Webinar: Top Sponsorship Consumer Trends For 2022

SponsorPulse Staff
  • May 24, 2022
  • SponsorPulse Staff
How do brands determine which sponsorship opportunities are best suited to deliver on their objectives? How do properties demonstrate their true value to partners? Join SponsorPulse CRO, Neal Covant, as he answers the questions above by breaking down the latest consumer trends in the world of sponsorship.
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The benefits of sponsorship marketing are widely known – the opportunity to add value, connect with, and influence a consumer when their passion is at its highest.

Welcome everybody. We started with our sizzle reel to give you some sense of what we're about to talk about here and it's probably a little bit more animated than I can be when talking about the metrics that we're going to show you when it comes to trending of the industry and some of the insights that we've seen over the past two years in the industry.

One thing from a housekeeping perspective is please do ask questions. My colleague, Eddie Siddani is here as well. He'll be jumping in towards the end for a Q and A session. So please type in your questions and we will get to as many as we can. Towards the end of the presentation. So without further ado, let's start the webinar to begin with as you can see here, and you'd been screaming staring at for the past minute we're going to talk about the noise that exist in the sponsorship industry. And any time we talk about or make the statement that the industry is noisy, I have yet to hear anybody disagree with that statement. We recognize this, we know it as an industry and we know it because we're faced with all of these challenges that we're about to see and I'll just build up the whole slide, any conversation that we've had over the past decade or so when it comes to sponsorship and continue to have with our clients, be it property side, agency side, or client side.

There are always conversation and talk tracks around any one of these things questioning about the data and whether or not the data is right, because there's an inconsistency of what's being said, there's a lot of companies out there promoting their data and being data companies and talking about simplifying, which is just actually adding to confusion.

There's fear of missing out. When we talk about some of the properties and opportunities that we know are emerging. And are starting to become bigger and we'll talk about those types of just in just a second. A lot of brands are stepping back and say, I got to jump into this. Is it right for me? Those types of talk tracks.

There's fear of being involved. When a property, let's say you're associated with a sports team, isn't performing as well as it once was we start to step back and say, oh, should we be doing anything? We have another three years in their agreement, but maybe we'll stop. And then there's the internal politics the CEO's kid plays the sport. All of a sudden, let's say it's Teeball there. They decided to go all in with baseball globally. Tackle grassroots as well as major league, as well as amateur league. And those types of things and all of this is leading to uncertainty.

And for a matter of fact, lack of transparency. And we're going to talk a lot about that as we go forward in the presentation, but to begin with what Sponsopulse was born out of. So when we are asked about our, why our, why is to turn down the. Turn down the volume of all of that complexity that we're starting to see.

And we do that by turning up the voice of the consumer. So really focusing on people and what matters to people, and asking people about not only what matters to them, but how successful certain sponsorships have been and why those sponsorships are successful. So that's the lens that we bring in the decision-making and the decision making process.

And we do that by bringing it back to the industry and focusing exclusively on sponsorship, not trying to be a million other things. But being all about sponsorship across that entire journey of sponsorship decision making and consumers allow us to help counsel on that by first understanding what's going on.

So we're going to now focus the rest of the webinar on what that means. So everything you're about to see is from a consumer perspective predominantly in the United States talking to thousands of consumers there, but we also have some global lens. Okay. So let's start to dig through and cut through the noise.

Beginning with the inevitable first question that's on everybody's mind and continues to be on everybody's mind is how has COVID, how has COVID impact the sponsorship performance and how is it continuing to impact sponsorship performance? So let's talk a little bit about that again, having the consumer in mind, if we look at some of the, the news articles that you know were around starting two and a half years ago and continue into today.

We are all as sponsorship professionals stepping back and kind of scratching our heads saying, I think we're in trouble. The articles that are coming out to some extent are saying we're down, we're down for the count sponsorship. As we know it today is in serious trouble. Those types of soundbites and storylines are coming out of the news every single day.

