Marketing Research Awards: Best Research - Budget under Pounds 20K

Article excerpt

WINNER Client: Manchester City FC Agency: Connexus PreciSion  COMMENDED Client: Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and The Bridge Advertising Agency Agency: TNS 

Sponsorship is a major source of revenue to a top-flight football team such as Manchester City. Yet little is known about the impact of sponsorship on its target audience: football supporters.

Given the growing pressure on marketers to justify expenditure, Manchester City sought to research the effectiveness of sponsoring the team - a major challenge with a budget of just pounds 15,000. Success would ensure the club had a competitive advantage over rivals and give it a tool in negotiations.

A two-phase research project examined Manchester City's shirt sponsorship deal with Thomas Cook. It sought to uncover the effect on fans' attitudes to the brand and to establish a measuring tool to refine marketing activities around the tie-up.

A questionnaire was drawn up to look at awareness of the sponsorship, brand awareness, brand image, purchase intention and purchase behaviour. The costs of the survey were low because City's fans provided a ready-made research panel.

Questionnaires were emailed to more than 10,000 registered supporters in both waves of the research. In addition, the club bought a database of fans of other Premier League clubs and sent questionnaires to some of them to make a comparison. …