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Sponsorship battle

Soccer or cycling? An almost impossible choice, like the Beatles or the Stones, Porsche or Ferrari, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. For the marketer, however, it must be a well-considered decision to choose the sponsor (advertisement) medium which matches his brand, product, or company. The impact of gathered media exposure is a decisive factor in this selection.

To make the comparison between Belgium's leading sports possible, we evaluated the 6 main shirt sponsors of the PO1 teams (BNP-Paribas Fortis, Daikin, VDK, Proximus, Willems Veranda's & Record Bank) and the thirty games (10 game days) of this competition for each publication of the logo, being: via television, print or online. Towards cycling, we used the same monitoring and analysis during the classics, including again 10 race days, from Across Flanders to La Doyenne for 6 dominant spring teams (BMC, Quick-Step, Lotto, Jumbo, Trek & Bora). These results, linked to the audience ratings & ad values, allow us to determine the value for the different sponsors & teams.

You can find the detailed report below. Enjoy.

The value of 6 & 6

gross value

Average impact

Net Value

Cycling or soccer, what’s the best solution for marketeers?

In order to make a comparable valorisation, we started monitoring the number of listings made by the different sponsors per channel (TV - Print - Online). For soccer there were more than 17.500 clippings, for cycling over 11.000 entries. Then we determined the impact score of each individual fragment, (the effect of the message on the recipient), linked these figures to the gross value, (i.e. the cost of adjoining ad space), which resulted in a comparable net score.
With a net result of € 3,77 million, cycling exceeds soccer (€ 2,36 million) by almost € 1,5 million. This rather surprising outcome is due to; (a) the higher gross value and audience ratings generated by cycling, a result of broadcasting on the open network instead of coverage behind paywall, (b) the hours of coverage (almost 6 for The Tour of Flanders vs. 90 minutes soccer game), (c) the clearer and longer logo listing and, of course, (d) the sponsor's name mentions. On the other hand, there is a higher impact score for soccer (17,59% versus 12,42%) due to the fact that critical moments like set-plays, goals, saves, etc., create greater attention from the viewer and are far more frequent than during a cycling race, where this only occurs during breakaways or at the finish line.

Results per channel

Cycling net value

Soccer net value

Where do you need to be, in the paper or on the screen?

For both cycling and soccer TV broadcasts generate the most net value (close to 50%). For soccer it’s remarkable that the print generated net value is almost double as high as the online generated net value. This can partially be explained by the fact that almost every print article is accompanied by a photo as for online, pictures are less frequently used. For cycling the difference between print and online generated net value is less due to written mentions in articles.

TV Results

gross value

Average impact

Net Value

Print Results

gross value

Average impact

Net Value

Online Results

gross value

Average impact

Net Value

Unlock all results

An in-depth analysis of each of the previous mentioned media channels shows that cycling generates more gross value through TV and online than soccer. The TV generated gross value is 3 times higher for cycling than soccer due to open network broadcasting compared to coverage behind paywall. Also the hours of coverage favours cycling. Although cycling generated almost 3 times more gross value through TV, the average impact was only 10%, compared to an average impact for soccer of 17,9%. This results in a rather smaller difference in net value.
Remarkably the impact of soccer is higher during TV broadcasts than for print and online clippings. This is caused by replays of crucial moments with close-up images. For cycling the impact of print and online is double, even almost triple, as high than during TV broadcasts because of written sponsor mentions in print and online articles.

Results per language

Cycling

Soccer

Cycling for Flanders, soccer for Wallonia and Brussels?

As Flanders has always been a cycling region, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the sport is far more popular in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium compared to the French speaking part. Of all generated net value, around 85% was achieved in Dutch speaking Belgium, which leaves 15% for the French speaking part. For soccer however, the generated net value generated by French speaking Belgium is around 30%. The big difference between the Dutch speaking and French speaking audience, even for soccer, is mainly caused by a big presence of Flemish clubs in Play-off 1. Only Charleroi, and a part of Anderlecht, can be directly linked to the French speaking part of the country. On the other hand, this year’s edition of Play-off 1 contained 4 teams with roots in Flanders. Especially KAA Gent, KV Oostende and Zulte Waregem are teams with almost no links towards Wallonia and Brussels.