Thought Piece | Decision-making

Delivering a new level of rigour: Considering human behaviour in sponsorship property selection.

Author: Lee Gibbons
Date: 16/04/21

Delivering a new level of rigour: 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 what motivates the human brain to act, we can design better marcomms, develop better activations, and when it comes to sponsorship properties, make more informed decisions.

This is at the heart of what makes Sport UNLIMITED different. As part of the largest independent integrated agency group in the UK, we’re a sports marketing agency that can call on discipline experts with award-winning campaigns under their belts, all tapping into human understanding to offer clients business advantage.

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

A good starting point to explore this is naturally around sponsorship selection. Certainly a hot topic given the opportunities provided by the most lavish sporting calendar we’ve seen for some time 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 even 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 identify the motivators within their category or sector acting 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 the level of conviction behind consumer responses, accessing that subconscious layer of emotion and motivation. Combine this with statistical analytics, and you can determine the optimum mix that will maximise reach and impact. In other words, you may ultimately uncover values ‘D & E’ that are subconsciously essential to decision-making in the category and must be considered alongside a brand's own values.

In short, we can show you category drivers, behavioural 'nudges’ or shortcuts to induce behaviour, offering nifty tips and tricks to apply to your sponsorship activations.

Want to hear more? Get in touch.

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