Sports Sponsorships & Return on Objective (ROO)

Sports sponsorships are often at the top of the list when you consider visibility, but they are also right up there when you consider the cost. That's because the first sponsorships we often think about are the major sports, like NFL football, NASCAR racing, the NBA, World Cup Soccer...and any other sport where sponsor names are plastered all over competitors, stadiums, and the event itself. Viewed by millions, these events provide an ultra-high level of visibility for sponsors...and in most cases, you'd have to say the return on investment (ROI) is probably worth it.

But ROI may not always be the best way to measure the effectiveness of a sponsorship - especially when it comes to what might be called "minor sports." Today, there are lots of affordable sponsorship opportunities available, and their cost-effectiveness makes them a solid choice for some organizations who may not have deep pockets. Yet a question usually remains - Can the ROI on a "minor sport" sponsorship ever meet expectations when you're talking about significantly fewer "eyeballs" on a sport, or sporting event?

The quickest answer is "maybe" - but the fact is, ROI may not be the best measuring stick. In an interview on, Editor David Fuller explains that for some sports, like yacht racing, a better measure might be return on objective:
"The phrase ‘return on investment’ (ROI) is used a lot, but there is another phrase that is being used for sponsorship which is Return on Objectives (ROO). A company might have an objective to reward their high-performing sales team, they might have an objective to enter a new market or launch a new product. Most companies are looking for awareness and exposure but some are trying to position themselves more accurately and all are hoping that it will lead to more sales."
Return on objective isn't necessarily harder to measure, it's just measured in a different way. It's based on your short and long term goals, company or product image, target markets and other factors that sometimes can't be quantified in terms of pure exposure. It's a valuable concept, and it can work for a lot of what we might consider "minor" sports - whether it's yacht racing, offshore powerboat racing (one area of our focus) pro volleyball, or extreme sports. The opportunities are certainly there - there might be a great fit for your product or service there, too.

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