I recently wrote a post about how companies that have large sports sponsorship deals, particularly those that have received government funds, are unfairly criticized for these deals. My logic is that, even though these deals seems excessive, when you calculate their actual marketing value and ROI, they can be very justifiable and effective as part of a company’s marketing mix.
Well a few days ago, Kenneth Lewis, the CEO for Bank of America, publicly defended their sports marketing spend, stating how valuable their sponsorships are to the company (Reuters, 3/12/09). Here is a great quote from Lewis: “I was never inclined to pump big sums of money into sports marketing until I saw the facts and the numbers…in general terms, for every dollar we spend on sports marketing, we get $10 in revenue and $3 in earnings. This is not wasted money.”
Bank of America sponsors a wide variety of sports properties, including the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, and individual teams. From Lewis’ statement, they not only recognize the value of these deals, but they are making a dedicated effort to measure them to ensure they are getting the right return. What they aren’t telling us is how exactly they are measuring them, but there are many established ways of doing this that can be quite accurate (this topic will actually come up again in a future guest post). I am making a bit of an assumption that the data Lewis is sharing comes from actual measurements and not general estimates, but I would be surprised if this is not the case.
I’m glad to see a company step up and defend their decisions in this area, and hopefully others companies that put in the effort to measure the effectiveness of their sports marketing initiatives will do the same.