But again, that's why you got to step back and reflect and ask the right questions to those who are driving sponsorship. Which are consumers, which are people, if people aren't purchasing or being impacted as a result, the sponsorship, sponsorship's not going to work. If they are, it's going to work very well.

So we looked at the United States and we'd be measuring the impact of various marketing tactics and strategies, sponsorship being one of them since well, before the pandemic. So the point here you see is 36% of Americans prior to the pandemic. So in February, 2020, so the pandemic was there, but prior to it hitting in north America in a very similar, in a very serious manner, 36% said that they had purchased over the past year as a result of sponsorship related activities.

Okay. In 2020 for the remainder of 2020, that number dropped to 34%. So it's not a drastic swing. It's not a drastic drop, but a couple percentage point is a hundreds thousands of consumers in the U S specifically close to a million who are not being impacted, or we're less likely to be impacted by sponsorship during the heat of the pandemic. Fast forward to last year 2021 and that number has actually grown as you can see here to 43%. So again, you know, you talked about head-scratching, many of us are probably thinking about really it's improved since 2020. The answer is yes, it has improved consumers are more likely today prior to pre pandemic to be impacted by a sponsorship initiative.

And we're going to make sense of that as we go through the remainder of the presentation, by bringing up some of the things that are happening in our industry and why that number is where it is today. To begin with a lot of people might be questioning well. Is that just one segment of consumers? Is that everybody?

The reality is that growth is coming from everybody in all cohorts. So anybody from gen Z all the way to boomers are more likely to be impacted by a sponsorship initiative today. Then they were pre pandemic, stronger momentum with the gen Z millennial and even gen X group, but still momentum across the board.

So we know we're not out of the woods. We know that as an industry we are still being faced with challenges each and every day, whether it COVID or non COVID related activities, but we as an industry, continue to weather the storm by reinventing and innovating and like ultimately what we're doing and we're going to talk alot about. We're paying more attention to people and what matters to people and what people are passionate about. And we're building our strategies and plans around that, which is exactly what we need to do to continue to see the growth. So let's talk about what some of those passion points are and where we're seeing growth.

Sponsorship is a game of momentum. Let's talk about who has momentum and who seen the greatest gains and growth. We're going to start with the statement about the NFL in the U S just to paint a picture for how big, big is. NFL in the US is the juggernaut. It's the number one property across sports cause culture, lifestyle, entertainment, anything you can think of in our database of thousands and thousands of different properties and sponsorable assets, the NFL is number one in the US.

So how big is the NFL and what does that mean from a ceiling perspective? If you look at the number of fans, those who have engaged in the league in the past year, 131 million Americans have done. So 76 million do so on a weekly basis, 49 million say that their interest in the NFL is growing 69 million are excited about the NFL when they're exposed to it or when they're watching it, or when they're at a game. Thirty six million are passionate, and from a sponsorship impact, potential 26 million or more consumers would be impacted by a brand associating themselves with the NFL, that's prior to activation. That's just the association and the impact that the NFL can have on on behalf of. So those are all best in class, on all counts for all metrics across the board.

So that's how big, big is, but that doesn't mean that the NFL is continuing that growth and continuing that momentum, it becomes harder to do so when you are number one, well, let's look at some of the properties that are and where the NFL sits in terms of going back and looking at momentum and engagement from 2019 to 2020.

The NFL number one, property, not the number one fastest growing property. It's actually lost a little bit of steam. Again, not substantial, not significant to the tune of 3%, but still hundreds of thousands of consumers, less engaged versus two years ago. Some of the bigger properties like the NFL MLB and the NHL also in the states, not the fastest growing properties.

When we look at the fastest growing properties. Well, sorry about that. And the ones that I've seen, the most momentum, you can kind of theme it out in three or four different areas. So if you look at this list, this is a list of the fastest growing women's professional sports. You see a lot of them on this list.

We're going to talk more about that. Again, some of these are ones that we know and see every day, some of these are ones that are probably new information. NASCAR and formula one racing. We're going to talk about that in that growth and what that means for the industry. And just the second as well. Topping the list third is, is e-sports, but the top two of the list are combat sports, UFC and boxing, here's where, you know, I can't see the audience cause we're on a webinar, but we usually, when we present this light in front of an audience, we get the Ahh really.

And yes, those are the two fastest growing sports in the United States. And we're going to talk about why that is on the next few slides. Starting with Jake Paul and his brother Logan, Paul. I think that most of us, or many of us are familiar with these two and what they're doing in the boxing world, as well as outside the boxing world, Mike Tyson is certainly intrigued by what they're doing.

He had some choice words to say what he thought about them from a personality perspective, but he went on to talk about what they're doing for the sport and what he said I'm not going to read the quote, but essentially what he said. You know, the UFC was kicking our butt. These two came in and whether I like them or not, whether, you know, I would have a beer with them or not, they're doing wonderful things for the sport.

So we went in to discover whether or not that's true and if this did have an influence on the growth of boxing from a momentum perspective, because we know momentum. We know, momentum's there from a boxing perspective versus two years ago on not only engagement. So the number of people that are coming into within the fold of boxing, but also on how frequently they're watching or exposed to boxing and from a sponsorship benefit perspective, they're more likely to be impacted than they once were as a result of a brand associating with boxing.

What's very important though, is to not only recognize what's trending and what's growing, but then to step back and say, just because something's growing, does that mean it's the right opportunity for my brand and the starting point of discovering that is looking at who the sport is growing as strongest way.

So from a demographic perspective which is probably closely aligned with the fan base of the Paul brothers. It's 19 to 39 year old affluent males. Those are the ones who are, have gained the most momentum with boxing. And those are the ones that are most engaged with boxing. So that's the first step.

And as a brand, you step back and say, okay, if you're missing out, going back to that talk track that we had earlier am I really missing out? Is this the right audience for my brand? If it is, let's start digging a little bit deeper. If it's not, we can move on just because it's growing. It doesn't mean it's the right one for us.

So to go a little bit deeper. What we also look at is brand users and brand purchasers, and who the opportunity would be strongest with. This probably is one of my favorite slides in the entire presentation, because I just find it funny. If you look at. Some of the brand users that would be most impacted by an association with boxing and you look at the Paul brothers and you look at the demographics of who's most engaged. A lot of them make sense, you know, Axe, Old spice, EA sports to some extent, Tesla, Sony, those types of things. Right. But then Huggies makes its way in. Which is when we talk about some of the trends it's recognizing what else sports fans, boxing fans are doing. They have babies, they're sitting in a room with their buddies, watching a boxing match and one guy says to the other guy, you gotta be quiet. Cause my baby's sleeping. And eventually I'm going to have to go get the Huggies diapers and change that baby. That is what's happening and those are the opportunities. That you know, we might not think of off the bat, but they do exist and having the right insight and the right data to support that helps us make those more informed and better decisions. So let's move away from the Paul brothers. We can hit them back later on social media, but let's now move towards what's next in the growth of women's sports and women's professional sports specifically.

Okay. Huge strides. I think we all see it. We all know it. We all love it. We all know it's about time. Huge strides are being made in women's sports. The excitement was always there. The passion was always there and now it's being recognized on a global level, but again, we're going to move back and start talking about United States. In this instance, if you look at the properties from a women's sports perspective that we have some of the ones that we have, there are sixof them in our database. Earlier, I showed you that not all properties are trending upward over the past two years. All of the women's properties that you see here have been trending upwards driven by and led by the WNBA, but huge strides across the board all the way to the Premier Hockey Federation in the youth, in the United States.

Let's talk specifically about that women's property in the United States women's sports property that is gaining the most momentum, the WNBA you know, recently announced that they were given 75 million to help grow the sport sponsorship dollars are going to help grow the sport as well and get them to the level that they're deserved to be at.

Because again, the fan base is now starting to come and is there more than it ever was before? So let's look at what that means and who that fan base is. Again, going back to your first point of discovery, which is who's driving that fan base. It isn't women, it's men across all age groups. Men are the most likely to be engaged with and following the WNBA most intently, that is the audience that is strongest for the WNBA today.

Okay. And it is being compared to other properties that are. Male professional sports and properties that have been around for quite some time. So if you look at there's two bars here, so just bear with me with me while I explain my way out of this one, the green bar is engagement. So for lack of better words, that's fandom. Okay. Yes the WNBA is yet to reach levels of fandom of say the NFL, MLB, NBA and so on and so forth. It's approaching levels of the NHL in the US. And it's nearly at levels of MLS in the us. The next thing we look at though, is amongst that engaged base, how many of them can be impacted by an association through sponsorship?

And here's where the WNBA starts to kind of trend ahead of some of those major properties and approach NFL levels. It's not that there are as many people you can see by engagement. There are more people with the NFL, but amongst that universe of people that are following the WNBA, they are a passionate group and passion leads to impact. Now brands have a responsibility, as well as properties, working with brands to help find the best activation strategy to drive that impact and make the most of that impact potential. But the WNBA fan base, because of how passionate it is, their sponsors are going to benefit from being able to impact those to the same degree than say the NFL would from a proportionate standpoint.

But again, we mentioned earlier, yes. The WNBA is growing. It is strong. It is where it should be. It is competing now with some of those major properties that you saw earlier. It makes most sense or a lot of sense for many categories to consider associating themselves and not for all here are the top five category purchasers that would be impacted by a WNBA sponsor. We have hundreds in our platform. I can tell you that many of them would make sense. Many of them are strong and leading, but not all of them. So if your category is amongst that bottom third, that's something that, again, you need to step back and say, okay, I might not be right for the WNBA. If your categories within that top tier, like these ones, then we should definitely start thinking a little bit more about it in the opportunity because it connects with our purchasers and our consumers, right? Not because it's growing, but because it's growing and strong with the right people for our brand.

How do we compete and recruit new audiences, enter F1, racing, OTT. That's the conversation that we're going to have right now. But to step back, because again, we all recognize what's going on. Many of us probably recognize what's happening on those fronts, but to step back, we need to recognize where it's coming from and why we're doing better at leveraging some of these channels or new channels to drive sponsorship investments and impact.

So where that's coming from is we're getting better at recognizing that a sports fan for example isn't just a sports fan. They're also gaming. They're also traveling. They're also following entertainment. Comedy restaurants causes all of those things. The point is they have passion points well beyond sport. So what we are getting better at is recognizing that that exists and bringing these two or three together to make a better experience for that fan, for that person, for that experience.

The one we're going to talk about today is on the reality TV, front. Seventy percent, so nearly three in four sports fans follow and watch reality TV. That is a big number. They are a big audience for the reality TV. That's where the OTT structure and strategy starts to make sense is not because it's a new vertical, but because it's a new vertical, that's connecting with the right people.

So. If you look at that point, and proving out that point, subscribers of each of those below, then all Netflix to Disney plus the apple TV, those types of things are much more likely to be fans of each of the leagues we have listed there than the general population. So their audience is into sports. They're into other things as well, but they're very much into sports. So now we can start saying, all right, there's an overlap there from a passion point. Now we can start thinking about the strategy to connect that.

Drive, to survive. It's not the first one that came out. It's the one that is probably at this point, most popular. So we're going to dive into that. Each and every day, some of these new ventures are coming out and we're hearing about tennis coming in. We're hearing about golf coming in, similar to the drive, to survive format. We're hearing about again, many of these coming in each and every day because the recipe works and it's obviously recognized that it works otherwise they wouldn't be doing it each and every year. And then thinking about new opportunities and properties to bring into the mix in this world.

We look to see how well it's working by, again, going back to the consumer. If you look globally at F1 and momentum of F1, which we're going to show exists in F1 has grown. We already showed it earlier. We step back and say, okay, is that momentum coming from Netflix users to a higher degree than it is everybody else?

And the answer is across the board. It is. So that's our  first proof point to say, or demonstrate that this strategy is working because it's working best with the audience that it's most exposed to. Okay. And that is again true from North America to Europe and all the way across the board. We then looked at the opportunity of F1. So something's growing the sport is growing. Does that mean sponsorship impact and potential is growing with it? The first answer is yes. You can see that by the trajectory going all the way up and funny enough, that trajectory started going up when a drive to survive was introduced. So again, now we have a couple of checkmarks. Which is yes, the sport is growing. So it helped overall for the sport, but sponsorships can benefit from it as well because we're measuring and tracking success of sponsorship potential. And we're seeing that trend in a very similar way.

Coming back to the Why and we're going to talk probably about this two or three more times. So forgive me, but it's an important one. The why is the connection? The, why is the thinking of not just silo to what I'm doing today, the sport and that's it. And everything has to be about that. It's recognizing that people care about other things at the end of the day, sponsors that are going to be most successful and for matter of fact, properties that are gonna be most successful are going to deliver an experience that people want. To do that sometimes we need to think outside of. Our own world is and about what they care about and love. If it's not authentic and it doesn't fit, it doesn't mean you got to do it regardless. It has to fit, and it has to be authentic. But if you can do it in an authentic, in a way that does fit and bring in other passion points into your world, that would be an is, the recipe for success. And if we think back. And look at what sponsors and properties are doing over the past couple of years, since COVID hit and reinventing and innovating.

A lot of it surrounds that. And that's why we're seeing impact the sponsorship grow past levels because we're getting better at connecting with people and delivering what matters to people. So what's all the rage with crypto and sports betting. We left this for the middle of the presentation because we wanted to kind of tease it out.

We know it's probably top of mind for many. So let's talk a little bit about each one of those. Crypto brands. I don't have to make the statement to the crowd. I think we all know it. I think we all see it every day. The amount of money that's being poured in by crypto brands to sponsorship specifically in sports and in all areas. It is happening at very high degrees in an, it is happening with a lot of investment in dollars, put behind it. 

Crypto buyers and potential buyers. Those were in the market to buy crypto currency are sports fans undeniably. We can show you in many different ways where they over-index, what they're passionate about. What we put up here are the top six teams that lead from an over index or passion perspective with cryptocurrency purchasers, but there are hundreds more. So the very first thing we went out to do is to see, okay, is it the right place for investment in sports is certainly outright ways, not the only, but a right place for investment based on the fact that sports is delivering, those were in the market for crypto. So the right audience. 

But as you can see is probably a trend coming in the out opportunity and that delivery of the right person will vary and vary fairly drastically. We have a high of 71 and a low of 17. That's a big swing on opportunity for crypto brands to connect with their best purchasers through hundreds of different sporting opportunities. The ones we have outlined here are best in class. UFC again, is kind of, you know, they're in the mix as well. Probably surprise to many. It came up earlier as the top ring momentum it's here today as well, but it doesn't mean that all sports properties are the best fitting for crypto and should be considered from the crypto category perspective.

The other thing we need to recognize and again, I mentioned it would come back a couple of times I asked for forgiveness earlier. So now I'm just going to go ahead and talk to it is. Crypto buyers, are those in the market to purchase crypto? Aren't just sports fans. If you look over here at this slide, they are also fans and we're just taking music as an example, you can do this same slide for cause culture, lifestyle, other entertainment, sources, those types of things, but they are. Invested in music, invested in a music award show, invested in festivals. They aren't just exclusively sports fans. They are fans of entertainment. Okay. And we see that coming through through music. So if I'm stepping back to start to think about, okay, why are you showing me this slide sponsorpulse and what does it mean for me? If you're a sports property, it means you got to think that crypto companies are going to recognize this and start to also think about other forms or ways that they can start to address and talk to their best customers. As well as if you are a sports property, you can also think about ways that you can help bring crypto brand sponsorships to life through other channels that they care about and are passionate about and if you're a crypto company, out there this hopefully sheds light on there are other opportunities outside of sport to connect with your best customers. 

Sports properties do deliver on average, higher impact than top music properties with cryptocurrencies, but both are strong and both are hot. And here's where the investment level is going to come into play. What's the right investment for me to be with a music property versus a sports property, given that now I know impacts lessened, but it's still strong. It's not half. So should I be spending twice as much? Those are the types of conversations that you can have from a negotiation perspective, with the right insights, right insights being, are people going to buy or care about me because I'm here, I'm going to be spending against those people. So I need to spend the right amount per person on those fronts.

Shift to sports betting again like crypto it's everywhere. You can watch any game pretty much for any league and you can see up to six or seven different sports betting brands in north America. Coming in and trying to talk to you all at once. Okay. Same property they're on the board. They have commercials, the one is the official, the other ones here, like they're everywhere and they are investing funds into sponsorship. Is it working? What's the end result is the next question. 

So number one some of the regulations that have been lifted and what's happening from a sports betting perspective is helping lift all tides from a sports property perspective. You see much more momentum in all of these leagues, plus many others that aren't on this slide with sports bettors. So they are becoming more intrigued and following sports properties, more intently as a result of what's going on in the marketplace. So that's number one is it's helping properties is helping build fan bases. Okay. That's our first point. 

When you look at impact though, and I mentioned that you can see up to five or six different sports brands shouting at you and watching the same game, same match. Whatever it is. There's a huge swing on ones that are doing a good job, connecting with people in the right way becoming known. So from a sponsorship awareness perspective, driving brand favorability for their brand and driving people to consider purchasing their brand or using their brand where they would not have otherwise, versus those who are not. So those are the swings top and awareness. The difference between the best and the worst and there's many case studies that we went out and measured for sports betting brands, across many different properties, 49% swing, 32% swing, 11% swing and not all of the ones in the top are the most well-known strongest shareholders from a brand perspective. Many of those were actually in that bottom profile. Okay. So you look at this and you're like, all right, that's great to know, like some are working some aren't, but why like, what do I do? Or what can I do to be the plus 49 or to be the plus 32 or to be the plus 11. 

And that is what we're going to transition to. And I keep looking this way, cause there's a light in my eye. I apologize. I should be looking here. That's what we're going to transition to, to start talking about from an activation perspective and how do we bring our partnerships to light in a meaningful and relevant way. That's going to matter to people, connect with them on emotional fronts, charge them to want to be with us by us, feel better towards us.

So the first thing to recognize is on field on court on ice performance matters, but not always from a sponsorship impact potential. If you look at this case study, this is the NBA in Canada, and the top bar is engagement. And the bottom bar is sponsorship impact potential. When the raptors won the championship fandom went up it spiked they had more people following as time went on.

COVID hit things happen. It went down, not drastically, still at higher levels than we saw it was at in 2018. But fandom overall went down so less. Yes. But if you look at the interesting part, which is the green line, which is sponsorship impact and impact potential can a partnership with the NBA in Canada drive people to want to buy a brand. That number is gone up and consistently up, despite the loss of engagement. That is because that fan base that is still, there is very much engaged with the property and the brands that are connecting with them are taking advantage of how passionate they are and doing things in the right and best ways and that's how they maintain and even grow impact potential despite losing performance or losing season. Raptors still good, made the playoffs, but didn't win the championship. Their partners are still benefiting, not all, but the ones who are doing things right. 

Flip that to this season we looked at, I think it was about 15 different NBA teams and we measured partners of each of those NBA teams in the United States and we measured them on awareness favourability and consideration. The green are the top performing teams. So those were, that were kind of best in class from a standings perspective. And the blue are those that were less. So didn't make the playoffs, those types of things. The impact is pretty much the same. There's some loss on the losing side of teams from a consideration perspective, not much not drastic, not significant, but about the same brand enhancement in the same awareness levels. So another point to go in and demonstrate that if a team or it doesn't even have to be in sports, if a property or a music property isn't performing the way it once was. That doesn't mean we can't still take full advantage of who's with it and convert that to a better degree into people wanting to be with us. Now, let's talk about what that recipe looks like and how we do that and some of the things that we need to think about when developing the right strategy. So. It starts with the recognition of the different tiers, but not tiers of like tier one sponsorship because I'm spending this, tier two because I'm spending that, the different tiers in ways in which we are connecting with or can connect with certain audiences.

So the difference between associative, demonstrative, and celebrative. Associated tactics and strategies are ones where we just put our brand somewhere on the property. Okay and that is going to get you impact because you're associating with something that that fan base loves. So having your logo on ice or having your logo on the rink boards, or having your locals on the court, LEDs, those types of things, our brand is there it's present. We're sharing equity with something, somebody loves, we're getting credit for it, but we're not getting as much credit until we actually start to demonstrate that we are also fans of that property. We bring them, we being a brand, brings that property into their house, leveraging players in the right way, putting the brand logo on the product, standing out and saying, I am a fan. And because I'm a fan, I'm going to demonstrate that and show you that like bringing their world into mind in addition to only bringing my world into theirs. The celebration part is when we actually make somebody's experience better, someone being a consumer. We talk about ways to do that. It can be a promotion, it can be a contest. It can be an experiential activation. But it also can be a causal integration and a causal association. It also can be something that brings a music concert into the sports world and does things in a cool way that benefits everybody when they're there and has everybody having a better time. The point is we're now going from demonstration to celebrating with people and making their experience better and that all starts with people in recognizing what people want and care about and delivering on that. That is the best and most important thing you need to do to be successful. And that shows you what I just talked about with a cruel animatic of an arrow. 

Let's just look quickly at some of the leading activations that we've seen over the past few months. There are a lot of them. These are the ones that we've selected. Atlanta Braves and these Xfinity rooftops. So again, giving people that luxury experience, Absolute and Coachella, the metaverse, if you haven't heard about this highly recommend that you go and look it up. So what Absolute had done is they had an activation at Coachella. They introduced the metaverse into it. I still am unfamiliar with the metaverse, but more so than I ever was. But they essentially made the experience. And what was happening on site the same for anybody where you can go in and have an Absolute shot with somebody in this virtual world, Buffalo bills and Pepsi. I think we all know and can appreciate the Buffalo bills fan base and the mafia. Pepsi told stories about each of them. So they integrated that storyline about that passion point and brought it to life by telling stories of various Bills mafia members, TD and the blue Jays, the ATM machine. Not sure if you've seen this, but they've integrated their product, but into the sport and into baseball. So when Springer and ACE step up to the bank machine and the ATM and clicked the numbers. It starts playing. It's not taking me out to the volume, but some tune with baseball and McDonald's in the raptors. McDonald brought grimace back. I'm not sure how many are of my age, but I remember grimace, loved grimace. They had grimace playing ACE, the raptor, they did something that was new and different and relevant to many people. Scotia bank and the NHL Canada's hockey. And then Los Angeles Rams and sleep number, sleep number gave beds to Rams players to make sure they had a more comfortable sleep prior to each playoff game and then the super bowl. So again, just ideas for thought-starters of how to bring a partnership to life and connect with that fan base in a relevant and compelling way. And we'll take a look at the time here we are running out of time. 

So I'm going to speed up cutting through the noise and sponsorship. First recognize the benefits of sponsorship and where sponsorship is most powerful when done right.

