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7in7 Series: Navigating Sponsorship Value with AJ Maestas

On this webisode of 7in7 Paula is joined by AJ Maestas, Founder & CEO of Navigate Research. AJ is a marketing expert, specializing in maximizing sponsorship revenue and performance through evaluating and measuring marketing investments in sports entertainment.  AJ’s expertise in research and measurement is at the forefront of the webisode as he and Paula dive-in to some timely insights to navigating the sponsorship industry in the wake of COVID-19.

Watch the video here:


Below are the 7-key take-aways from their conversation:

  1. More and better measurement is a key ingredient. Sponsorship leaders must invest more time and money into measuring the value of the sponsorship program and the effectiveness of the execution.


  1. Brands need to understand the value of partnership. Budgets will likely diminish without understanding the value of your sponsorship portfolio. You are financial stewards and every dollar is accounted for – so understanding and proving your ROI is essential to your success.


  1. Be a proactive investor rather than an active buyer. You should know what you want in your market. Reach out to the properties that make sense for you as opposed to the other way around. Truly great marketers are proactively finding the right fit.


  1. Rights-holders should realistically price sponsorship proposals. When determining your price be realistic, consider the market conditions and the value of your audience and assets. Approach pricing with a long-term vision, build in flexibility to solve challenges, and bet on yourself to deliver.


  1. Asking the right questions leads to alignment and clarity to mutually work towards. Be flexible and service-oriented enough to call your partners and ask these questions: what can we do to help? what is your strategy? and coming out of COVID-19 what do you anticipate will be your needs?


  1. Focus on facts, not just emotion. Right now, every dollar is being scrutinized and if it’s not defendable then it’s probably not coming back. Buying is often based on emotion but in a pandemic situation with ensuing economic hardship, facts and figures will most likely win the day.


  1. We predict events and people will continue to grow. It is realistic that we’ll take a step backwards, but if you look at past economic downturns, plenty of people will continue to grow. It’s highly likely in a few years we’ll be back to a new normal. If you spend the time, like Navigate does, to research and understand the impact, effectiveness and efficiency of sponsorship investments, you’ll see that sponsorship has its place in investment portfolios. Sponsorship is the way to reach the hearts and minds of people, connecting to their passions will continue to be a smart approach.


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