The Feldwick Factor: The value of sponsoring events

Paul Feldwick

Do you have any guidelines/principles on calculating the value of sponsoring a major sporting or music event?

Planner/strategist, FMCG company

Sponsorship is no longer the wild frontier we used to think it was. It has grown steadily into a business worth nearly $50bn a year worldwide, supported by specialist agencies and consultants, international industry bodies, and academic studies. Clearly, more and more companies have decided it can be a worthwhile investment. Still, I don't think I have seen a methodology that really ‘calculates the value’ of an event in the terms you suggest. But I don't think this matters much, and I don't think it prevents companies from taking intelligent and responsible decisions about sponsorship.

The difficulty in putting a precise value on sponsorship is that so many assumptions have to be built into any calculation that the result is, at best, a very broad estimate. This is true of most brand-building activities, but while a TV campaign can at least be translated into a set of data (ratings, adstock) for modelling purposes, sponsorship programmes tend to be large, amorphous presences that resist such treatment. Add to this the fact that their results are generally expected to be long term and gradual, and that they operate in parallel with lots of other marketing activities, and it should be clear that calculating a neat figure, even after the event, will normally be problematic.