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Nielsen Enables Brands to Maximize Return on Investment Amid Fast-Changing Sports Sponsorship Market

4 minute read | February 2021

Trusted sponsorship analytics combined with advanced marketing effectiveness measurement empower brand CMOs and CFOs to leverage sports sponsorships to the fullest

New York, NY – Feb. 23, 2021 – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) is unveiling new scoring metrics and insights enabling forward-thinking brands to compare the impact of their sponsorship activities directly to other marketing, promotion and advertising initiatives on an equivalent basis. Leveraging Nielsen’s leading sponsor logo tracking, media valuation and marketing mix modeling capabilities, the global Return on Sponsorship Investment (ROSI) solution empowers analytics-minded organizations to make smarter decisions on resource allocation and optimize the effectiveness of their portfolios in the face of dynamic market conditions. 

ROSI provides brands an all-new holistic view of the effectiveness of each of their sponsorship investments based on sales revenues and brand health over time. For sports rights holders on the sell-side seeking to monetize owned assets, the solution delivers critical intelligence to unlock new revenue opportunities with key targets and drive contract renewals with existing partners. The solution comes to market at a time when key decision-makers and their organizations rely on trusted data and advanced analytics more than ever to drive positive business outcomes.  

According to Nielsen Sports’ new “Changing Value of Sponsorship: 2021 Sports Marketing Trends” report, uncertainty caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in even more scrupulous spending and sharper focus on return on investment measurement across all marketing activities and vehicles. Consequently, the industry is calling for a measurement framework that validates sponsorships’ contribution to sales revenue both in the short and long term. Based on global benchmarks, Nielsen estimates that nearly half of sponsorships drive 3% or more of total sales for brands and 16% of sponsorships generate 5% or more. These significant contributions potentially account for millions or even billions of revenue dollars for the largest global brands.

The ROSI solution is built on four primary measurement and benchmarking datasets from Nielsen:

  • Sponsorship logo exposure capturing impressions, time on-screen and earned media value
  • Sales impact identifying percentage of sales attribution
  • Fan impact providing fan demos including age, gender, income, location and fan size
  • Brand/sponsorship impact measuring brand health including awareness, consideration and purchase info

Based on these inputs, a brand can gain new insights into total return and return against individual sponsorship investments, relative return compared to traditional media investment by channel, percentage of sales driven by sponsorship and impact over short and long-term horizons. 

Using ROSI, a brand with an active portfolio of sponsorships would enjoy unprecedented visibility into whether one sponsorship accounted for a larger percentage of overall ROI compared to the others and reallocate budgets accordingly. Going further, the brand could compare spending across its full marketing media mix and optimize the channels used for activation.

“To succeed in today’s fast-changing market, a holistic view of marketing activities and the ability to compare activities and channels over time are more critical than ever,” said Jon Stainer, Managing Director, Americas at Nielsen Sports. “Nielsen’s ROSI capabilities provide analytics-driven CMOs and bottom line-focused CFOs with all new metrics and benchmarks to enable the best use of their budgets and most effective sponsorship activations possible.”

As the worldwide leader in media measurement, advertising planning and optimization as well as content services, Nielsen is uniquely positioned to bring these new sponsorship valuation and effectiveness measurement capabilities to market. Nielsen already provides the currency measurement on which the $70 billion U.S. linear TV advertising market operates, and ROSI capabilities are a natural extension of the company’s core expertise. 

Nielsen Sports is the premier provider of analytics and insights within the sports industry offering the most reliable source of independent and holistic market data in the sector and the most complete view of consumer trends and habits worldwide.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. NielsenIQ (formerly known as Nielsen Global Connect) provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in nearly 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Jenna Richardson