It seems only yesterday (in fact it was 15 years ago!) that I was co-authoring a report for MasterCard, entitled "The Revolution Will Be Televised" which helped form the basis for their football strategy over the following years.
It is also amazing how quickly the world of marketing can change. In 2013, the argument has flipped 180 degrees. The publication this week of Ofcom's Communications Market Report 2013 threw up some interesting statistics, which I feel will have a huge bearing on the future of the sponsorship market.
The headline was that it was 1950 all over again and the TV was the magnet around which the entire family was drawn. The sub-heading was that this was because many of us like to "media multi-task" and the televised content was either being used as the catalyst for social media-based conversations ("media meshing") or as background noise whilst performing other activities, such as gaming or emailing ("media stacking").
Whether technology is driving our behaviour or vice versa can be debated but it is clear that the rise of smartphones and tablets is a massive contributor to our changing behaviour. Data suggests that it's only going to become more pronounced.
So, what does this mean for sport? Well, if quantitative audience numbers count for little then sponsors should be pressing for depth and quality of audience engagement data. If broadcasters can't prove that the audiences are actually paying attention then the value of media-based sponsorships must be called wholly into question.
How many rightsholders have a second-screen strategy? What are we as an industry doing to engage (both physically and digitally) with our target audiences? The Ofcom data only tracks adult behaviour but there is much evidence to suggest that the younger the customer segment, the more likely it is to be media multitasking, which raises yet more questions about how we engage with them as physcial customers in the future. What is clear however is that we just can't rely on TV to do our work for us.
Read Pt.I of this article here, published in November 2011