October 25, 2017

MKTG's Decoding 2.0 Study uncovers the vast differences in how fans in the US receive sponsor messaging around sport and lifestyle properties.

Originally commissioned in 2012 with a focus on sports fans and their receptivity to sports sponsorships, the 2017 version of the study widened the net to better understand receptivity not just amongst sports fans, but also foodies, music lovers, movie buffs and eSports fans, and to then identify what marketers' investments resounded most with each audience and why. MKTG conducted the study with its in-house market research agency SRi, the leading sports and entertainment research and measurement analytics company.

Today's study makes clear the sponsorship industry can no longer view avidity and passion as the primary measures of a consumer's proclivity to embrace a sponsorship. Instead, understanding a consumer's receptivity and openness to sponsor messaging is far more critical for brands when they assess the potential of a property to meet its brand objectives. The key is to fully understand the receptivity levels of a particular property's fanbase.

Through the analysis of data, we uncovered three very specific types of consumer:

  •     Receptives (those highly receptive to sponsor messaging) – 23% of all fans
  •     Selectives (those "on-the-fence" in their receptivity – they are amenable to sponsors and value their contributions, but don't always engage) – 48% of all fans
  •     Non-receptives (fans who tune sponsors out completely) – 29% of all fans

The study provides insights and clues on how to influence the 48% of Selectives to shift into the Receptive category. Importantly, it points out that Non-receptive fans will tune out sponsorship messaging no matter how avid or passionate they are. Understanding this reality is imperative for brand marketers when determining who their target audience(s) should be.

This first portion of the Decoding study, focused on Receptivity, identifies key data points and insights around a variety of topics including, but not limited to:

  •     Receptivity of a wide and varied range of consumer segments
  •     The efficacy of sponsorship in mature sports versus emerging sports
  •     The generational differences in receptivity and sponsorship consumption
  •     The efficacy of sponsorship in sports versus lifestyle properties in music, film, culinary, health and wellness, etc.
  •     How media consumption is impacting sponsor receptivity
  •     How fan engagement is impacted by sponsor receptivity
  •     The best tactical approaches to ensure receptivity by gender, age, ethnicity, etc.


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