Are sponsorships on the Path to Purchase?

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Utilising sports sponsorship to influence brand performance in retail.

soccer-3-1553728-1279x852Australia will always be regarded as a sporting nation, with both individual and team sports strongly embedded into our culture. Whether you watch your favourite team play each week, or just tune in for the main events, the world of sports touches most Australians in some way or another.

As marketers, we are all comfortable with the idea of using sports sponsorship as a way to communicate with engaged fans, however many brands are not fully leveraging their sponsorship rights to form stronger or more meaningful partnerships with both the sport and third parties, to specifically drive a retail performance uplift.

With US$62.8 billion spent globally on sports sponsorship in 2017 (Smart Company, Jan 2018) and this figure steadily increasing year on year, sponsorship is big business. Brands see it as an opportunity to increase their awareness and to build a strong identity, in the hope this will contribute to sustained, long-term sales growth.

To achieve these results, more and more brands are realising they need to do more than just rely on logo exposure on a uniform or before a sporting title. If brands choose to spend a significant amount of their marketing budget on a sponsorship deal, then they want to be forming a partnership strategy to really leverage it to its full potential, or risk leading to underutilised assets and undesirable results.

So how should brands make the most of their sponsorship rights? Cameron McGeachie, Head of MKTG Live and Retail Sydney, believes it’s not enough for a brand to only buy the naming rights in relation to a sport, an individual or a team.

"Alongside the sponsorship package, they should also be investing 1:1/1:2 additional budget for leveraging the sponsorships effectively in additional marketing initiatives throughout their business," says Mr McGeachie. These could range from an integrated media campaign, content, experiential events (in-stadium or live-sites), sampling at game, on-pack branding, retail trade programs and consumer promotions to name a few."

Fresh ShoutTake Carlton Draught for example. It has been a partner of the AFL for 20+ years and has always combined this sponsorship with other activations, from the famous ‘Big Ad’ that used to play during finals season on TV and often integrated with retail promotions, to last year, where during the final rounds MKTG partnered with CUB to create a ‘drinkable ad’ through a partnership with Shazam and Coles Group, AFL fans were invited to download a discounted case of beer by ‘Shazaming’ the ad that played on the stadium big screen.

Carlton Draught cemented its position as the official Beer of the AFL, not only grabbing the attention of over 200,000 fans in stadium, but also driving foot traffic into Coles Group stores and generating over $50,000 additional sales. It’s this winning combination that has led to Carlton Draught becoming synonymous with the AFL. Watch the campaign video here.

Cadbury UK tackled its sponsorship of the Premier League in a different way. With the UK chocolate market in decline, Cadbury turned to sports sponsorship to boost the market and increase sales. In this instance it was less about the association with the sport per se, as it was about giving the consumers a greater reason to buy their products.

One of the most important aspects in achieving this was that the partnership unlocked incremental visibility and space in retailers such as Tesco, allowing Cadbury to trade with value for visibility instore by leveraging its Premier League rights. It also ran on-pack promotions and paid media for additional amplification. As a result, it saw the chocolate market increase by 2.8%, had over 15,000 new retail displays and beat their revenue targets within the first half of the Premier League football season.

These two case studies demonstrate there are a number of different ways a brand can utilise a sponsorship opportunity. Marketing budgets are forever being scrutinized and it’s therefore in the brands best interest to make the most of their sponsorship to generate sales. According to Decoded, an MKTG owned piece of research on sports and lifestyle sponsorship;

  • 71% of sports fan were influenced in some way by a sponsors' messaging in 2017
  • Engagement jumps to 90% when the messaging or experience is onsite and in front of a live audience
  • 86% for product demonstrations and sampling and 78% for retail-based activations. These high engagement figures really help to justify the additional marketing spend

In the future we expect to see sports sponsorship continue to grow as an advertising medium, with new opportunities continually being developed. No longer is sponsorship solely the domain of those looking for branding within sporting or other live events. Instead, it is a channel within its own right, able to tell a brand’s story and add flavour and depth to existing communication channels.

The rise of digital and online streaming has also allowed for the more niche sports to find new audiences, while there is significant growth in the e-sports category with brands seeing this as a great chance to speak to the younger millennial audience that are notoriously hard to reach. There really is an opportunity for any brand to become involved.


