And Now a Word about Sponsors.

Some marketers love sponsorships. Others hate them. Whichever camp you’re in, most CMOs are never really sure what kind of return on investment sponsorships actually deliver.

What would it look like if you could actually slice and dice the numbers at a granular level and tease out the value of,, say, basking in the glow of big-time college athletics or emphasizing a natural affiliation with America’s favorite pastime?

Maybe something like this. 

Example #1: Smaller budget, bigger returns

Tasty Meats ‘n Snax (based on a real Keen client) saw its budget slashed by more than 30 percent in 2017 (and a bit more again in 2018), requiring some serious marketing mix optimization.

The marketing team turned to Keen’s dynamic, data-driven modeling tool, and quickly identified several avenues to explore. One of the big ones? Its college sports sponsorship.

Data showed that the brand could borrow equity by associating with one of the biggest spectator sports around. The sponsorship put its name on the map in a big way—and that led to a successful endeavor that generated a $1.07 ROI.


One important note: These kinds of decisions don’t have to be all-or-nothing. The amount and type of data Keen provides allows for sophisticated analyses—and very nuanced marketing decisions.

In this case, for example, while data revealed the benefits of college sponsorships, the numbers also showed that overall, the brand was overspending in-season and missing out on opportunities to drive revenue other times of the year. And thanks to the speed at which Keen’s platform models scenarios, the team was able to make adjustments to their marketing tactics right away.

Example #2: Fewer home games, more home runs

Of course, you can’t always assume sponsorships are going to be a big winner.

Take the case of Classic American Cookout Eats (another pseudonym), already closely associated with America’s pastime. For them it wasn’t a matter of gaining name recognition, but of putting their existing investment to its best use.

And since CACE was taking a data-driven approach, that meant putting their venue sponsorships into play and honestly evaluating if they could make the cut?

The stats don’t lie: Insights from Keen clearly demonstrated that scaling back on less-measurable venue sponsorships in favor of investments in online video and social channels was the right call. (Here too, as with our first sponsorship example, data highlighted the advantage of spreading spending out beyond the primary season.)

It was one key element in a data-driven strategy that delivered in $1.5 million in profit and validated the brand team’s sense that additional investments could help them score big in the marketplace.

Ponder Before You Sponsor

Yes, in the real world there might be reasons that go beyond the bottom line for seeking out sponsorships. But at the very least, you should know exactly what you’re getting into—and what you’re really getting out of each investment.

That’s the value of data-driven decision making. See how Keen’s platform guides you from evaluation to decision to put you on a winning streak.