BLOG | by Ewan Tait

Title sponsorships. Are they still worth the money?

Title sponsorships have gone in and out of fashion over the years but despite debates over their pros and cons, they remain in demand. So we thought we’d look at some examples of why that may be.

First up, a topical choice. Checkatrade signed a deal to become the title sponsor of the EFL Trophy in 2016.  The final took place last month in front more than 85,000 people – a record attendance for the competition and the second highest attendance for a game that weekend across Europe.

So let’s take look at how title sponsorship is working out for them.

As you can see from the chart above, Awareness of Checkatrade has steadily risen across the board since the deal was announced in the summer of 2016. But among football fans, Awareness has almost doubled in three years, providing a very healthy return for the web service on the back of its EFL deal. And if we zoom in on fans engaged with the EFL, the deal looks even better value – awareness among these fans has increased by 82%.

Now let’s look at another title sponsorship – this time a newer one in the shape of Guinness and the Six Nations Championship.

For an established brand like Guinness, a deal like this is never going to be purely about awareness. Instead, it’s about shoring up the strong relationship between rugby and the black stuff. As you can see from the chart, which shows small uplifts in Impression and Consideration during the tournament, it appears the partnership has done just that.

Finally, let’s take a look at a slightly different type of sponsorship in this area – naming rights. Kia signed a naming deal for the Kennington Oval in 2011 – becoming sponsor of Surrey County Cricket Club at the same time.

As you can see from our graph, Kia’s sponsorship tells a different story.

Impression of the brand has climbed steadily over the past five years among both the general public and cricket fans. Yet it’s also clear that while Impression of the brand among cricket fans tracks generally higher, the metric is much more volatile for this segment – something that’s generally related to team performances. So while the sponsorship works, the data does demonstrate one of the perils of hitching your brand to a team, rather than a property.

Nevertheless, all three of these title deals look to have delivered for their sponsors.  But of the three, it’s the Checkatrade partnership which looks to have been the most effective.

For a brand looking to build awareness among large audiences, the EFL Trophy looks like it will be good value for whomever snags it next – and is evidence of why title sponsorships may never fall out of fashion.

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.