A Glimpse Into Sports Sponsorship Powered By The Marketing Arm

A Glimpse Into Sports Sponsorship Powered By The Marketing Arm

We were excited to interview Katie Tershel from the Sponsorship Team at The Marketing Arm. Katie offered some unique perspecitve on what brands are looking for in sponsorship activation, branded content and emerging technologies.

Katie Tershel

Describe your current role with The Marketing Arm?

I am currently an Account Supervisor on the AT&T Sponsorship Team. My responsibilities include overseeing AT&T’s golf partnerships including strategy, consulting, property management and activation. I specifically manage the relationship with AT&T Pebble Beach, AT&T Byron Nelson, Jordan Spieth, and the PGA TOUR. I lead a team of 3 on a daily basis and up to 20 during activation programs.

Why do brands and businesses choose to work with The Marketing Arm?

The Marketing Arm offers deep expertise across 12 disciplines. When brands or businesses come to TMA, we are able to offer an integrated solution that requires less overhead and more cohesive thinking. That ability to execute broadly, but with excellence is a key differentiator.

TMA’s leadership is also very focused on fostering great ideas and retaining talented people which is appreciated by our clients!

Do you have any philosophies to share on sponsorship ROI and ways you measure value for your clients?

Sponsorship ROI is a complicated process. A lot of people claim to be able to report on it; however, very few have the capability to do so properly. ROI is not as simple and ‘what did I invest versus what did I receive?’ With brands in sports, there are many other factors to consider including general market advertising, existing promotions, in-store efforts, etc. True ROI is a multi-faceted model that requires dozens if not hundreds of inputs like NPS and market share to account for other marketing factors. Many clients say ROI when what they really mean is ROO, something along the lines of raising foot traffic, opinion, etc.

What advertising assets are most sought after by clients?

Over the past several years, we have seen an increased focus on branded content. In particular, brands are looking for snackable content that consumers can absorb quickly. With such a cluttered marketplace, it’s ideal when content can organically rise to the top and a brand is behind it in a very natural way.

What emerging media/advertising technologies have caught your eye? Where do you see this going?

Uber, Waze, Facebook Live, and others have paved the way for consumers to expect real-time updates in their day-to-day. I expect brands to capitalize on this expectation and provide real time information to influence purchase decisions. We already see retailers price matching through digital price codes updating based on competitor prices. As brands continue to capture consumer data, we will see real-time experience influence purchase behavior.

**Where do you see the future heading with sports sponsorship & brand activation? **

Throughout the last few years, the sum total of brand investment in sports sponsorship continues to increase at a stable rate of 5% year over year.  Brands that have seen the most success have evolved to diversify their portfolio beyond sports (although not necessarily cutting back on sports) into areas that reach a wider spectrum of society (millennials, females, and multicultural audience) like eSports, entertainment and music platforms.

From an activation standpoint, engaging consumers has been paramount to success in the new era, through activation featuring content and social media.  Top brands have committed a 1:1 ratio of activation to rights fees, significantly higher than the industry norms around 20%.  In today’s market, the consumer needs to be engaged and old school methods like static branding just are not as effective without a brand’s staunch commitment to activating particularly through social media, content and on-site means.

How brands manage to remain committed to activating their sponsorships (beyond relying on passive assets like print, static signage, etc.) via mediums like content and social media will ultimately determine their success.

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