TV May Actually Die and the Importance of Measurable Data on the Future of Sponsorship

By Paul Birdwell (

The Internet has up-ended entire industries in the last couple of decades, and it is now closing in on the last media “fortress” as well in television that could lead to a fundamental re-shaping of the media landscape that will no doubt also change how everyone watches television as well.  

Shelly Palmer writing for Advertising Ages gets straight to the point in a recent column:

TV May Actually Die Soon, Shelly Palmer, Advertising Age

“FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google/YouTube) is about to take a huge bite out of traditional network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox), and the media business will never be the same.

To understand the profound implications of the recently announced NFL on Amazon Prime or YouTube TV, it may help to understand the economic engine that drives traditional commercial television.

The goal of the commercial TV business is to package a specific, targeted audience and sell it to the highest bidder. The more precise the targeting, the higher the fee; the bigger the targeted audience, the bigger the fee.

TV is data-poor

Because the broadcast television industry is data poor (it only offers metrics about itself), this model has never been a complete solution for brand or lifestyle advertisers. In practice, an advertiser needs to translate ratings and demographic information from Nielsen into knowledge and insights it can link to its key performance indicators (KPIs). Because content is distributed across so many non-TV platforms, this process gets more difficult every day. How effective was your broadcast TV buy? Was there an increase in sales that could be attributed to it? Could we have spent this portion of our advertising budget differently?

FANG is data-rich

There are four data sets that help define each of us: attention, consumption, passion and intention. While traditional broadcast TV tries to measure or attribute some of these to TV viewership, FANG has actionable data that drives KPIs.”

“TV is data poor” goes right to the heart of the problem with television and shows the big advantage that FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google/YouTube) has over television that will just continue to accelerate in the future because advertisers will demand that TV figure out a way to justify the advertising dollars it is receiving, or even better find a way to move their programming onto the Internet so usage by consumers can be more closely tracked, monitored and acted upon.

That TV is now under assault by the Internet has huge ramifications for Sponsorship, because companies spending money on sponsorships are increasingly asking for proof that those sponsorship investments are paying off in consumers seeing their company’s products and services in the marketplace, and that those eyeballs are translating into bottom-line new business coming through the door.

The software and technology company SAP which annually spends $50M+ on sponsorship….

Sponsorship’s Big Spenders:  IEG’s Top Sponsor Rankings, IEG

….has under the leadership of its’ head of Global Sponsorships, Bjoern Ganzhorn, implemented a number of programs to make sure that it is getting all it can from its sponsorship spend each year and it calls its program:

Sponsorship 2.0

In a recent article Bjoern Ganzhorn details the ways that SAP is using technology to measure the impact of its sponsorship dollars:

Corporate Sponsorships Reimagined, Bjoern Ganzhorn, SAP News

“When I say the words corporate sponsorship, what do you think of? Logo placements. Official status. Fancy private events.

These are the types of things that have long defined corporate sponsorship programs; essentially, I give your company a bunch of money and in return you display my logo, feature my name in a gala program, and sing my praises in public. It’s pretty straightforward—but frankly uninspiring.

These are the methods of the past. Today’s fast-changing, technology-enabled marketing and consumer landscapes demand a new, more-dynamic model of corporate sponsorship.

Call it “sponsorship 2.0.” In this new paradigm, richer collaboration amplifies impact and partnerships go beyond pay-for-placement. So what does it look like? Sponsorship 2.0 partnerships are:

1.  Authentic
2.  Global, Yet Local
3.  Sustainable”

What SAP is attempting to do in measuring the impact of its sponsorship dollars on current and potential new clients in the marketplace is a critical issue for sponsorship to solve so that when a company is considering making a sponsorship investment there are systems in place to measure how effective the sponsorship is in engaging consumers and creating new business for the company.

To the above point Kissmetrics, which is an analytics company that works with companies and ad agencies to figure out ways to measure the real world impact of their marketing dollars, has put together a number of ways that sponsorship can be measured to see what kind of “Bang for the Buck” sponsorship is providing for companies:

5 New (And Effective) Ways To Measure Event ROI, Kissmetrics

“Events drive leads for sales and are a powerful networking tool that enables companies and brands to connect with their audiences and clients face to face. At least, that’s what we know. But as any marketer, sales rep and event organizer will tell you, qualifying those collected leads is anything but certain.


Because not all leads are created equal, and every individual at your event has their own unique journey to the final sale.

According to Statista, only 14% of B2B marketers’ budgets are being allocated for in-person trade shows in 2015. Because of this, event marketers are pressured to find the metrics that matter when it comes to proving value.

Traditionally most event organizers and sales reps have focused on the data that is generated before and after an event, which gives a good picture of who showed up, but not much else.

Here are 5 ways that event marketers can use the data that is being generated before, during, and after their events to create a richer experience for their attendees, while providing insights into the value of their show.

1.  Social Listening
2.  In-Event Surveys
3.  Targeted Messaging
4.  Gamification
5.  Mobile App Insights”

In pitching sponsorships to companies and ad agencies today we here at the Roaring Fork Agency are placing an ever-larger emphasis on figuring out ways we can measure the effectiveness of the sponsorship and determine as best we can how much new business was created by the company sponsoring “X” event.  Companies like…

….in the United Kingdom can help us to create platforms that focus in on and around an event to determine the amount of interaction among event participants on all kinds of different platforms which gives the sponsoring company a good idea of how its sponsorship investment is paying-off with real world outcomes.  

The task for companies like the Roaring Fork Agency in this “Age of Data” that are pitching sponsorships for events is to continue to search for ways to measure the effectiveness of those sponsorships in the marketplace, and ultimately on the bottom-line of the sponsoring company which was best summed-up by the advertising icon David Ogilvy:

“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

David Ogilvy also said that…

“Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn’t sell much of anything.”

…and with that in mind we here at the Roaring Fork Agency are interested as always in working with companies and advertising agencies that are looking for events to sponsor that will create a lot of buzz and more importantly bring lots of new customers through the door with their wallets and purses open ready to spend their hard-earned money!

If you have any questions about event sponsorship or venue naming rights contact the Roaring Fork Agency at:

San Francisco, California – 415 730 – 4854

Seattle, Washington – 206 920 – 3934

Bend, Oregon – 541 640 – 2221

Twitter - @RoaringForkAgcy