Barclays, the British financial services company, was for 15 years the title sponsor of the top flight of English football – a new model for measuring its sponsorship investments has allowed it to adapt strategically and anticipate the effects of those decisions before they happen.

Why it matters: British financial services company Barclays has a history of high-profile and successful sponsorships, but by formalising its evaluation metrics across different geographies and sports, it has been able to make more sophisticated investment decisions. 

(For a full treatment, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Barclays evaluates its sponsorships to make better investment decisions)

The work: To assess what would be the impact of diminishing investment in the Premier League from title sponsor to financial services partner.

At the time, this was major news; even in 2014, when reports first emerged that the bank was rethinking its £40m a year deal, some sources told the press that because of the high levels of awareness the bank enjoys in the UK, its title sponsorship had “zero value” in the country.

However, this wasn’t true, as the modelling revealed the precise impact of different levels of sponsorship out of 100:

  • Title partner: 74/100
  • Financial Services partner: 61/100
  • Exit: 14/100

Similar to other brands that had shifted down gears in the sports sponsorship space, such as Budweiser, and those that had grown their investments, like Guinness, Barclays concluded that it could afford the brand effects of reduction but could not justify a total exit from football sponsorship.

Now, the brand has funnelled more money into the growing space of women’s football, where it says it can provide greater impact both for its business and for an important and traditionally underfunded half of the world’s favourite sport.

The metrics: Specific metrics to measure performance are included in the full WARC piece, but six key areas are important to understand:

  • How the sponsorship brings the brand purpose to life
  • How it creates and converts commercial opportunities
  • How it showcases products and services
  • How it deepens customer relationships
  • How it inspires colleagues
  • How it impacts society.

Sourced from WARC, Marketing Week