the System1 scale of 1 to 5.9 stars, sports sponsorship assets averaged 3.8 stars among sports fans, compared to 2.4 stars for all traditional advertising, an improvement that can correlate with increased market share gain, as fans show a higher tendency to purchase from the brand sponsoring their sport. Among broader audiences, 49 percent of tested sports sponsorship assets scored higher than average over non-sports assets. This means that, if done well, sports sponsorship can also boost effectiveness for both mass audiences and sports fans. Alex Charkham, strategy director at Fuse, said, "In rights investments and related activation, sports sponsorship is estimated to be a $100 billion industry, yet it has so far lacked the resources and evidence (compared to advertising) to quantify effectiveness and inform how sponsorship actually works." Jon Evans, Customer Attention Director at System1, said, "Sports have a unique ability to attract mass audiences worldwide."

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