Successful sponsorship requires a large budget and intelligent networking
No other sponsorship platform in Germany is as attractive as the Bundesliga. A basic study by the consulting firm Advant Planning and the magazine “Sponsors” shows which performance data are responsible for this and how sponsors use the potential for themselves.
To this end, the publishers subjected the 34 game days of the 2011/12 Bundesliga season to a full survey of all media sponsors on all advertising material for the 18 Bundesliga clubs. These results were supplemented with market research and further analyzes by the sponsoring research institutes IFM Sports and Sport + Markt. The study combines the results into a triad of presence, costs and awareness.
Noticeable competitive pressure within the industries
The ten strongest branches of the Bundesliga sponsors together already generate 55.5 percent of the total output value. The cumulative highest value was generated by the sporting goods manufacturers (8.3 percent) ahead of the beer (7.4 percent) and automobile manufacturers (6.5 percent). In last place in the top 10 is the telecommunications industry (2.9 percent) with only one sponsor above a performance value of 200,000 euros. “There is very high competitive pressure within these top 10 sectors,” says Hendrik Fischer, Managing Director of Advant Planning. How many companies use the Bundesliga can be seen in the detailed analysis of the sponsors.
“There are currently over 500 sponsors vying for the attention of the audience on around 60 different TV-on and TV-off advertising media,” says Marco Klewenhagen, editor-in-chief of “Sponsors”. The study also shows that there is no linear relationship between the number of advertising spaces occupied by clubs and the performance value of sponsorships. In other words: Sponsors with several club partners and branding areas do not necessarily achieve higher values than a sponsor with, for example, only one club, but extensive presence in the stadium.
Trikot and Cam Carpet the most attractive advertising media
The advertising material index from Advant Planning shows which advertising materials are attractive for sponsors, among other things due to the various competitive stimuli. According to this index, which takes both qualitative and quantitative factors into account, the jersey and the cam carpet (special form of perimeter advertising) are the most attractive advertising media for sponsors. According to Fischer, irritable Darwinism is one of the big challenges for sponsors in the Bundesliga. Large budgets and hours of presence are not a panacea for a high penetration rate.
This is also underpinned by a cluster analysis of sponsors based on their perception values and rights costs. Successful sponsors with a balanced index ratio of “costs per awareness point” have intelligent networking in the activation. Appropriate budgets are a basic requirement, but no guarantee for communicative success. The solar industry can be named here as an example. According to this indexation, five solar companies alone are among the last ten (“Bottom 10”). These sponsors from the solar industry largely rely on standardized branding areas without further networking.
High communication pressure through free TV formats
The Bundesliga is not only leading with sponsors in terms of popularity, the media coverage is also extremely attractive. The more than 500 sponsors of the 18 clubs have achieved a media performance value in the three-digit million range. The central driver for this advertising value on free TV is the “ARD Sportschau”. “Over 50 percent of the cumulative sponsorship performance of the analyzed formats in free TV can be traced back to the broadcast content of the Sportschau”, says Fischer. The other places follow at a considerable distance from “The current sports studio” of ZDF (16.6 percent) and the format “Bundesliga am Sonntag” on Sport1 with 5.6 percent. In addition to free TV, the web is also increasingly becoming an information channel for football fans – the websites bundesliga.de, kicker.de and the sports portal sport1.de are the most important points of contact.
The study also shows that the “epicenter” of German Bundesliga interest is North Rhine-Westphalia. This is where the heart of football beats hardest. In the ranking of the German core football areas, Bavaria follows with a 17 percent share of fans. In the Free State, soccer fans are most excited about the German record champions FC Bayern Munich – in Franconia, “the club” (1. FC Nuremberg) is the driving force. The top 3 of the German soccer centers completes the Nielsen area 1, which unites Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony.