Navigate Research

Industry Insights

As the industry leader in evaluating and measuring marketing investments, Navigate has a wealth of knowledge in the sponsorship and marketing space. This blog shares our knowledge and insights on current events in the sports business, marketing and sponsorship worlds.

Navigate Research assists UC Berkeley in establishing most comprehensive banking partnership of its kind

Navigate Research - Friday, October 30, 2015

CHICAGO, IL – October 29, 2015 – The University of California, Berkeley UC Berkeley today announced it has selected Bank of the West as the Official Bank of UC Berkeley. The 10-year agreement is one of the most comprehensive agreements in the country, both in terms of the services provided and financial support. Navigate Research worked with UC Berkeley to align stakeholders across campus and provided research and analytics to value and build a partnership of this caliber. 

“Navigate has been a valuable partner throughout this entire process”, said Solly Fulp, Executive Director of University Business Partnerships & Services for UC Berkeley. “They assisted in creating a comprehensive university-banking partnership that addressed UC Berkeley’s priorities in student programming, brand alignment, campus services, and revenue support.”

For more specifics on the agreement, review the official press release here.

IU to get 81% hike in apparel revenue in Adidas deal

Navigate Research - Wednesday, August 19, 2015
IU to get 81% hike in apparel revenue in Adidas deal

via Indy Star

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana has extended its apparel contract with Adidas in a deal that will nearly double the company's annual payment to the Hoosiers from $3.7 million to $6.7 million, Director of Athletics Fred Glass confirmed to The Star on Monday.

According to IU, the deal worth $53.6 million over eight years is one of the five richest publicly known apparel deals in college athletics.

The deal will also help the Hoosiers ensure that "crimson and cream" are the same hues across all 24 IU sports.

According to a database compiled by the Portland Business Journal, that annual payout would rank the Hoosiers third nationally in apparel deals for the 2014-15 academic year, behind Michigan and UCLA.

"Adidas fits us well," Glass told The Star. "We've had a long relationship with them."

IU and Adidas have been partners in apparel over numerous spells in the department's history, their current deal dating to 2004. This extension will ensure that relationship continues through at least 2024, and it makes Indiana one of Adidas' most high-profile customers, after Michigan and Notre Dame defected for competitors in the last two years.

The deal will increase Adidas' annual payment to IU by 81 percent, allocate extra funds both parties can use for "co-marketing" and provide alternate uniforms and helmets for Indiana's football program. Adidas will also provide an optional alternate uniform for the Hoosiers' men's basketball program each year.

Glass said every IU program "will receive more apparel as a result of this deal."

Additionally, the Germany-based company will conduct a "full branding audit" of IU's uniforms and apparel, to ensure greater consistency in color and design.

While Glass emphasized that the audit "does not portend any significant changes," he said he is hopeful it can create a more uniform look within his department.

"I think we've improved on that over the years, but we're going to try and do that even better," Glass said. "Trying to get the colors right, we want to make sure we have that lined up."

As collegiate apparel deals have exploded financially in recent years, they have come to illustrate the status and power of individual programs' brands. Michigan's record-breaking 15-year, $169 million contract with Nike is the latest example.

Wanting to ensure due diligence in replacing the contract that expires after this academic year, Indiana reached out to Navigate Research, a sports and entertainment research and analysis company, to give the department a better idea of its relative value in the apparel market.

"They were invaluable in helping us to understand what the value (of IU's brand) was, and some things we could do to potentially increase the value of our association," Glass said. "I think having Navigate helped us understand the value of the brand, kind of literally and figuratively."

While Indiana was willing to listen to offers from Nike and Under Armour, the extension with Adidas — on improved terms — won out. The deal will further expand annual revenues, which climbed north of $84 million in Bloomington last year.

"Indiana, we like to pride ourselves on tradition, stability and a classic look," Glass said. "And I think all those things are really where Adidas fits in the marketplace."

Follow Star reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.

Ad Overkill: Is Too Much...Too Much?

