Proving sponsorship return on investment

Global finance institution, ING proves the value of research in announcing that its F1 sponsorship has increased global brand visibility – and its release is published on the corporate website the day it is issued (hurrah!). 

The company says that its:

“partnership with the ING Renault F1 Team, together with our on-track branding activity, has increased ING’s global brand awareness and a created a clear and positive perception of the firm. This has also led to an increased willingness amongst existing and potential customers to increase their business with ING”.

Hence, Michel Tilmant, Chairman of the Executive Board of ING Group said:

“The affiliation between ING and Formula One has already proven its worth. Our research shows that the programme has improved ING’s global brand awareness and image. Heading into 2008, the ING F1 strategy will build upon the increase in awareness of ING to drive revenue returns.”   

Research was taken at the start and end of this year’s Formula One season across five key criteria, from which, the company says it achieved:

  • 7% increase in perception of being a leading and global financial services firm
  • 25 % increase in positive perception of ING
  • 29% increase in willingness to do business with ING within the next 12 months     
  • 100% increase in awareness of ING as being an F1 sponsor (across the 32 markets 1 in every 4 people was aware ING was an F1 sponsor)

It also says its logo was the second most visible F1 sponsor on during official television race coverage. 

As well as the fact that research has been used here to demonstrate return on investment, it is interesting to see that the first step was to increase knowledge and understanding, before seeking to use the sponsorship to build business revenue.

But, it is not clear the contribution that public relations played in the programme, or whether there was any attempt to evaluate which elements of communications had been most effective.  It can be difficult to separate out sources of influence in an integrated campaign of course, but it would be interesting to see whether it was primarily branding activities that led to this result and how PR will be used going forwards.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

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