Marketers are under more pressure than ever to quantify the ROI for spending on everything from print ads to social network sites. The pressure to perform and lack of metrics is even more intense in the sponsorship industry.  And the lack of demonstrated ROI may be one of the reasons that the industry witnessed a 28% drop in the asking price of sponsorship proposals last year. This drop includes both sports and non-sports.

In a study conducted by Sponsorium, the average price paid by 65 U.S. companies for a sponsorship was $48,261. In 2008, the comparable figure was $66,649. However, sports sponsorship deals help skewed the numbers a little higher. On average, a sports sponsorship went for $101,427 and this amount was down from $127,443 in 2008.  But media sponsorships recorded the steepest drop, going from $440,621 to $103,203 in one year.

Marketers who are receiving and pricing the sponsorships they approve are looking for how well the type of event might meet their needs. On a scale of 1,000, here’s how various events were ranked:

  • Festivals and fairs: 594
  • Consumer shows: 500
  • Sports: 419
  • Media: 432
  • Health: 410
  • Government relations: 409
  • Education: 403
  • Leisure: 397

It’s all about connecting with consumers, especially consumers who might have money to spend. The good news is Seth Leeds, senior director of business development at Sponsorium, sees the sponsorship industry improving in 2010. “We started to see recovery in the third and fourth quarters, along with more flexibility on the sell side, and less emphasis on just static rights.” That’s good news for marketers looking for new ways to promote themselves to consumers.

[Source: Lefton, Terry. Firm’s study of sponsorship proposals shows 28% drop in asking price for 2009. SportsBusinessJournal. 17 May 2010. Web 25 May 2010.]