Volvo & hockey: the impact of sport sponsorship

Car manufacturer Volvo has been a partner of the hockey association since 1995. As a partner of the hockey association, Volvo invests in the regional teams, national junior elevens and Junior Orange.

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Sport Sponsorship | Blauw Research

Sport sponsorship is a tremendous marketing tool in creating enthusiasm for your brand amongst the relevant target groups. You choose to sponsor a sport that suits your brand, a sport that has a place in your heart and a sport that appeals to your target group.

But the most important question is obviously: what does sport sponsorship deliver for your business?


 You can find this all out with Sponsoring Effect Tracking. Blauw has been measuring the impact of Volvo’s sponsorship since 2012.  This was very successful as we were able to identify the return on investment (ROI).

As a result, Volvo had a clear idea of the effect of hockey sponsorship on its market share. By carrying out an ongoing sponsorship study, you measure the effects of sponsorship over time. You find out:

  • Whether the awareness of your brand as a sponsor is growing
  • Whether sponsorship results in more people selecting your brand
  • Whether market share is growing due to sponsorship
  • How you can optimise sponsorship further

How do you do sponsorship research?


Using online questionnaires completed by 700 people, we ask the average Dutch population their opinion. This quantitative data provides you with statistical information about the effect of sport sponsorship.

We examine people who are active (as a player, volunteer, parent etc.) in a hockey club which is affiliated to the KNHB. But we also look at the Volvo clubs sub-target group (where the club bonus promotion is active).

We compare the extent to which they differ from each other in the way they look at the Volvo brand.

  • Do they (spontaneously) name Volvo as a company that sponsors hockey?
  • What do they think of the various car brands, what do they consider and what brand did they last buy?

In doing so, you clarify the extent to which your brand and the ‘sponsor object’ (in this case hockey) are suited to each other. We research whether the sponsorship is credible.


Hopefully, that’s positive. Even more so, Volvo is the only car brand that is explicitly linked to hockey by consumers. That makes Volvo distinctive - they claim the title ‘hockey car’.

Evaluating and refining sponsorship activities


In sponsorship research we don’t just collate quantitative, statistical information. In addition to monitoring the impact of sponsorship, we also evaluate sponsorship activities and campaigns. We use various methods to do so. For example, using heat maps, we can show where the focus of the target group lies on viewing a campaign release. Using facial coding, we can evaluate TV commercials at scene level. And we utilise co-creation sessions to allow the target group to participate in the development of activations.

Would you also like to know you can make your clients enthusiastic about your sponsorship?