GO big or go home? Breaking down the visibility and ROI for sponsors at EURO24

An analysis by Shikenso Analytics provides some figures and insights into ROI for the main sponsors to the summer's biggest sporting event.

Shikenso Sponsoring Aliexpress EM 2024
Eine Analyse zeigt, wie sichtbar Sponsoren wie etwa Aliexpress bei der EM 2024 wirklich sind

EURO 2024 is entering the home stretch, squeaky bum time to quote legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. With the final looking on Sunday, we at OMR decided to take a closer look at the tournament’s primary sponsors. In the sponsorship limelight have been a trio of Chinese companies and former World Cup host Qatar, who have shelled out beaucoup bucks. Our friends at Shikenso Analytics went deep into extra time to see if it was worth the investment.

Right before kick-off, while the ball is rolling and directly after the ref blows the full-time whistle, sponsors at Euro 2024 are vying for eyeballs and paying millions for the privilege. BYD, Qatar Airways, Aliexpress, Hisense, Booking.com, Betano, Lidl, just to name a few of the omnipresent brands plastered on boards, players' benches and across digital displays. But what is the ROI for such high-profile and pricey sponsorship campaigns? How visible are they during a live TV broadcast? And what strategies are there to maximize visibility?

Shikenso Analytics has some answers.

A few weeks ago, colleagues on the German blog broke down how the company can use its technology to evaluate true visibility during matches. The abridged version is that Shikenso employs AI to track visual, legible and audible sponsorship signals to record how often a logo is visible, how frequently a company is mentioned by commentators or appears in comments on live streams. Shikenso Analytics has applied the same approach to the EURO 24 TV broadcasts.

Sponsors: wasted budget and solid investment?

Shikenso's analysis applies to all the group stage matches and broadcasts on German TV. It’s an important distinction as the digital boards set up around the pitch are equipped with technology that dynamically adjusts the ads shown based on the broadcast country. In other words, German TV viewers will be shown different advertising than viewers from the UK, the Netherlands, the US or people physically in the stadiums. The two key KPIs for assessing return on invest (ROI) are average length of visibility, i.e. the time in which a sponsor was visible per appearance, and average visibility size, i.e. the percentage of the screen occupied by a sponsor.

The Shikenso AI solution tracks precisely where, the placement size and the duration a sponsor logo is displayed in the live broadcast. Thus, reporting was already available shortly after the end of the group stage. Some EURO 24 sponsors have employed the technology to evaluate for themselves if or to what extent their own involvement has been worth it and what strategies they can use to further maximize their ROI at subsequent live events. Previously, determining the efficacy of such sponsorship engagements was a time-consuming and tricky proposition. Thanks to AI, the process has become much more streamlined and efficient.

Number crunching

So what does the analysis really shed light on? The top performers in terms of duration are BYD (an average of 7.4 seconds), Booking (7.14 seconds) and Betano (7.08 seconds) per placement. In terms of screen percentage, Qatar Airways leads the pack with 0.934 percent of the total TV screen, followed by Hisense (0.511 percent) and Visit Qatar (0.494 percent). These figures primarily show two things: first that even with fast-paced, on-the-field action and a variety of camera angles, field-side advertising is visible to viewers for a considerable amount of time. Secondly, however, it may be quite small in relation to the overall action on TV.

To maximize their ROI, many sponsors choose additional placements beyond the boards surrounding the field. Betting provider Betano, for example, landed a visibility share of almost 18% of the entire TV picture by booking a spot next to the UEFA logo before kickoff. Qatar Airways had the longest period of visibility during the match between Germany and Switzerland, 63 seconds, during the first half of the match, thanks to a unique placement of the airline logo. "Qatar Airways had the most visibility. Their logo is not only large on advertising boards, but also on the players' and coaches' bench," says Benedikt Becker, Marketing Director at Shikenso. "One possible area of optimization would be lighting, as the boards are not digital and therefore do not appear in the proper lighting. Of course, they will have to modify such placements in a way as to not disturb players and coaches."

How can sponsors adjust tactics?

Becker sees some exciting developments on the horizon. "One of the things that stands out is when sponsors want to appear. BYD, for example, appears at kick-off with a striking color change on the LED boards, while AliExpress prefers the final whistle," says Becker. "These times not only entail viewership spikes and heightened emotions among fans, but are also often peak times for press photos of celebrating teams and fans, which generates additional earned media value." Apparently, both of these companies have guaranteed ad impressions at certain times. This seems to be a way of getting into the minds of the target group more effectively.

In addition to traditional field-side advertising, companies have other sponsorship opportunities during the broadcasts. "When it comes to strategic placements, Hisense and Atos are a great match for the digital scoreboard due to their respective industries, consumer electronics and IT," explains Benedikt Becker. The logos of these partners are therefore displayed every time the score is shown. The combination of field-side advertising plus another placement seems to be the preferred path for sponsors.

It is difficult to say how sponsor placements will progress through the knockout stages and at the final. Over the next few days, observe for yourself if brands are sticking with the same formula they used in the group stage or if they’ll up their proverbial games for the KO rounds.

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Scott Peterson
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