  1. FORM MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIPS - A sponsorship deal should be a two-way partnership between the brand and the property. Both should benefit from a long term strategy build together
  2. TRADE IN VALUE - Leverage your competitive advantage to trade with your retail partners e.g. sponsorship value for retail real estate
  3. DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL - Integrate and leverage with all of your owned and earned assets – it’s no use having a sponsorship if you don’t do anything with it! Get your internal sponsorship and retail teams to work together
  4. DATA LED NOT CEO LEAD - sponsorship decisions made utilising data or research studies like DECODED or engaging specialist sponsorship consultants (like MKTG) to inform your decisions
  5. THINK OUTSIDE TRADITIONAL SPORTS - There is more than traditional Sports available to engage with your target market, especially in the e-sports category.

 ABOUT MKTG: MKTG is a lifestyle marketing agency, focused on connecting brands to people. We specialise in delivering strategy, business-oriented marketing solutions for leading brands via sports sponsorship marketing, live experiences and retail shopper marketing.

If you would like to discuss how we can help your brand, please contact MKTG at




MAA Globes recognise POPAI winners

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Globes 31st image

Five Aussie winners from the 2017 POPAI Awards have scooped trophies at the 31st annual Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide GLOBES Recognition Programme.

The Idea Shed took out Silver for Best Digital Campaign and Best Small Budget Campaign for its Pernod Ricard Bank of Dad Fathers Day Activation, while Convert also won a Bronze, Globe for its HP Reinvent Retail: Premium PC Relaunch in the Best Business to Business or Trade Marketing Campaign category.

Order of Excellence Certificate Winners included Dashing in the Best Business to Business or Trade Marketing Campaign category for Seafolly Vintage Wildflower; Styleprint, Best Brand Trial or Sales Generation Campaign, Woolworths Spring Fresh Asparagus Display; and The Idea Shed, Bank of Dad, Best Innovative Idea or Concept.

The Awards recognise the Best of the Best in the World in the Marketing Communications Industry over the last 12 months. Overall, 46 Gold, Silver & Bronze Category Globes were Awarded, together with the Red Globe for the Best Marketing Communications Campaign in the world. Thirty Orders of Excellence Certificate recipients were acknowledged.

Russian Agencies dominated this year’s programme with 20 Globes, including six Gold,  with Japan and India sharing second place with six Gold and one Red Globe, between them.

For the second year running, an Asian Agency, The Brand Brewery India, was awarded the Red Globe for the Best Campaign in the World for its Tata Salt, Sehat Ki Chuksi “Energy Popsicles” campaign.

Click here to view a full list of winners.


POPAI ANZ is changing

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Shop not fluro

In July 2018,  POPAI ANZ will undergo a name change, as we continue our mission of guiding, leading, and inspiring the retail marketing industry to current and future success.

As the industry has evolved over the 32 years since our inception, so must we. As a result, from July, POPAI Australia & New Zealand will be known as Shop! Australia & New Zealand.

The change is designed to better encompass the services our members provide and follow the growth and progression of the industry. We've taken this step to ensure the Association's relevance to the industry and continued engagement with the community we represent.

In terms of who and what POPAI/Shop! represents, as well as what we do, nothing will change. We will still continue to service the Australian and New Zealand markets, with our remit broadly inclusive of POP, shopper marketing, category management, experiential, trade marketing, activations, display, manufacturers and producers, creative agencies, logistics, procurement, field marketing, digital retail marketing, and store design, representing retailers, brands, agencies, shopper behaviour,  insights, branding, and suppliers to the industry. We are, and will remain, the only representative body for retail marketing in Australia and New Zealand.

What does this mean for members?

For members, this change has several advantages. Among these are an enhanced set of member benefits under the new name (to be announced soon).

A new website is also currently under construction, which will enable members to administer their own accounts, renew online, book all tickets through a central portal, access resources in a much easier manner,  view industry employment opportunities, and list in a new and improved members directory.

With the launch of the new website, which will be found at, members will be able to select topics that interest them and be alerted when an article or resource related to those topics is available.

In terms of our Annual Awards program, Summit, Professional Development Series,  and insights and networking events, nothing will change, and we continue to offer the same, if not higher, quality events as we always have.