Comparing it to traditional media rarely competes on awareness and the megaphone sounding horn, although it can, but where it outperforms. Not always, but when done. Right. And always when done right, is on demonstration of a brand's benefits and connecting people again in relevant ways to the point that they actually understand your message, not just that you have a message, big difference there as well as then impacting them because they understand what you're talking about and provided it's relevant and it means something to them. They are more likely to be impacted. 

Which is why in everything we do to identify those areas of opportunity to identify whether something or nots working and to identify how to get something, to work as hard as it can for you. We use the consumer's voice to help us do that.

And we lean into. That is it for the presentation? One thing I will mention is this is a US version for those in the audience that are Canadian. We have a Canadian report coming. That's like this, but with Canadian insights and data, we will share that out as well. And now I will open the floor. I'll let Eddie jump in and we will open the floor to any questions.

Thanks for the presentation, Neil, that was a fantastic, a lot of good insight there to take away. As you mentioned you know, we are getting close to the end, so I will be quick with some of these questions to everyone who asked in the in the question, the Q and A section. Thank you so much. We got a lot of good ones here, so right off the bat, and none of them are easy for you, either Neil.

So I hope you're prepared. I think we're out of time, but off the bat. What is the number one mistake that brands, properties and agencies are making today in the sponsorship industry? 

Again, I'm going to bring that back to everything we've talked about, which is not knowing your consumer, trying to force what you want, your message to be and think your message should be into a world of that it might not be receptive to. So not thinking first about the fan or the person, but thinking first about yourself and your agenda and what you need to get across. I think that, that, again, based on experience, that's a mistake. I don't see it. So it's the one that we see most often. So that would be the context of how I answered that. 

Yeah, no, that's a good answer. And I wholeheartedly agree. Another good one based on the current trend, at what point do you see the NBA surpassing MLB in terms of overall fandom and engagement in the U S. ?

I, I, I can't answer that. At least not to the extent that I want to put my tush on the line for but again, I don't know. I mean, anything can happen if the MLB can find what they're trying to find, which is a way to rejuvenate the fan base. Re-energize the sport, give back to something meaningful. They can start their trend upwards as well. The NBA's doing it. So they're headed in the right direction. At what point they catch or surpass MLB is really up to how quickly MLB can figure it out. And I don't know if it's, it's not the, I don't have the answer, but that would be the context. . 

Awesome, moving along when you reflect on the sponsorship landscape, where do you think the industry is? As of right now.

Man, these are good questions. That's an interesting, we just finished this state of sponsorship study where we talked to professionals. So it's, this is a little bit of an easier, easier in that I know the voice of. And we'll be sharing that out eventually as well, but. From a professional's perspective, we think the industry is healthy and by healthy we know that there's investments that are coming our ways new brands, new categories, new industries that are starting to make the most of sponsorship and a lot of good recognition that sponsorship is an impactful part of the marketing strategy. And. Okay, so that's number one. The flip side of that, which is a challenge is it's also being played back that there skepticism around the lack of transparency, colleague and friend front of mine. Adam Mitchell puts it as the sponsorship industry being kind of a house of cards and one card away because there's, there are so many people that are saying, yeah, it's healthy, but I have no idea what's going on. There's the metaverse there's crypto coming in. They're spending big money. Am I going to have to spend that big of money? What's going to happen with that? Nobody's really spending the same, but I don't know what, so we're confused. A lot of ambiguity and I think that we're a little bit nervous for what it all means. And we are looking for that one, common, just transparent, let's talk about it. Like it is as an industry voice. And without that, we're going to be in trouble because the confusion is going to continue to. 

Yeah, no, that's good. That's a good answer. And we talk about it a lot. But it is 1 45. So Neil, I'm going to pass things back over to you to wrap it up. 

All right. Thank you everybody. There's not much to wrap up other than to say thank you for attending. We will send this out. We will make the Canadian version available as well. As well as we'll share this data sponsorship survey with people in the results with people when those become available, but for now, thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of the day.