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.

Sponsorship Activation Monday 4.20.15

Navigate Research - Monday, April 20, 2015

Each Monday, we will share some great activation practices throughout the sports and entertainment landscape. This blog will serve as a space to highlight innovative ideas and campaigns. Want to have your idea or campaign featured? Send us a note on Twitter at @Navigate_Res

As one of the most anticipated fights in the history of boxing, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to take place in Las Vegas will be one of the most watched paid programs in history. Needless to say, it is no surprise sponsors were lined up for the opportunity to align with this historic matchup. For example, Manny Paquiao is to recieve $2.5M for his shorts sponsorship alone. However, it is the title sponsor, Tecate beer, that intends to capitalize on those viewers who can't buy an $8000+ ticket. And that doesn't include the airfare, of course. 

What are those fans without tickets doing? Likely at a bar or attending/hosting a fight night party to watch the historical match, but at a price of $100 for the fight. Tecate will attempt to decrease the cost by offering fans up to a $50 rebate on the game with proof of purchase of Tecate beer. They are, also, promoting their association to the fight with their #MyBoldOpinion digital campaign where fans can express who they believe will win the fight, as well as any other opinions they have on the matter. Tecate's clever digital campaign combined with their goal to reach those at-home viewers creates for an effective sponsorship of a fight that will be filled with numerous advertising messages.

In order for a sponsorship to be fully effective, it's important for to incorporate a variety of different tactics to not only make fans aware of their sponsorship, but to engage consumers with their brands. Tecate has achieved this by encouraging fans to purchase their product, title sponsoring one of the most watched paid programs in history, and engaging with fans via social media. The trifecta.

Sponsorship Activation Monday 4.13.15

Navigate Research - Monday, April 13, 2015

Each Monday, we will share some great activation practices throughout the sports and entertainment landscape. This blog will serve as a space to highlight innovative ideas and campaigns. Want to have your idea or campaign featured? Send us a note on Twitter at @Navigate_Res

With thousands of attendees over a 6-day festival, concert, and conference, South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX is a sponsor's ideal environment to engage with consumers. This year's sponsors included Miller Lite, AT&T, Esurance, McDonald's, and Capital One, to name a few. In order to standout in a clutter of sponsor messages, a brand must develop a clever and engaging activation that will resonate with attendees. Mobile battery case brand, Mophie, set themselves apart by allowing attendees to charge their phones while petting some irresistibly cute St. Bernards. 

Mophie targeted both the technological need and emotional strings of people by partnering with St. Bernard Rescue Foundation and assembling a team of St. Bernards to "save" phones from dying during the event. Mophie setup a lodge approximately 1 block away from the Austin Convention Center, where the friendly St. Bernards aniously awaited to be pet and called to duty. People were able to stop in to see the dogs and learn about the nonprofit foundation. 
So how did Mophie help people get their phones charged? Mophie utilized social media by having attendees within range of the lodge tweet a screenshot picture of their dying phone batteries to @mophie using #mophieRescue, as well as their current location. Chosen attendees received a tweet reply from Mophie with a link to a GPS-based interactive map that allowed them to view where the St. Bernard's location depicted by a dog icon on the screen. The dog, accompanied by a foundation volunteer, would then arrive with Mophie products to the attendees' location.

Mophie's ability to understand a need of SXSW attendees (dying phones) combined with their St. Bernard Rescue Foundation partnership made for a creative and memorable activation that engaged consumers while showcasing Mophie products. Oh, and people got to pet adorable puppies and dogs. What more could you want?

