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 3.23.15

Navigate Research - Monday, March 23, 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 the multiple ways fans are now interacting with their favorite sports teams, it is no surprise sponsors are turning to digital activations. According to a study by GMR Marketing, 83% of fans are on social media sites. Due to this high activity, both brand sponsors and sports properties are beginning to utilize the digital space through digital lounges, stadium apps, and integrating RFID.  

A recent story by Rachel Kirkpatrick at Event Marketer shares these trends and highlights examples (summarized below).

This past NFL season, Bud Light sponsored a social media lounge at the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field where fans could virtually practice their field goal kicking skills. Additionally, real-time tweets using Redskins and Bud Light hashtags were posted on a screen, allowing fans to see their interactions. Yahoo! has also created a lounge at Levi's Stadium where fans can follow fantasy leader boards. Due to the increasing popularity in fantasy sports, brands are beginning to incorporate fantasy stats in a variety of different activations.

Stadiums have also began to incorporate the use of digital in their fans' experiences. At Levi Stadium, fans can get food and drinks delivered to their seats, as well as see how long the bathroom lines are before getting up with the Levi Stadium App. This technology enhances the overall experience for fans at sporting events. 

In addition to the numerous phone apps created, brands have also begun to experiment with RFID technology. RFID wristbands were used at the Ryder's Cup Europe where results are immediately recorded and users could easily navigate through numerous social media touch points and several activations. For example, wearers could request to test drive a BMW car by simply tapping their wristband. The band could also be used as a form of payment allowing for easy transactions for attendees. 

The digital space in sponsorship activations will only continue to expand. In order for brands, teams, and properties to continue to effectively engage with consumers, particularly sports fans, they will likely have to begin utilizing a variety of digital platforms. 

(Story Credit: Event Marketer -

Sponsorship Activation Monday - 2.23.15

Navigate Research - Monday, February 23, 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. 

During the final game at Sun Life Stadium, the Miami Dolphins tested a new in-seat beer delivery system. Fans were able to tweet a message through the mobile app “Tweet-A-Beer,” to have a beer delivered to their seat. The Dolphins partnered with Anheuser-Busch, Twitter, their concessionaire Centerplate and tech company Appetize to create the unique marketing effort. 

The program is still being rolled out, but during that final game against the Jets, fans in specific sections were able to tweet @beerme with their drink of choice and exact seat location. Hawkers then delivered a beer to that fan – right to their seat. 

Centerplate had three hawkers who delivered the beers and fans were able to pay with either cash or credit card. There was no extra fee or charge for ordering your beer through Tweet-a-Beer, which made consumers very happy. @beerme’s Twitter timeline reflected nothing but positive feedback. 

These in-stadium food and beverage delivery systems are becoming more and more popular among professional sports teams. The San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium rolled out a mobile app which allows fans to have food and drinks delivered to their seat. The Levi’s® Stadium mobile app not only works with concessions, but it’s also able to tell fans what bathroom line is the longest, or shortest. 

These mobile apps are a great way to interact with your fans and consumers, so it’s not surprising that more apps are becoming available that are dedicated to providing fans with in-seat deliveries: Yorder, Bypass and Snagmobile are three of the most popular. 

Stadiums are trying to become more of an all-around experience, rather than just a sporting event, and partnering with these fan-centered apps are a good way to get started.


Are Super Bowl Ads Worth the Cost?

Navigate Research - Thursday, February 05, 2015
Written by Preston McClellan 

This year a 30-second sport during Super Bowl XLIX cost roughly $4.5 million. While this may get advertisers a lot throughout the rest of the year, the same can’t be said for the Super Bowl. The question that everyone seems to ask is —how can that possibly be worth it?

Depending on the brand’s goal, it might not be worth it. AdWeek posted an interesting article ahead of the Super Bowl breaking down what advertisers and marketers could have done with $4.5 million in the digital marketing space. 

Let’s take a look at some of the social campaigns that could have ran with that budget: 

• Six Days-Worth of $750,000 Sponsored Snapchat Snaps 
• Five $800,000 YouTube Masthead Ads 
• 10 "Premium Day" $425,000 Twitter Promoted Trends 
• Four Days of $950,000 Facebook Reach Blocks 

That’s just a look at big-time buys on each of those four platforms. The most ideal mix would probably be doing one major campaign on each platform (depending on the demographic and target audience you are trying to reach. 

That’s the beauty of social media compared to television. With social and digital campaigns, not only can you target people with much more specificity, but you can also reach a wide assortment of analytics that will help determine the success (or lack thereof) of the campaign. 

TV (especially during the Super Bowl) is casting the widest audience possible. So, if your brand goal is simply awareness across all demographics, then the $4.5 million could be worth it. Take the country of Ecuador, for example. In my opinion, that was a great ad buy. At no other time in the year is the country’s tourism board going to have the attention of 100+ million Americans.


Brands that are trying to convert customers or drive incremental sales should think about straying away from television and instead focus on more targeted campaigns. 

At Navigate, we’ve seen that social media costs less on a CPM basis than any other media element (TV, in-stadium, print, radio, etc.). Even though it’s the cheapest, it is also the most influential in driving metrics like purchase intent, likelihood to recommend and more. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Tweet me at @p_mcclellan and join the dialogue.

Sponsorship Activation Monday 2.2.15

Navigate Research - Monday, February 02, 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. 

This week we'll take a look at how brands  activated at Super Bowl Central this year in Phoenix, AZ for Super Bowl XLIX. 

Bud Light: Bud Light created the first ever “House of Whatever,” (playing off of their #UpForWhatever campaign) that was an entertainment venue for those over 21. Unlike last year’s Bud Light party, which focused on concerts and parties, the House of Whatever focused more on unpredictable events. Rapper Nicki Minaj and DJ Steve Aoki were on-site delivering performances and interacting with fans. In addition to the House of Whatever, Bud Light entertained consumers at a Beer Garden in downtown Glendale at Super Bowl Central. 

Verizon Wireless:  The Verizon Power House engaged with fans and consumers by allowing them to play with and test out the latest technology and gadgets. The activation included things such as “Suit Up,” “Player Chat,” and “Power Up,” which were all interactive and let fans receive virtual autographs from certain players, and also try on their favorite team’s uniforms. In theme with the interactive technology, the Power House also included a number of charging stations for phones and tablets. 

Tostitos®: Tostitos hosted the Tostitos® Party Boulevard in Super Bowl Central. The party spanned several blocks in downtown Phoenix and offered fans the newest flavors of Tostitos to try. The party boulevard also consisted of several games including a giant sized corn hole and dunk tank.

Pepsi: Being one of the biggest sponsors of the Super Bowl, Pepsi had a number of different activations throughout the weekend. The Pepsi “Hype Zone” consisted of two levels of fan-interactive engagements, including photo booths and LED screen content activations. The first level also consisted of a “Hype Chamber,” which allowed consumers to capture photos with different props for a chance to be put up on the big screen. On the second level fans interacted with "Kick the Hype" mobile games enabling them to connect with the main LED screen and use their mobile phones as game controllers. 

Click here for a full list of activities that took place at Super Bowl Central.