The Future of Sponsoring Research

Every half year, Blauw meets with its three UEFA Champions League (UCL) sponsoring partners.

Where the previous meeting was easy going and centered around getting to know each other, we really got the discussion heated up during the second meeting of 2016 in Paris!Several important topics in the theme “The Future of Sponsoring Research” were discussed. On one of them, we can act on immediately in the current UCL season: How to turn an old tracker into a modern effective study?

The dilemmas of modernizing a traditional tracker

The world around us changed rapidly the last 16 years and the UCL tracker did not change in the same pace. Together with our panel partner SSI we showed the UCL partners the urge to change as we cannot continue to go on with the current set up forever and make device agnostic and (therefore) future proof. At first glance it might seem like a simple problem but unfortunately, reality is not so simple. Cutting out questions, minimizing grids and making it fun implies receiving less information. And, more importantly, changing questions in a tracker means losing your ability to compare current results with historical data.

Focus on need to know

In the course of the years a lot of ‘nice to know’ questions were added to the UCL study. We now need to get back to a set up where we focus on the ‘need to know’. What is the main objective of the study and what part of the study set up contributes to that objective? Only these questions should be kept in the questionnaire.

Dealing with a trend breach

Designing a new questionnaire is a first step. The second step is to decide on the “when”. We know that at a certain point in time we cannot guarantee the quality of the data with the current study set up. What we do not know, is when we will reach that point. Is it next year, or in 5 years, or maybe in over 10 years? The risk of making decisions based on unreliable data is just too high and therefore, we advised our UCL partners to act now and not wait until it is too late.

Defining the actual impact of the changes

As we see it as our responsibility to consult our partners on how to deal with these difficulties, we will start a pilot in the current season. We designed a new set up for the syndicated part of the study with a focus on ‘need to know’. Together with each of the UCL partners we will design the client specific questions. The next wave in December we will run this study parallel to the current set up in three countries with different lengths and types of questions. We now first want to estimate what the effect on the most important KPI’s is in this set up and define what the actual impact of changing the study set up on the KPI’s is. Subsequently, we estimate how and when to make the complete change.

Moving ahead

The meeting in Paris was a first step keeping up with the ever changing world of sponsoring research. Starting the discussion and coming to a good solution together with all partners will make our study even stronger for the future. The challenge now is to act on the steps we want to take. All together we got some exciting times ahead of us!