Combining Social Data with Financial Data: Measuring Sponsorship ROI


att park blog image resized

These days, sport is big business. From massive global sporting events like the World Cup, to giant team brands like Real Madrid or the Dallas Cowboys, the intersection between sports and business is increasingly lucrative and increasingly global. And one particularly profitable channel of income for the sports teams (and venues) is sponsorship.

Sponsors pay millions of dollars every year to be associated to sports teams and sporting events around the world resulting in brand names reaching millions if not billions of people. But how can the value of this sponsorship be determined in the social media age? In our latest case study, using social listening we combined the financial cost of venue sponsorship of some of North America’s largest telecoms brands with the social data these big ticket sponsorships generate to try and uncover the monetary value of sponsorship online. Here are the key findings:

AT&T Stadium most mentioned but AT&T Park the best value

att stadium park blog graphic

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(Share of voice (left) and cost per mention (right) for the seven examined venues over the last year)

Although AT&T Stadium – home of the Dallas Cowboys – had the edge in terms of total online mentions at just under 380,000 over the last year, another AT&T venue, AT&T Park, came out on top in terms of value for money. The value for money was calculated by dividing the total mentions for the year, by the yearly cost of sponsorship (Source: NYT, Sports Business Daily). It was by this measure that AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, came out on top, clocking a cost per mention of just under $ 8, just ahead of AT&T Center.

Success can double the value of sponsorship

ATT Center online mentions

(Total online mentions for the seven examined venues over the last year with mention spikes highlighted)

The success of AT&T Park and Center was largely due to the success of the respective resident professional sports teams: the San Francisco Giants and the San Antonio Spurs. Last year, the Giants won baseball’s World Series and the Spurs won the NBA Championship. In the case of the Spurs in particular, the value of AT&T’s sponsorship of AT&T Center halved when looking at just the last 6 months to over $ 20 per mention showing exactly how important success can be. That said, success isn’t the only condition for generating good value. Venues like Verizon Center and Bell Centre in Montreal performed well based on hosting a variety of events (both sporting and non-sporting) and others used their social presence to their advantage.

U.S. Cellular and Bell losing out from lack of social presence

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(Two of the most shared tweets posted by venue Twitter feeds over the last year)

One of the big things that came out of the data was that having a social presence, particularly a Twitter presence, was a big advantage in terms of online mentions and engagement. Five of the seven venues had some kind of a Twitter presence and benefited greatly from it. The minimum value of Twitter account related mentions for all venues was around $ 200,000 per year. By not having a Twitter presence, Bell Centre and U.S. Cellular Field seem to be losing out significantly both in terms of engagement and brand visibility and are making their sponsorship deals less cost effective.

Using social intelligence to combine social data with financial data helps companies and brands get another perspective on the value for money of marketing activities such as sponsorship. For major companies like the North American telecoms brands in this case study, understanding the value of such activities can help businesses make better informed marketing investments and gain an edge over the competition.

For more in-depth analysis of exactly how companies can effectively measure the value of their sponsorship deals and make the most of the brand visibility that sponsorship brings, read the full case study:

Read the full Case Study

Image Credit: Lena Corazon on

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One Plus One Equals Three: Combining Email + Facebook Ads To Reach More Customers


This post is the second in a multi-part series with our partner Salesforce Marketing Cloud, examining how brands and companies can get closer to their social customer.

Marketers consistently strive to understand how digital channels work together to drive the customer journey. However, when it comes to two of the workhorses of digital marketing—email and advertising—we rarely get a glimpse of how they work in combination. Targeting, messaging and measurement aren’t typically coordinated across email and advertising.

To find out more, we spoke to Jeffrey Rohrs, Vice President of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.

According to Rohrs, the most important step is to first build your own audiences, in particular your email subscribers and Facebook fans. It is only by growing your audience that you will be able to add a level of segmentation and targeting to your marketing efforts.

Once you have built you audience, through Facebook, you can begin the utlizing their very precise targeting features.

To better understand how to coordinate these channels, Salesforce Marketing Cloud teamed up with Facebook to explore the impact of a people-driven approach to executing across both.

According to their study of a leading U.S. retailer’s combined use of email and Facebook ads, they found that people who received both email and Facebook ads were 22% more likely to purchase than those exposed only to email.

Over two weeks, the online retailer targeted 565,000 email subscribers with both its regular email marketing communications and coordinated Facebook News Feed ads. The study analyzed anonymized email subscriber data, engagement data, ad impressions and transaction data to identify three exposure segments:

  • Opened email only: 18% of the people targeted opened at least one email but did not see an ad impression.

  • Saw ads only: 27% of the people targeted were only exposed to at least one ad impression.

  • Combined: 16% of the people targeted both opened the email and were exposed to an ad impression.

38% did not open the email or see an ad impression.

By coordinating email and ads, the retailer retailer expanded reach by 77%.

However, when we examined the combined segment of people who both opened the retailer’s emails and saw ads, that is where we saw the magic happen:

  • The combined segment was 22% more likely to purchase than the segment who opened email but didn’t see ads. {Tweet This}

  • In addition, this segment was 8% more likely to click on email than those who opened email but did not see ads.

“The combination of CRM data and Facebook targeting truly powers targeted reach at scale to create effective marketing campaigns,” said Blake Chandlee, vice president of partnerships, Facebook. “We expect to see great results as marketers continue to pair Facebook custom audiences with both email marketing and direct mail campaigns.”

On Tuesday February 24, Salesforce Marketing Cloud will discuss how they are helping organizations in various industries streamline their overall social strategy at Social Media Week NYC.  If you’re in town, we hope you will join us! Learn more and get your pass here.

About Jeffrey Rohrs

JeffRohrsHighRes2013Jeffrey K. Rohrs serves as Vice President of Marketing Insights for Salesforce, and he is the author of AUDIENCE: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers (Wiley Business, 2014) and the award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series. Jeff is also known to dabble in podcasting as co-host of the Social Pros Podcast with Jay Baer. When not pondering marketing’s great mysteries, Jeff soothes his Cleveland Browns-related agita by BBQing roast beasts–low & slow–on his back deck in Lakewood, Ohio.

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