Gone are the days where marketing leaders can take the risk of testing a million-dollar partnership without clear KPI’s and justification that there will be ROI or ROO at the end of it.

Budgets are getting leaner and are having to work harder and harder, with every penny accounted for. So, where does this leave the sponsorship landscape?

As I’ve emerged from the world of Global sponsorship, it has made me reflect around the rights packages that sports entities offer and whether now in this climate the approach is old fashioned and needs challenging. The typical rights package is created through what inventory is left within the estate, rather than what rights will deliver against any pre-determined (if there are pre-determined!) KPI’s and business objectives.

This surfaces a challenge within a cluttered landscape, whereby partnerships and rights packages aren’t fit for purpose, and can’t possibly deliver in the most effective way whilst the rights are cascaded down, rather than flowing up to meet the challenge in hand.

This goes to further support the need to include sponsorship within the strategic backbone of the business and marketing plan, where sometimes this is seen as an add on that isn’t aligned with the core agenda and positioning of the brand.

We’ve seen through the rise in the commercial support of women’s football, for example, that brands are becoming savvier around what they are connecting themselves to and what they deem as a successful partnership. This isn’t just a badge and broadcast moment that is based on high TVR’s, this is authenticity, relevance and credibility that is driving the decision-making process, alongside a rights landscape that isn’t cluttered at this point in time.

What will be interesting to see as we continue to watch this shift, is how commercially successful this strategy is for brands and whether this does in fact deliver ROI and ROO….