From now  until launch, you will see a transitional blue POPAIme logo in use incorporating the Shop! name, as well as the dual use of the Shop! and POPAI logo in some cases in preparation for the complete change to Shop! ANZ when our new website goes live.  Until then, the current POPAI website will continue as per normal.

If you have any questions around this change, please don't hesitate to speak with me or one of POPAI board. Please keep an eye out closer to our July change over for an email with further explanation and instructions on using the new and improved Shop! website and improved membership benefits.

Carla signature

Carla Bridge
General Manager, POPAI ANZ (soon to be Shop! ANZ)



April Retail Environments magazine

Topics: Uncategorized

Retail Environments is the official magazine of the Shop!, free to all POPAI members and included in your membership. It focuses on the business of the ever-changing retail landscape. In the April 2018 issue of Retail Environments magazine you'll find:


Aoril retail environs

  • The Art of the Pickup
  • Explore Evolved Experiences at GlobalShop
  • Lighting the Way to Product Sales
  • Portfolio
  • GlobalShop Review
  • Brands are from Mars, Agencies are from Venus

You’ll also find new product information, inspirational photos of windows and store interiors, and news of member design and supply firms.

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New printers expand Active capabilities

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Active_Inca_X3_ABB_inactionActive Display Group (Active) has purchased the region’s first two Fujifilm Graphic Systems Inca Onset X series UV flatbed printers.

The purchase represents Fujifilm’s largest installations of its type in the Asia-Pacific region and features ABB Robotic Systems automation.

These combined systems, installed at Active’s Mulgrave site, can produce in digital wide format in addition to being automated with robotics.

Active’s new Onset X3 is capable of printing commercial-quality up to 900sqm an hour and features printhead technology from Fujifilm Dimatix. Both of Active’s Onset devices use the latest Dimatix R-class printheads which fire a standard 14pl ink droplet at billions of times per second.

They will also be running the new Inca ‘tear-drop’ feature which allows droplet tuning from 11pl - 17pl, giving Active the capacity to further improve image quality and eliminate the need for additional light ink channels, which dramatically reduces the ink usage per square metre.

Active’s second machine is an Onset X1 designed to be future-proof, meaning that an Inca Onset-X can grow with businesses with in-field upgrades such as additional printheads and higher speeds. Both X series devices will be running robotic automation, allowing Active to maximise productivity by stacking higher stacks of printed sheets - something that was not previously possible with scissor-lift systems.

This is of major benefit in terms of machine uptime, as other technologies increase the downtime due to pauses for stack changes.

Active’s General Manager of Operations, Stuart Gittus, said print speed at high quality will ultimately enable the business to be more competitive in a challenging market, while increasing capacity for speed to market.

"With the degree of automation, both machines can be run by a single operator. When the new Incas arrive, they will be printing a wide range of media including synthetic paper, art paper, screen board, fluted plastic and fluted cardboard for both Australian and global leading retailers and brands," Mr Gittus said.


2018 Awards entry & Judging

Topics: Uncategorized

POP2123_Shop_MarketingatRetailAwards_Logo_V1A (1)Entries to the POPAI ANZ 2018 Marketing at Retail Awards open next month, with categories and criteria all available to access at the POPAI website from May.

2018 will see all entries eligible for consideration in the Megara Environmental Stewardship Awards, rather than this being applied to a single category only, as environmental requirements grow in importance for brands, retailers and producers alike.

Dates to keep in mind include entry closing on July 6 and late entry cut off on July 16. For a full list of dates, visit our 2018 Awards page.

Expressions of interest to join our judging panel are now open. Online judging will take place from July 30 to August 13, and all judges must be available to complete their assigned categories within this time frame. To register your interest as a judge, click here.

Tips to keep in mind when planning to enter the 2018 Awards:

  • All entries must include a high resolution in market photo (no renders)
  • Client sign off is required. In the case of issues or questions of authenticity, the client decision is final
  • The entrant's company name must NOT be included in any responses
  • Your Entry Summary is publicly facing and is what will be used in any PR and in People's Choice Voting

For any inquiries, please contact POPAI GM, Carla Bridge, or 02 9281 2630.