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“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”.

Peter Drucker, known as one of the greatest thinkers in business and management, made evident the need of knowledge to be able to improve.

If return of investment in sports was difficult to be seen without a minimum of quantitative data, we have come to live in a reality where brands needs to size their relevance in conversations across the digital ecosystem.

A positive challenge for women’s football as it is one of the fastest growing sports globally, and also complex due to the lack of depth in data, particularly at a marketing level.

Without a doubt, a gap which Budweiser committed to work on when they observed that American women’s football received only one eighth from the commercial support that men’s football counted with. After the successful campaign The Future Official Sponsors of the NWSL, the beer company attracted the interest of new partners such as Secret and P&G. In just a year, the league added six sponsors more.

Helena Dalmau, Account Manager in the Media Division at Kantar for more than nineteen years, shared her perspective about the growth of sponsorship in sports from the global leading company in data, insights and consultancy. In her day to day, she develops projects in football, basketball and motorsports, among others; events such as the Davis Cup, the Ironman, the Barcelona Marathon or the King’s Cup Regatta.

Here are the main lessons from the interview with Helena:

  • From visibility to significance. Within the trend of quantifying the impact of organizations in traditional media like television, brands demand quantitative data and, especially qualitative, in platforms such as streaming and social media, particularly after the rise of eSports. In short, connecting is vital to play an important role.
  • What kind of data matters. According to Helena, the most relevant areas are the economic value of sponsors and sports properties’ assets, the exclusive ROI per brand, the characteristics and evolution of TV audiences, the social conversation in digital together the profile and insights from users, and the follower segmentation according to their consuming behaviour habits.
  • The consolidation of micro influencers. In Kantar’s report Media Trends and Predictions 2021, the importance of a deeper segmentation through micro influencers is highlighted. An opportunity to optimise the effectiveness in social media along with indicators like the Brand Influencer Fatigue, followed by a clear focus on measuring engagement with content.
  • Sports and eSports, together. The electronic sports have positioned as a valuable experience at the intersection between content and video games. According to Kantar’s Global Gaming Trends 2020, eSports play a big part in the lives of every six out of ten users, with an average dedication between one and two hours per day. From a specialised niche into a general experience.
  • The audiences in women’s football. 6M viewers follow Spanish women’s football, being Primera Iberdrola the third competition in TV rights, despite not being professional. Helena explained how matches such as Wolfsburg v Barcelona from UWCL or Real Madrid v Barcelona would rank mid-table among open broadcastings of Liga SmartBank.
  • The impact of soft skills. This kind of competencies are indispensable to any professional who seeks to make an impact in sport and women’s football. Interpersonal skills such as teamwork, conflict resolution and persistence were identified as key to an industry with a constant-changing environment.

An experienced vision about understanding how the relationship among fans, properties and brands has changed. The book “Dodging mediocrity” is in her top list of recommended readings in management and strategy, written by Xavier Marcet.

In the following link, the complete interview, in Spanish, with valuable inputs from Helena about sports, sponsorship, audiences, women’s football, and more:

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