4 Basics to Maximize Your Digital Sponsorship Inventory at Events

From the naming of event locations and merchandise to in-venue apps, brands put their names on everything. Sponsorship is already outperforming marketing and advertising in growth, reaching over $20 billion in North America alone.

Sports and entertainment companies are securing +80% of these expenses, but to be a part of these investments, event planners must go beyond offering logo spaces – and the use of digital and social media is not necessarily sufficient. Here are a few things you should keep in mind so you can sell out your digital inventory (and attract your event attendees at the same time).

Find new ways of engaging attendees

Even if you have sold out your existing inventory, make sure you look beyond traditional sponsorship opportunities. Sponsors are eager to get in touch directly with visitors and later be a part of the event experience, rather than just putting their name on a billboard. Digital sponsorship is a great solution and can include anything from sponsored social media lounges to snap chat lenses.

Reebok, for example, washed up physically and digitally at the CrossFit regional competitions, where fans compete against CrossFit top athletes who were previously recorded and shown on LCD screens while fans “fought” against them. They gathered audience information, filmed their competition and sent the video to the participants to share via social.

Event organizers don’t always have the luxury of time or budget to use an engagement campaign like Reebok’s, but they don’t have to pull out all the stops for every engagement campaign. Below are some examples of simpler engagement campaigns you can add to your sponsor inventory:

Voting Rights Actions: Visitors determine the program of the event in an app or online.

Meme Generators: Visitors can create videos or photos and share them with friends or submit them for competitions.

Unlock codes: Visitors can scratch, delete or rotate for sponsor coupons or to unlock content or do so before, during and after the event, e.g. with eventbaxx.

Understand the value of your inventory

Your goal in designing an engagement campaign is to make it attractive to visitors and sponsors, but there is a broader goal that you should pursue throughout your organization: Collect data.

After all, competitions and giveaways are nothing new – the problem shows the value of these giveaways, “it’s fun”. So before you go down the road of designing an engagement campaign, think about your goals and the sponsor’s goals and how you can measure the results. Is the goal to collect visitor e-mails? If so, make this a form field request. If the goal is to direct clicks to a website, then make sure you have a tracking code. If your goals are to learn more about your visitors and add detailed visitor profiles to your database, you can do even more. eventbaxx enables engagement content that allow you to collect the usual things like name and email, but also specific social preferences, interests and demographics. The value then goes far beyond a specific campaign – with this data you can later target visitors more specifically with campaigns and continuously improve campaigns with more and more collected data.

Demonstration of the results to specific sponsors

Sponsors don’t just want more attention. They want the right attitude to the right people. And to show the value to the sponsors, your team should provide metrics and results for different campaigns. The data can justify a sponsorship investment and increase the likelihood of the sponsor’s extension. In addition, your team can use success benchmarks to attract new sponsors. In fact, in sport, sponsorship evaluation and ROI measurement will be more influenced by analytics than talent development and even ticketing over the next five years.

What do “results” look like? For a long-term sponsor of an engagement campaign, you can look at whether social likes for their brand go up over time. On a specific campaign, you can show not only engagement metrics like how many clicks a sponsor’s coupon got, but offer up “who” those digital coupon clippers are. You can add contacts to a sponsor’s database as you add them to yours.

Be ready to show “brand fit”

Of course, before a sponsor signs up with you, you don’t have any results you can share for that particular sponsor, so you need to show them how well their brand fits your event. There are some traditional ways to prove brand suitability, such as using survey results to estimate your audience’s demographics.

However, once you’ve embarked on a solid data collection strategy, it can all be much easier because you now have valuable first-party data such as social brand affinities, demographics, and behavioral data that can help you create the perfect story for a sponsor. This can go so far as to say that “women 25-34 years of age make up 40% of our attendees” to demonstrate overall brand suitability, to “our last quiz campaign had 8000 users who liked your product or service on Facebook”.

That’s good news for two reasons: The first is that you can start finding potential new sponsors by looking at common interests or specific brands that your visitors are interested in. The second is that you can better prove the value of the specific inventory of sponsors, from the digital campaigns you run to signs in the end zone.

We know that the future of sponsorship is digital – after all, there’s only so much physical space out there, and as the sponsorship industry grows, sponsors will want to continue to be a part of the visitor experience. If you focus on that experience and measure it, you will be ready for success.

Marc Grewenig

CEO & Co-Founder
Fanomena GmbH


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