Coke Debuts "Drinkable Advertising"

Navigate Research - Monday, April 06, 2015
Each Monday, we will share some great activation practices throughout the sports and entertainment landscape. This blog will serve as a space to highlight innovative ideas and campaigns. Want to have your idea or campaign featured? Send us a note on Twitter at @Navigate_Res

It's no surprise the NCAA Men's Final Four advertising has been a hot topic of discussion amongst sports marketers the past couple weeks. Our last few blog posts have discussed various topics revolving around the marketing activity of NCAA sponsors during this year's March Madness Tournament. With the championship game finally arriving, we figured it calls for one last post on the topic of the Final Four featuring major NCAA sponsor, Coca-Cola

This passed week, Coca-Cola debuted what their calling "Drinkable Advertising" which consisted of a 26-by-36-foot billboard display at the March Madness Music Festival that dispensed free samples of Coke Zero. However, the drinkable advertising campaign doesn't stop there. During tonight's championship game, Coca-Cola will air commercials featuring that will allow viewers with the Shazam mobile app see Coke Zero poured on TV while a glass, also, fills up on their mobile devices. Once the digital glass on viewers' mobile device is full with Coke Zero, they will receive a free 20oz bottle of the drink. 

Coca-Cola has not only developed a first-of-its-kind sponsorship activation with a standard billboard that dispenses their product for consumers to try, but they have effectively tied in mobile and traditional television advertising all in one campaign. While many people are familiar with the Coke Zero product, avid original Coke drinkers may not care to try the healthier alternative. Coca-Cola's clever and creative campaign has compelled passionate basketball fans to not only interact with product both digitally and live, but encouraged them to sample their product with a free giveaway. While there are many successful NCAA sponsorship activations revolving around Final Four, Coca-Cola continues to make their presence known.

Big Hoops Means Big Bucks

Navigate Research - Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Written By: Mark Friederich 

We’re down to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. The last three games will feature three #1 seeds: Kentucky, Wisconsin and the Blue Devils of Duke, as well as a #7 seed: Michigan State. I am sure most of you would be able to name these Final Four. One or two of them may even be in your bracket. NCAA men’s basketball has become a hotbed for sponsors. Everything heats up around March Madness and culminates this weekend. Is March Madness starting to compete with the NFL’s Super Bowl as a sponsorship platform? Not quite, but...let’s examine the potential. 

 The NCAA Tournament features: 
• Three weeks of nearly continuous games (March 17-April 6 in 2015) 
• 68 teams to start with 
• Not just 68 teams, but 68 universities, with 68 alumni bases, including some of the largest educational institutions in the U.S. 
• That’s an educated, affluent and often youngish demographic 
• 3 billion tournament brackets (ok, I made that up) with participants from “experts” to “never-watched-a-basketball-game-in-my-life” 
• Delivered at a time of relative calm in the U.S. sports market 
• Nearly 21 million viewers watched last year’s title game paling against the approximately 114 million viewers of Super Bowl XLIX 


Corporate sponsors are many and include LG (as part of its Home Court Challenge, LG offers a trip to the Final Four), Enterprise Rent-a-Car is featuring employees who were once competitive college athletes in an effort to recruit college graduates, and car brands, including Buick and Infiniti. Turner Sports and CBS Sports have exclusivity to certain media rights, but for the first time in any sport, ESPN is streaming live March Madness games to Facebook. In general, March Madness sponsorship is dominated by automotive, financial services and telecom. The three corporate champions, AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola, are each paying about $35 million and more annually to align with the NCAA (not just men’s basketball, of course). 

Incidentally, would you be able to name the Final Four of the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Championship (the official Women’s March Madness name)? Well, UConn will face the Maryland Terps and Notre Dame will face South Carolina on April 5th, with the championship game on Tuesday, April 7th -- the concluding event of March Madness 2015. Did you have any of these four in your tournament bracket? Most unlikely since most of us don’t have a bracket for the women’s tournament. Most sponsors, I fear, feel the same way. Yet despite a much lower interest level, despite the absence of hype, despite the half-filled arenas (if even), smart sponsors will realize the targeted audience women’s basketball (or any women’s sport) can deliver at a much lower fee. For example, women’s basketball fans are typically younger, less affluent and more ethnically diverse than fans of men’s’ college basketball. I am certain there are plenty of brands who would love that kind of a target audience.