Thought Piece | Decision-making

Delivering a new level of rigour<BR>#1 Considering human behaviour in sponsorship property selection.

Author: Lee Gibbons
Date: 16/04/21

Delivering a new level of rigour<BR>#1 Considering human behaviour in sponsorship property selection.

Humans are complex.

We aren’t always rational. We’re driven by emotion. Our decision-making is influenced by how we feel, our memories of experiences, the context of those around us and the situations we find ourselves in. But with an understanding of how the human brain arrives at a decision or an action, we can design better marcomms, better activations, and when it comes to sponsorship properties make more informed decisions knowing more about the type of values and messages that will make an audience engage. 

This is at the heart of what makes Sport UNLIMITED different. As a division within the largest independent integrated agency in the UK, we’re a sports marketing agency that can call on discipline experts creating award-winning campaigns outside of sport, and all using human understanding to deliver clients business advantage.

Put simply, we obsess about bringing a new level of rigour to sports marketing.

A good starting place to explore this is naturally around sponsorship selection. A hot topic given the opportunities provided by the most lavish sporting calendar we’ve seen for sometime this summer. Most sponsorship selection processes follow traditional lines of thinking:

  • Can I engage my existing audience, and does it provide access to more like-minded people I don’t currently talk to?
  • Does it fit my brand values, and will I receive positive attribution from association?

Many stop there, but should also consider:

  • Will it help me achieve my business objectives? Not just consumer-focused, but also customer, colleague, community and corporate.

The above are essential, but we go further.

Our ‘Decision Drivers’ tool sits within our Human Understanding Lab. It has been used by UNLIMITED clients to go beyond their own brand values and to identify the real motivators within their category or sector that act as subconscious shortcuts to influence consumers to act on their impulse and make real-world decisions.

A brand’s values may be ‘A, B & C’ and the marketing team would select a sponsorship property and activation plan to amplify those values. We go beyond traditional audience understanding and apply Implicit Reaction Time testing to measure what consumers can’t articulate, combined with statistical analytics to determine the optimum mix that will maximise the reach and impact. This may uncover that there is actually values ‘D & E’ that are subconsciously essential to decision-making in the category and must be considered alongside a brand's own values.

We’ll show you category drivers, ‘behavioural nudges’ or shortcuts to induce behaviour, and the best mix of benefits and reasons to buy to take forward in sponsorship activation.

Want to hear more? Get in touch.

This article was written by Lee Gibbons, Managing Director, Sport UNLIMITED.