With Cornhill Insurance bringing an end to their 23 year old relationship with cricket, and Natwest switching their sponsorship from county to international cricket, an independent* study by Performance Research shows cricket fans** recall and value sponsors, but asks whether sponsors are doing enough?
So can fans remember the names of the companies involved with cricket sponsorship? The answer appears to be yes, during spontaneous awareness questioning over sixty different companies were mentioned, and just two percent (2%) of fans were unable to mention any sponsors. The most frequently mentioned sponsor was Cornhill Insurance mentioned by roughly three-fourths (71%) of fans, followed by Natwest (50%), and Benson & Hedges (30%). The England team sponsor Vodafone was mentioned by 22% of fans.
What does this all mean? How important is spontaneous awareness for sponsors? Some observers believe spontaneous awareness is an unnecessary objective, a luxury, which may only benefit commodity products such as soft drinks or confectionary. The ability to spontaneously recall sponsors at the point of purchase can drive sales, but what can sponsors like Cornhill Insurance and Natwest take from this?
Quite simply the affiliation with a property in terms of credibility, and image enhancements can only be effective if the target market is aware of the sponsorship. Although, in this instance aided sponsor awareness may be sufficient to provoke further investigation into the relative merits of each company, and the services they offer.
So how did these companies fare when the fans were asked to identify cricket sponsors from a list? Almost all of the fans identified Natwest (98%) and Cornhill Insurance (94%), while Foster?s (94%), who sponsor the Oval; and Vodafone (87%), a relative newcomer to cricket sponsorship also did well.
After establishing that cricket fans can remember sponsors, the study then asked fans to describe how they felt about the companies as a result of their association with cricket. Roughly one-half of the fans chose the statement "Sponsorship makes a valuable contribution to cricket and makes me feel better about sponsors." So for a sponsor associated with test match cricket, positive inferences concerning the credibility of the company are certainly possible.
How can cricket sponsorship be developed further? With awareness levels reaching almost saturation point sponsors may look beyond awareness, and look to leverage their sponsorships. The next step is to build on the positive impressions reported toward sponsors and develop meaningful relationships with fans, enabling them to see how a sponsorship can benefit them, both as cricket fans, and as consumers using that brand.
Finally, when questioned about loyalty to sponsors products, roughly one-fourth (25%) of the cricket fans reported they would "Almost always" or "Frequently" preferentially choose a sponsors product because of their involvement with cricket. Good news, but still comparatively low when compared to the loyalty levels reported toward sponsors of other sports in the U.K.
*This independent study is intended to provide a "snap shot" of cricket sponsorship. Typically proprietary research conducted by Performance Research is designed to look beyond "snapshot" data by measuring the incremental impact of a sponsorship program on the specific objectives of the sponsor.
**The respondents were read four statements and were asked to choose one which best described how they support cricket. Roughly one-half (46%) of the respondents described themselves as "Avid cricket fans" by choosing the statement; "I make a point to frequently watch and attend cricket matches."
Staff from Performance Research collected the names and phone numbers of cricket fans attending the 5th Test between England and the West Indies at the Foster?s Oval. In the following two weeks 201 cricket fans were re-contacted by telephone and asked to complete a short questionnaire. The margin of error for this sample is no more than +7%.
2014 Performance Research / IEG Sponsorship Decision Makers' Survey
The latest report.
BP Oil Spill Ramifications
consumer attitudes to the oil giant and its marketing
Big Three Still Dominate
Study of Olympic sponsorship at Vancouver 2010
Times Square Advertising: Is it over-the-top or top-of-mind? (2002)
A look at how visitors connect to the commercial clutter of Times Square.
At the Olympics, Less May Be More
Study of Olympic sponsorship at Sydney 2000
Americans Welcome Return of Formula 1
Study of sponsorship at the 2000 Indianapolis US Formula One Grand Prix
Log-Ons and Sponsors and Boats, Oh My!
America’s Cup (2000)
Viagra and Lycos Outperform First Year Sponsors to NASCAR
Research at the 2000 Daytona 500
Sponsors Still Live Dream Despite Scandal Nightmare
Consumer attitudes to the Olympics following Salt Lake City Scandal (1999)
NASCAR Fans Say “Welcome Back” to the Dodge Boys!
NASCAR Winston 500 (1999)
Picture This: “The Official Sports Drink of the …….. Symphony?”
Consumer attitudes toward corporate sponsorship of the arts (1997)
Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs
Consumer reaction to sponsorship of arenas and stadiums (1997)
Extreme Games, Commercialism Taken Too Far?
ESPN X-Games audience study (1996)
Watch Out For The Ambush 1996
Study of Olympic sponsorship (Atlanta)
America loses the Cup, but sponsors win over the fans…
America’s Cup sponsorship (1995)
Winners and Whiners
Indy Car Study (1994)
Loyal NASCAR Fans Please Stand Up
Racestat: a comprehensive analysis of the NASCAR audience (1994)
Olympics, What Olympics? Sponsors, What Sponsors
1994 study of Olympic sponsorship (Lillehammer)
AT&T Win Official Race With Sprint
1992 study of Olympic sponsorship (Barcelona)
Winter Olympic Viewers “Can’t Beat the Feeling”
1992 study of Olympic sponsorship (Albertville)
The Wild, Wild East? Sponsorship in Poland
Study explores attitudes to corporate sponsorship among Poles.
Why Do American Formula One Fans Value Sponsors?
Compares and contrasts opinions of visitors to both the 2000 US and 2000 British Formula One Grand Prix.
HOWZAT!! For Sponsorship
UK cricket sponsorship – beyond awareness (2000)
British Football Fans Can’t Recall Euro 2000 Sponsors
Research into sponsorship effectiveness at Euro 2000
Caution Flags Fly as CART Set for New Arrival
Attitudes of F1 racing fans to the introduction of US motorsports in Britain (2000)
Sponsor Loyalty Left by Roadside
Research at the 2000 British F1 Grand Prix
Sponsors Find Home in Dome
Millennium Dome sponsorship awareness study (2000)
Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs
Consumer reaction to sponsorship of arenas and stadiums (1999)
American Companies Welcome As Smoke Clears From F1
Research among European Formula 1 Grand Prix 1999
Rugby World Cup Findings Are Black And White
Research at the Rugby World Cup 1999