Investment in Activation

For the introduction to our 2017 Outlook, click here

Thankfully we have long since passed the era of ‘badged’ sponsorships. In recent years, the level of creativity invested in sponsorship activations has grown considerably, providing significant added value to sports and music fans, in particular. As a result, consumers now expect more and marketers will not maximise the potential of their sponsorships without investing appropriately in activation. download (6)Activation spends in the US are outpacing rights fees by a ratio of more than 2:1, rising to 4:1 in 24% of cases, according to IEG. In this market, many experienced sponsors with deeper pockets have been getting the balance right, but best practice needs to extend to all sponsorships, irrespective of
scale. Relying on social media posts to ‘activate’ sponsorships does not suffice. We expect to see more investment in multi-channel activations in 2017, to broaden and intensify the impact of sponsorships. Properties that are seen as ‘small’ can often be magnified with the right activation strategy.

download (7)

Lidl’s award winning sponsorship of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) is a best-in-class example of this. The results speak for themselves: attendance at the 2016 final increased by 11% and share of TV audience increased year-on year from 11% to 27%, thanks to the investment in sponsorship. We expect this approach to signify the emergence of shrewder activation strategies in 2017.