In the last few years, the phrase lies, damn lies and sponsorship measurement statistics seemed to be appropriate for some sports promoters, so it is pleasing to see that some of the organisers at the commercial end of sailing are being more realistic with their annual media value reports. Nobody wins if the numbers are too big to be believed, so while the PR firms might pick the ‘billion’ numbers for headlines, the commercial teams are making the most of the independent reviews of media value.
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has released the results of an external audit into the 2010 season by REPUBCOM which uses their media evaluation model to determine a media equivalency based on similar advertising or CPT rates applied to the actual viewing audience. REPUBCOM values sporting value of events like The Ryder Cup and the Rugby Football Union. It’s great to see the World Match Racing Tour organisers invest in these independent reports (because they aren’t cheap).
Jim O’Toole, CEO of the World Match Racing Tour, said:
“REPUCOM’s globally recognised measurement and evaluation tools have taken the credibility of our sponsor friendly media platform to a new level. A branded presence with WMRT clearly offers an excellent return. We look forward to working with the REPUCOM team in analysing future results from the WMRT.”
The headline number shows that the Tour delivered a media return of USD46m from its global TV, print and digital output last season.
2010 was a rebuilding year for the Tour, with new approaches to media being implemented by new ownership and management. The tour is restructuring the venues it visits and the way media is delivered to traditional audiences and new.
Even though the numbers are more realistic, there is still some PR spin that causes LOL (that’s Laugh Out Loud for those readers who don’t text) moments. Our favourite quote from the tour in relation to the media value report is:
REPUCOM positions the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) as a profound voice in the realms of broadcasting media.
Commenting on the landscape of sports rights ownership and the investment potential within it, Danny Townsend, President of EMEA & South Asia at REPUCOM International told us what we have known for a while. People who watch sailing are desirable for people wanting to sell high-end products:
“After completing an extensive study of the 2010 WMRT season, REPUCOM has built a significant amount of data to support the expansive media output of the Tour. The WMRT has delivered a significant media platform for its commercial stakeholders both from an aggregated media perspective but importantly to a high socio-economic viewership base that supports sailing. Sailing delivers a unique proposition which ultimately connects brands with an individual with an attractive demographic profile.”
The Tour is one of the first sailing events to align the venues for their events with markets that can also deliver Live TV. Part of the rise in the media value of the tour is due to live broadcasts on CNBC, Sky NZ, Eurosport Asia Pacific, ESPN Star Sports and CNN. News coverage also gets big weighting in media value models, often because coverage can be gained on networks that don’t support advertising. The WMRT news coverage included Al Jazeera Sport, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, Sky Sports News and SNTV.
As the World Match Racing Tour embarks on a project to attract new host venues and promotional partners, the media value numbers are an important tool to show how the brand can pull in crowds, attract inward investment and boost tourism. Existing promoters can also measure the success of their event through these figures.
In 2010, the Portimao Portugal Match Cup achieved $2,173,537 in rated media value. This was the result of detailed activation of sponsorships on boats, and at the event. The Mayor of Portimao, Manuel da Luz, commented:
“We are talking about a well known event in the international sailing competition scene with strong media coverage. As such, Algarve gains importance both as a tourist destination and as such a region with excellent natural conditions with good nautical substructures to host international competitions. I hope the impact reaches two levels, namely the projection of Portimao as a chosen destination for some of the most important national and international nautical events and no less important more assets brought to the local economy leading to greater tourist offers and to more tourists coming to Portimao.”
One of the Tour’s best known events, Stena Match Cup Sweden have used a long term association with the Tour to attract 55 sponsors including Stena and Audi. In 2010 Stena Match Cup Sweden saw a 200% growth on rated media value from 2009 with an approximate 30 million Euro media value. Of this, 18% was national media value and 82% international.
Stena Match Cup Sweden Event Promoter Martin Sohtell said:
“The growth has essentially been on the international media markets which have already emphasised the opening of the event to international brands. We can see indications that our local entity is receiving more exposure and getting a greater value on the international market. This is off course an exciting development and we welcome more strong international brands to get a piece of the media value of Stena Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand. The event is also creating outstanding value in brand awareness due to it being one of the only sports events that gives the boat sponsor the control of the graphics and branding on the actual tool of the sportsman. The brand awareness figures for one of the ten boat sponsor at Stena Match Cup Sweden lies in the proximity of an events title sponsor at the ATP Tour in tennis or at the European Golf Tour.”
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