SponsorPulse view | Why the World’s 50 Most Marketable Properties need a universal ranking currency

Adam Mitchell, global lead at SponsorPulse by IMI, outlines how the global sponsorship intelligence platform uses one universal currency – the Opportunity Score – to size, measure and compare thousands of properties around the world instantly.

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If the past six months have taught us anything in the world of sponsorship, it is that digital assets and promotion are more important than ever to a successful partnership. 

The sponsorship industry has had one hell of a run: significant year-over-year growth, innovation in asset development, added exposure and value through the growth of digital platforms, and the introduction of entirely new categories. The challenge that the industry continues to face is grounding decisions in reliable consumer data. 

SponsorPulse was developed to provide sponsorship professionals with instant access to global consumer data to answer the most pressing questions that we’ve distilled into seven key property metrics.

  • Engagement: What is the annual reach of the property?
  • Intensity: What percentage of people engage with the property at least once per weekly basis? 
  • Momentum: Is the property’s relevance growing, declining or stagnant?
  • Passion: Are people passionate about the property?
  • Excitement: Are people excited about the property and what it brings to the table?
  • Consideration: Are people more likely to consider purchasing a brand that sponsors this property?
  • Favourability: Are people more favourable toward brands that sponsor this property? 

These seven key metrics are tracked monthly, across more than 2,500 sponsorship properties globally, and are put into a proprietary algorithm to determine an Opportunity Score. This score acts as a universal currency that provides immediate context when evaluating multiple opportunities. This Opportunity Score was used to rank the World’s 50 Most Marketable Properties from a list of over 300 sports leagues, governing bodies, teams and tournaments.

Some thoughts on the 50 Most Marketable Properties:

  • The beautiful game – With 20 of the top 50 Most Marketable Properties, there is no question that soccer is the most dominant sport worldwide. 
  • Team v league dilemma – In some cases a team outranks the league within which it plays. Interestingly, this isn’t even isolated to a team or league’s home country! Which property will give you the greatest potential for return?
  • Women’s sport – the Fifa Women’s World Cup, the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – which, incidentally, came in at number 57 – highlight a significant global opportunity that will continue to grow as these properties get more of the spotlight they so rightly deserve. 
  • On the move – Soccer will have several properties contesting its position over the next 12 months – we’re keeping our eyes on these ones:
    – Summer Olympic Games: With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games slated for next summer, we expect these properties to peak as the opening ceremonies draw nearer.
    Basketball: The National Basketball Association (NBA), global governing body Fiba and the WNBA are showing growth in expansion markets, which should continue to drive their ranking.
    Tennis: Holding court with five properties ranked between 29 and 35, these properties are unanimously highly regarded across the globe with significant star power on both the women’s and men’s tours.
    Gaming: There is still significant opportunity for gaming properties. League of Legends, Call of Duty and Overwatch (which ranked 55th) are showing momentum in North and South America. 

Some added food for thought:

  • Global v national v local: The top 50 ranking changes significantly on a market-by-market basis. There are major global sports properties that do not crack the top 50 overall, yet dominate in specific markets. 
  • Key demographics: Similarly, this list changes when we apply a filter of different age and gender demographics to showcase which properties are thriving among a specific generation. 
  • Category purchasers: How does this ranking look based on your category purchasers? Odds are pretty good that it changes and can help get to a more targeted sponsorship portfolio, or help property owners get to a more targeted pitch narrative. 
  • Sport v music v entertainment v cause: There is no denying that peoples’ passion for sport provides reach that is generally greater than other sponsorship properties. However, other passion points can offer significant, unique opportunities and in many cases at a lower cost of entry. This will continue to put pressure on sports properties. 

Whether you represent a brand, a property or an agency, these global consumer insights can inform and shape strategy, while acting as an unbiased anchor for your business.

Access the full 50MM list and insights into each property here.