Think outside the (black) box

Sometimes, as a sponsor, there is a segment of fans that you just cannot reach. This can be extremely frustrating. You know that they are out there, you have tried everything you can think of, but still you can't manage to make contact with them. It is practically impossible to have any impact on this group. Where are the fans that you are not reaching, how do they behave, and how, as a sponsor, can you get in touch with them? This is the black box of sponsoring. But there's good news: Blauw has cracked the code.

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Sport is emotion. It gives us goosebumps, brings tears to our eyes, makes us jump for joy and swear in frustration. This is exactly where the unique power of sport sponsoring lies. If your brand can manage to build an emotional connection with sports fans, sponsoring will open up opportunities that no other marketing tool can provide. But it is essential to gain insight into the impact of sponsoring. It is also crucial to understand how you can guide this.

If we were to present sponsoring as a formula, we could say that sponsorship success = impact x reach. Roughly speaking, there are two paths towards sponsorship success: one is to boost your impact, the other is to increase your reach among your envisaged target group. Ideally, a sponsor should take both paths to ensure that their sponsorship has a strong impact on as many members of their target group as possible.

Let's say that you are a Formula 1 sponsor. Research has shown that on average, a Formula 1 sponsor reaches around 30% of F1 fans*. Sponsors can boost their impact on the 'known' group of fans by responding to their emotions in a credible manner and telling authentic stories. But wouldn't it be even more effective to pay some attention to expanding this 'known' group? Or in the case of the Formula 1 sponsors: wouldn't it be even more effective to also focus on the 'black box', i.e. the 70% of fans they are not reaching?

This sounds like a logical theory, but putting it into practice is more difficult than it looks at first. Blauw has found a solution to this problem. We have developed Black Box analysis to help sponsors find and make contact with fans that have been beyond their reach up until now. Black Box Analysis charts exactly who these fans are, which sports-related content they follow, and what channels and devices they use to do so. We also analyse in minute detail how this type of fan uses media in relation to a competiton or event.

This enables sponsors to 'target' this audience accurately and effectively (right time, right place, right message). Experience shows that sponsors who fine-tune their efforts are much better at increasing the number of fans they reach, and are therefore much more successful as sponsors. This type of analysis can also be applied to the 'known group' to help sponsors understand this category even better and target it more effectively.

Therefore as a sponsor, there is a lot you can do to ensure success. But to steer in the right direction, you must understand exactly how to reach your target group. So take control and break open the Black Box!

*Based on research on main sponsors conducted among Formula 1 fans in USA, Italy, China, Singapore, Mexico and Brazil