Suburb gets $12 million in media exposure for sponsoring college bowl game

According to Elk Grove Village officials, sponsoring the Bahamas Bowl paid off handsomely:

The village’s $300,000 fee to sponsor the Bahamas Bowl resulted in $12 million in media exposure, according to an independent audit, Mayor Craig Johnson told the village board Feb. 12. The village has an option to sponsor this year’s contest, which would entitle it to again tie its slogan — “Makers Wanted” — to the bowl game. A decision on whether to exercise that option is expected later this month.

Johnson said the audit, supplied to the village by ESPN, which owns the Bahamas Bowl and broadcasts it, indicates Elk Grove Village’s sponsorship generated a 40-times return in media coverage. The $12 million figure was derived from a formula that assigns a dollar amount to mentions, commercials and airtime showing the Makers Wanted logo, said Johnson, who was the driving force behind the sponsorship…

The unusual story of a Chicago suburb becoming a bowl sponsor is also being credited for a spike in traffic on the village’s website that lasted long after the Dec. 21 telecast of the game from Nassau, Johnson said.

Of course, media exposure might not be the best metric by which to measure this:

Whether those talks lead to anything tangible will be the long-term gauge of success for the village’s sponsorship, said Dennis Coates, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the editor of the Journal of Sports Economics.

This reminds me of metrics used for online articles and social media content: how many impressions did it have? Unique visitors? Clicks? All of this can be fairly complicated.

But, the real payoff is knowing that advertising or sponsorship or particular information changed people’s behavior. It will take some time to know whether the impressions translate into new businesses in Elk Grove Village. Even then, new business activity may or may not be related to the game sponsorship. In ten years, can this suburb conclusively show that a one-time investment (or ongoing sponsorship over the years) like this led to positive change? And then, it might be worth doing a cost-benefit analysis to see if the sponsorship money was effectively spent.

One thought on “Suburb gets $12 million in media exposure for sponsoring college bowl game

  1. Pingback: Waiting to hear Chicago suburb advertising lower property tax rates | Legally Sociable

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