How the CFL measures partner performance with SponsorPulse

Jessa Morris
  • April 20, 2023
  • Jessa Morris
Find out how the CFL measures partner performance with SponsorPulse.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the highest level of competition in Canadian Football. Home to 9 teams nationwide and over 30 partners, when the CFL wanted to enhance reporting for internal and external stakeholders, they turned to SponsorPulse. We sat down with the CFL’s Account Director of Global Partnerships, Jess Szabo, to learn how her team leveraged SponsorPulse Impact Reports to measure internal objectives and deliver value to partners. 

Q: What are some of the pain points you and your team experience?

Jess: One of the big things is making our renewals and upsells more sophisticated. There is a gap for brands wanting more insights tied to the property side. We recognized the importance of investing in reporting that ensures partner objectives are established from the onset, allowing us to measure performance and apply key learnings to tweak campaigns.

Coming back from the pandemic, everyone is so busy getting right back into live events to the point it feels overwhelming. Trying to break through the clutter and ensure the investments that your partners are making with your property makes sense for them strategically has been a significant shift.

Q: Why did you choose SponsorPulse? 

Jess: I've actually been using SponsorPulse forever. I was first introduced when I initially joined the CFL. When I left and I worked at TELUS, a lot of the reports presented to us by properties were SponsorPulse reports. As well, at the NBA we would partner with SponsorPulse. 

To me, it’s industry best practice. It’s very important for me to be able to take our partners through the reports and share results and something I wanted to continue to do when I re-joined the CFL in 2020. 


Q: How did the Impact Report help your team bridge the reporting gap for internal and external stakeholders? 

Jess: The CFL is exploring the possibility of adding a 10th team to the league. Our “Touchdown Atlantic” initiative annually brings one regular season game to the East Coast where the league has gained solid data to help gauge the level of fan interest and support for a club based in Nova Scotia. 

Using SponsorPulse Impact Reports, we were able to measure the fandom ahead of that event and then after. It was incredible to see the direct impact that event had on fandom on the East Coast, and it was really surprising to see how much we over-indexed in younger fans compared to national fandom trends.

We also launched the “Women In Football” program in partnership with KPMG, which is a mentorship program where one woman joins the football operations department of each of the league’s nine member clubs.

We saw that women make up 40% of CFL fans in Canada, and among them, 37% of women are avid fans, a 9% YoY increase. 

Sports typically over-index in having male fans. In 2022, it was interesting to see that we increased in avid female fandom.

Q: How does SponsorPulse help your team achieve its objectives?

Jess: It’s a full 360 for us in terms of both our internal and external objectives being measured in one. We're also sharing the increases in awareness, favorability and purchase consideration with our partners to measure the effectiveness of their CFL programming.

We had a pretty great year last year in terms of new business development, so you can attribute that to the research that we were pulling and the partners that we were bringing in.

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