BLOG | by Ewan Tait

Title Sponsorships worth the money? EFL Trophy & Checkatrade Impact Analysis

In April, we published this analysis on whether title sponsorships were still worth the money. The results of the EFL Trophy and Checkatrade deal were so interesting that we thought we’d take a deeper dive into the relationship to see what further insight we could take.

Here is the chart which piqued our interest, showing the high yield which the partnership has returned for Checkatrade over the past three or so years.

It’s worth noting that over the same period, Consideration for the brand among football fans has also doubled.

So what has delivered this return on investment?

One factor has certainly been the way the property has been developed by its rights-holder, the EFL.

The EFL Trophy has enjoyed a considerable uplift in perceptions of prestige in the past 15 months. In fact, we took a look at the other properties we track (69 in all) and none has enjoyed such a significant percentage increase in perception among the general public over the same period.

And that’s because the EFL has also worked hard to innovate the property, setting it apart from its competitors. For example, the competition now welcomes 16 under-21 Academy Teams – 15 from the Premier League (including each of the ‘Big Six’) plus one from the Championship. That’s a smart move because, while young player development is the focus, it also serves to inject greater relevance and lustre for those whose clubs are outside of Leagues One and Two. Audience reach and media interest are amplified as a result.

The English Football League is also at the sharp end of advances in OTT streaming too.

Its iFollow product ensures that every game in the competition is available to be broadcast live in the UK (not just the Sky Sports picks) and fans can enjoy the convenience of watching their teams’ games in full. Among the football fan segment, in particular, this will help drive engagement and loyalty with the property, as well as interest in its narrative.

Another factor will be that the ‘cut-through’ of Checkatrade’s naming rights with fans and the media has had a significant impact positive on the brands SEO. Checkatrade’s search visibility increased by 94% during their time as title sponsor (achieved, we understand, organically with no additional SEO spend).

As well as the benefits to the sponsor we’ve analysed, we spoke to Checkatrade founder, Kevin Byrne, who told us that “singularly we saw our biggest jump in sales to tradespeople and visits to our website. [The effect] even out-performed national TV at a similar spend ratio.”

So we also took a look at the media value of the property to see how that might affect ROI – and we were surprised at what we found.

We calculated that title sponsorship creates an advertising value of almost £30m (see chart below for the breakdown).

We don’t know what Checkatrade paid for their multi-year deal but we suspect that £30 million of Advertising Value Equivalency (or £4.9 million in Sponsorship Media Value) is likely to represent a significant return on investment for the brand.

What we do know from our data is that since it signed the deal to sponsor the EFL Trophy, Consideration for Checkatrade has left rivals like Rated People and TrustATrader in the shade – in fact it’s up 100% compared to its closest competitor.

Now for any brand, that’s a sponsorship result that deserves a trophy.

BLOG | by Ewan Tait

Client Services Director

Ewan has over 10 years’ experience in marketing and sponsorship, and joined YouGov Sport (SMG Insight) to ensure current and future clients are supported through excellence in the delivery of media research and insight.