BLOG | by Victor Gras

Which NFL stadium sponsor gets the best return from its deal?

In the third and final of our series of NFL blogs, as the season begins we thought we’d focus on sponsors. (You can read about the hottest tickets in the NFL and the most-talked about teams in pre-season here).

Stadium naming rights are now a common feature of major league sports and the NFL is no different. But, with many being tied up to long-term deals, do they retain an impact on fans?

To answer this, we looked at one of the metrics we track against thousands of brands every day in the United States – Impression. Impression, very simply, asks respondents if they have a positive or negative impression of a brand and we use a net score of the responses.

For a range of stadium sponsors, we compared these Impression scores among the general population to scores among fans of the team which play in each stadium – and worked out the difference for each one. You can see the results in the chart below.

The good news for sponsors is that stadium sponsorship almost always works. Every sponsor apart from CenturyLink sees an uplift in Impression among fans of the team they are partnering with – and the vast majority of those uplifts are significant.

On average, the increase is nearly ten points (9.65pts), creating a decent premium on sponsorship. The brand with the best return is Ford who enjoy a 15.8 point uplift in their Impression score among fans of the Lions. The car manufacturer is 17 years into a 25-year naming rights deal with the team.

Another car manufacturer, Nissan, gets the next best return, enjoying an uplift of 14.3 points among Titans fans. The company, whose American HQ is in the state, signed on in 2015 for a 20-year deal.

At the other end of the scale, CenturyLink has less traction with Seahawks fans. The tech company underperforms for Impression scores among the general population anyway, being one of only two sponsor companies to chalk up a negative score. But among Seahawks fans, the score is even lower. Still, they’ve got until 2034 to improve that metric as a deal extension was announced just a few weeks ago.

Overall, stadium sponsorship has a positive effect on team fans. Perhaps a question for another day is whether it works on fans of other teams too …

2019 | NFL Series Read more …

BLOG | by Victor Gras

VICTOR GRAS
Senior Director, Market Intelligence

Joining SMG Insight in March 2018, Victor brings seven years of global sports sponsorship expertise. In his last role, he led Nielsen’s Market Intelligence activity across all US verticals, working with brands, rights holders and agency clients. He also worked previously with the New York Road Runners, where he helped TCS launch the title partnership of the NYC Marathon, as well as with the ASO, optimizing sponsorship strategies for the Tour de France and the Paris Marathon.

E victor.gras@smg-insight.com