The IMR/Think!Sponsorship industry survey says that Red Bull has been the most innovative sponsor over the past 20 years.
Respondents cited such activities Felix Baumgartner’s space jump and its F1 teams in particular as innovative programmes. Other sponsors who were praised include O2 for its London Arena programme, Heineken for its UEFA activation, P&G for London 2012, Coca-Cola for various FIFA World Cups and Guinness for its rugby sponsorships.
The poll declared that the sponsorship industry has become a lot more innovative in the past 20 years with sports and music programmes in particular having developed.
More than 70% of respondents reported that digital media and reduced budgets had helped to drive creativity although a roughly equal amount of people felt that digital campaigns had led to a decrease in activation budgets (30%) as an increase (33%).
The survey showed that an overwhelmingly majority (97%) felt that sponsors had the right to terminate a contract if the rights holder was involved in a scandal and a similar amount (96%) agreed that sponsors should take precautions to safeguard their reputation before entering a contract. Indeed 30% of sponsors said that they would consider investing in programmes with rights holders to help improve behaviour.
The biggest expected changes in the industry applied to research and evaluation and changes to rights models. Sponsorship experts have been predicting an increase in investment in rights holders from sponsors. Interestingly Red Bull, the brand that comes out top in the survey, owns a Formula One team, several football clubs and has also created its own events such as the Air Race and Flugtag.
Sponsorship innovation survey results
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