The study, “Use of Social Media and Advanced Technologies for Sponsorship,” indicated that the primary reasons marketers use either social media or advanced technologies to support a brand’s sponsorship activations were the same:
- Generate awareness
- Connect with customers during the event
- Improve brand perception
“Sponsorships are becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix, and with good reason,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “Giving those activities a boost via the aggressive use of social media and other new technologies makes sense because of the ROI it provides.”
Sponsorship spending in North America is projected to be $23 billion in 2017, according to ESP/IEG, a consultancy that tracks sponsorship spending and trends. Sports events dominate the list of all sponsorship spending, accounting for about 70 percent, followed by entertainment at 10 percent.
Preferred social media platforms used to activate sponsorship included:
- Facebook (92 percent)
- Twitter (87 percent)
- Instagram (70 percent)
- YouTube (47 percent)
- LinkedIn (41 percent)
- Facebook Live (27 percent)
- Snapchat (27 percent)
- Pinterest (13 percent)
The study noted that internal resources are most often used for the management of social media and/or advanced technologies to support a brand’s sponsorship activations; external agency resources are also used (e.g., digital/social agency and sponsorship agency), but to a lesser extent.
In addition, the amount of social media exposure generated was the top choice, by a wide margin, for measuring the effectiveness of a brand’s social media sponsorship activity. For advanced technologies, on-site activity tracked at the sponsorship event and the amount of social media exposure generated were the two top choices for measuring effectiveness.