In March, IE Marketing Club hosted a Sports Marketing Sponsorship panel event that covered agency and brand point of views. Pedro Martin de Miguel, an IE graduate from Caja Madrid and Antonio Alquezar from Always Sports Management shared their perspectives on sports marketing today, how to measure ROI and other current issues. Mr. Martin de Miguel and Mr. Alquezar explained that “it’s [sports sponsorship marketing] a very small business in Spain; everyone knows each other.”
Attendees of the event learned that sponsorship is a tool to gain benefits, which include goodwill within community, media exposure, increased sales and brand awareness. Sports sponsorships are generally long term relationships that sports teams use to pay player’s salaries. Sponsorships include branding, hospitality, licensing and the use of marks, i.e.: the World Cup logo. You might that that sponsorships are limited to B-to-C brands, but actually B-to-B brands often use sponsorships. Mr. Alquezar explained that “sometimes the CEO really likes the team,” and that is all that is needed.
Mr. Martin de Miguel explained that each brand measures ROI differently but most trace returns to tangible benefits: increased sales, signed contracts or other metrics for the specific event. Some brands even trace ROI to specific events, for example, BBVA has a sponsorship that directly ties a specific promotion to it.
 Current issues that sponsorship marketing faces are the current economic downturn and risks associated with celebrity sponsorships. Many marketing budgets have been cut due to the economy, making some brands less amenable to include sports sponsorships into their marketing mix. Additionally, brands are protecting themselves from negative publicity associated with celebrities by including clauses that release them from contracts if circumstances change.
The next marketing club event will be Marketing Challenges for New Businesses. Come and meet with other IE students interested in marketing and alumni working in the marketing field.