The ROI of sponsorship make sure you're taking care of your sponsorship health

February 27, 2018


Testing the effectiveness of any type of advertising is a process that is continually being refined. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of sponsorship is a tricky one – although not impossible!

The trickiness stems from the fact that the brand can be sponsoring anything from a shirt, to a car or an event. And then the questions from Senior Management around: ‘how much impact does this have on sales? What impression is this driving?’ start to pop up. So how do we measure this?

Therefore, with the news that Premier League clubs pocket a total of £281.8 million from kit sponsors this season - let’s examine this question further with the example of sports sponsorship.

To help ensure an ROI when you’re sponsoring a sports event (or any event for that matter, but we’re sticking with sports for the purposes of this blog!) you will need to ensure, through primary research, that you’re monitoring your ‘Sponsorship Health’ – this measures how well the sponsorship itself is performing. Working with your target audience, you need to research the following areas.


You’re more than likely already doing this for any paid advertising in terms of impressions, reach, clicks etc. With sponsorship, through primary research, you need to go a step further and ask your target market if they can recall your offering or any specific facets of your sponsorship. You can also help to measure awareness by looking at:

-       The media exposure value – how many attendees are likely to be there;

-       Media mentions (PR).


What is the consumer perception of the sponsorship? Do consumers feel it’s a good fit? Or do they feel it’s a poor fit? With the example of McDonalds and the Olympics (which you can read more about in our blog here) many health campaigners felt this was a very poor fit. Sponsorship health monitoring can help you stay on top of this and help you adapt your strategy to any external factors.

Measuring consumer perception will always be a qualitative exercise and will mostly reside with primary research (do you think you should do some primary research?). However, you can also look to gain insight from your overall brand activity, by also keeping track of customer perception through measuring your brand equity, overall brand opinion and brand associations. Presuming your sponsorships are renewed on an early basis, conducting this activity yearly, will help to see any trends or improvements in brand perception.


So, this is the money maker… engagement! The specific actions that people are doing as a result of exposure to your sponsorship. These actions can be anything from likes on social media, retweets, searching online and buying your product or service. All of these can be measured through online tools. The social media side can be monitored using the analytics on the relevant social media platform, whilst the online searching side can be monitored in Google Analytics, using comparative data, from when you weren’t sponsoring the event. Likewise purchases of the products can again be measured using comparative data.

So, to ensure you’re getting ROI on your sponsorship deal, you need to ensure you’re getting regular check-ups on your sponsorship health. This in nutshell falls to staying in tune with your target market and conducting regular consumer research

If you’re interested in how sponsorships could help your business and how ECHO can help you, get in touch with us at or for all the latest news follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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