ANA Survey Uncovers Marketers’ Continuing Struggle to Validate Sponsorship / Event Marketing Initiatives

NEW YORK (Nov. 14, 2013) – Sixty-eight percent of marketers measure all or most of their sponsorship and event marketing activities, according to a new survey by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers); however, a sizeable 32 percent measure only half or less.

Furthermore, 70 percent say the need to validate results for sponsorship and event marketing initiatives has increased. This indicates that while it is becoming more important for sponsorship and event marketing activity to be measured, a sizable percent are not doing so adequately.

Measurement is critical as sponsorship and event marketing are becoming increasingly important components of the marketing communications mix, and growth for both are projected to outpace traditional advertising and promotion. Sponsorship spending is estimated to grow 5.3 percent in 2013, according to IEG, and event marketing spending is estimated to be up 4.7 percent in 2013, according to the event marketing industry.

Sixty percent of respondents to the ANA’s study claim their company has a dedicated sponsorship and / or event marketing measurement budget in 2013, up from 40 percent in 2010. While the measurement budget as a percent of the overall sponsorship rights budget is relatively low, the average has more than doubled from 2.3 percent in 2010 to five percent in 2013. These developments help pave the way for marketers to accurately evaluate their return from sponsorship.

According to the survey, proving the value of sponsorship or event marketing activities remains critical: 

  • Return on Investment (ROI):Sixty-two percent report being at least somewhat satisfied with their firm’s ability to measure ROI for sponsorship initiatives, however, a substantial percentage (38 percent) is dissatisfied and only one-fifth (20 percent) report being completely or very satisfied with the ability to measure ROI.
  • Return on Objective (ROO):Similar to ROI, the majority of marketers surveyed (68 percent) also report being at least somewhat satisfied with their ability to measure ROO, while a significant percentage is dissatisfied (33 percent) and only 18 percent are completely or very satisfied.

The mediocre satisfaction with the ability to measure the return on sponsorship / event marketing investments and objectives is likely due to the following reasons:

  • Less than half of marketers have a standardized process for sponsorship and / or event marketing measurement
  • One-quarter do not gather, analyze and use data in sponsorship and / or event marketing decision-making
  • Only half attempt to isolate the impact for sponsorship activity versus other concurrent marketing communications 

In 2013, the top metrics used to measure ROI and ROO of sponsorship and / or event marketing are:

  • Amount of media exposure generated (70 percent)
  • Social media (70 percent)
  • Awareness of brand (69 percent) 

While social media is tied as the top metric used to measure ROI and ROO, it is only twelfth in terms of value. This is likely due to social media being a relatively new metric that marketers are still learning how to use. 

“Organizations seeking sponsorship should know the importance of not just offering a menu of benefits, but becoming a true partner with their sponsors and working with them to establish, achieve and measure clear business objectives,” said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of ANA. “The ability to measure better will fuel growth and bring more opportunities to the table.”

In 2013, almost three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents indicated it is extremely or very important for their sponsorship and / or event marketing partners to help them measure the results of their initiatives. This is up from 2010, when 62 percent of marketers said the same.

The Sponsorship and Event Marketing Measurement Survey was conducted online during May and June 2013 among 78 client-side marketers from companies involved in specific initiatives for sponsorship and / or event marketing, and those who actively measure the return from these initiatives at least some of the time. Furthermore, respondents are directly involved with or knowledgeable about his or her firm’s sponsorship initiatives. Respondents were drawn from ANA membership and have an average of 15 years of experience in the marketing / advertising industry. This is the second time in recent years the ANA has conducted this survey. It was last conducted in 2010. 

The survey findings are also included in a white paper, which can be found at

About the ANA

The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.


Press Contacts:
Luna Newton
CooperKatz & Company for the ANA
(917) 595-3061

Marcus Hardy
CooperKatz & Company for the ANA
(917) 595-3043