The three challenges in measuring World Cup sponsorship

With the World Cup just around the corner it is the perfect time to talk about the huge challenge that this type of advertising still poses for advertisers: how to measure its impact.


Oct 5, 2022

In 1939, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the Berlin Olympics wearing shoes given to him by Adi Dassler, founder of Adidas. It’s a well known story in the industry, and is considered one of the first successful cases of sponsorship in modern day sports. The anecdote also illustrates that the format’s appeal has scarcely changed over all these years, and are still very much in place for the World Cup that starts in a few weeks: to reinforce brand credibility with the backing of a professional or a team and in front of a massive audience that is highly engaged in what is happening.

Totally changed over the last decade, however, are the windows of opportunity for brands in this sector. Today, sponsoring the championship itself, a national team, or a player participating in the World Cup, can go far beyond inserting a logo on a stadium or sports gear, broadcasting a traditional commercial or competition via any type of media. With the explosion of on-demand content and ancillary content, athletes become major “influencers”: native content for social networks or viral amplifications of the best moments of competitions, documentaries on OTTs; interviews with renowned casters on new platforms; branded content with major brands, podcasts, etc.

All these alternatives are incentives for brands, which see how they can further expand the reach of their sponsorships to reach theoretically more elusive audiences, such as GenZ, adapting to the narratives of each platform and creating sponsorship activation strategies through content. And, as Nielsen points out, all these actions not only drive brand affinity, but also sales: 59% of soccer fans would choose a sponsor's product over that of a rival on a level playing field.

With the World Cup just around the corner -which, despite all the reservations it raises this year, will attract, according to FIFA, an audience of more than 5 billion people-, it is the perfect time to talk about the huge challenge that this type of advertising still poses for advertisers: how to measure its impact. If measuring the real impact of any sponsorship has always been problematic, things are even more complicated in this scenario, where media and content multiply exponentially.

What specific challenges are faced by an advertiser interested in getting the most out of a sponsorship?

  • To know the true reach of an action when dealing with so much content and so many platforms.
  • To know the impact of sponsorship on purchase intent and other brand KPIs.
  • To understand how it fits into overall marketing strategy and how it fits in with other campaigns.

What if you could solve all of these problems with just one solution?

  • Which is able to give you a single metric for the entire sponsorship and allow you to compare it with any other advertising action or campaign;
  • Which allows you to understand what type of audience you are reaching and through what medium;
  • Which enables you to understand the direct impact of sponsorship on your brand KPIs, surveying those who have been exposed to it.


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