Navigate Research - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

AdWeek recently released "3 Ad Campaigns That Got So Big, They Annoyed the Hell Out of Consumers.” Journalist Marty Swant picked a bone with the advertising industry in asking “how much is too much?” The goal of advertising is to create awareness and draw attention to a certain product, service or event. But what happens when consumers start to resent a brand or product due to ad overkill? AdWeek ranked the top three ad campaigns that beat the dead promo horse:

      1. Minions

The minions took over more than the box office. AdWeek exposed their dominance over “your bananas. Your deliveries. Your burgers. Your very breath.” The backlash ensued on many social media platforms including Twitter. 

2. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Leading up to the premiere of the movie, Ron Burgundy didn’t seem to stay too classy when it came to ad overload. From overpitched Dodge commercials to Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Burgundy seemed to be everywhere. Jonny Rose, head of content for the London-based content strategy agency Idio said, “the campaign was initially effective, and then veered toward being too saturated. [It] seemed to overcompensate for the actual film, which didn't win over as many fans as the first” (Adweek).

3. Game of War 

If you don’t recall, Game of War is the mobile game that somehow mustered supermodel Kate Upton as the eye-catching face of the ad campaign. It’s hard believe that the idolized supermodel would turn superfluous, but Game of War ads on Youtube, TV and Snapchat seemed to get a bit stale to users after a while. 

Image from

Rose says that “campaigns need to be looking not just at how creative they can be, but also at the data before, after and especially during a campaign to see which strategies are bothering an audience and which are well received” (AdWeek).

However, is there really such thing as bad publicity? According to PR News, negativity captures users' attention over 30% better than positive messages. The Game of War app is now one of the top-grossing mobile games in the world and the Minion takeover has assembled a 32 million Facebook following as well as a close to first opening-weekend box office record. So maybe the remarkably overdone ad campaigns are effective marketing strategies. After all, in the words of the lyrical Oscar Wilde, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” 

Image from

University Business – “The Tempo of Change”

Navigate Research - Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Written by Jackie Schetter

Last week was the annual meeting for NACUBO, the National Association for College and University Business Officers.  “The Tempo of Change” was a very fitting title considering the number of challenges and changes on the horizon within higher education.  The keynote and opening speaker was Dan Heath, author of ‘Made to Stick’ and Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Case Center. 

Heath addressed the theme of change by acknowledging how change can be difficult to handle on a university campus.  Universities have been responsible for revolutionary innovations such as the polio vaccine, seat belts, rocket fuel, and pace makers. Yet, when it comes to making business decisions or institutional changes, the status quo remains in the comfort zone. 

Heath’s advised to broach change by breaking it up into three manageable steps: 

1) Identifying a problem and a plan of action to address it

This is actually the easiest step.  Administrators are fully capable of creating dynamic, well-thought out and well-presented plans.  For example, the University determined the need to reduce energy expenditures and identified a variety of cost-cutting alternatives.  Many schools may do this every day and no one knows about it. 

 2) Finding an emotional connection between the problem and the solution

This is the missing link.  The emotional response is what creates the motivation that will be the difference maker in pushing a plan into action.  At the University of California, Berkeley, the schools energy problem was met with a solution that had an emotional motivator.  Cal partnered with a solar energy company that made a long term commitment to help identify opportunities for change, while also donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the University. The donations went toward enhancing the student experience through educational programming and scholarship opportunities, prompting the University to invest in solar. Something that may have taken years to pull the trigger on is now in put into action.

3) Providing a clear path to success

Health’s final step was to provide a clear path to success after the decision is made to move forward with change.  Other NACUBO topics from a variety of industry experts included the concept of creating a $10,000 degree option, in order to keep up with the changing climate and availability of alternative forms of higher education.  Additionally, outsourcing services that are not a proficiency of the University or part of its core mission are good approaches, such as maintenance, landscaping, and food service.

Overall it was an informative and interesting week. There were many opportunities to share insights with several expert administrators who unanimously agreed on one thing: change is needed. And if you are not ahead, you are behind.