Using Data To Create Effective Sponsorship Activation

Data from Superbowl 50 indicates that fans used over 9.5 TB of data during the game, which is a 63% increase over last year’s usage. During this time, the most popular uses were video and web browsing (each garnering a share of 20% each) followed by social media sharing which garnered an 18% share.

The above statistic is a testament to the fact that modern day sports fans aren’t always concentrating on the action that’s taking place on the field and appealing to these fans requires marketers to include digital initiatives taking place within the stadium a lot more seriously. As a naming rights holder, this becomes even more important so as to increase the effectiveness of one’s sponsorship activation.

This in itself presents a range of complications. First of all, there are more than enough brands that are vying for a sports fan’s attention within the environment of the property. Add to this services provided by the venue such as seat upgrades and in-seat meal ordering. And then of course there is the time spent by the fan on his/her social media pages. To capture the attention of the consumer, a brand needs to send the right message to the right consumer at the right time. And in today’s world, it can be made a lot easier by gathering the right data.

How would data gathering help sport marketers and naming rights holders? Firstly, it would help in seamlessly matching the audience to the right consumer segments. For example, if a basketball arena attracts both first time and luxury car buyers, the right data can help in determining who’s who and help the brand create targeted initiatives for each segment.

Secondly, it would help in pinpointing potential customers. For example, if a fan orders a drink on his/her seat through the online ordering portal, one could determine if the fan is a beer or a wine drinker and then create targeted promotions for each one.

Lastly, it would help brands create precise, in the moment promotions. Many sports bars have promotions wherein if a goal is scored; special offers on the menu are unlocked. Imagine doing that, but at a stadium-wide level. It could be a way to increase volumes at concession stands.

In order to help sponsors and rights holders gather this data, properties have to make sure that their technology foundation is up to date. One way of doing that is to partner with the right infrastructure providers. An example of this is Captivate by Horizon Communications, a platform that can help brands aggregate over 2500 data points on fans and then help create and deploy customized, localized real time campaigns across the mobile platform. Captivate’s Engage is a tool that utilizes the network, location, event timeline and fan data to trigger automated real time promotions.

The NFL has already created and deployed a set of Wi-Fi standards that need to be deployed across all participating properties and other leagues are following suit and sport marketers need to utilize this to maximize the ROI on their sponsorships.


Disclaimer: Horizon Communications is a technology partner of Bonham/Wills and Associates. For more information on the captivate platform please visit: