Finally, how can we analyze the impact of a cycling sponsorship on our brand and visibility? The answer is “indirectly.”
First, we see upticks in activity on social media when we directly engage our followers with specific news about the cycling team. Tweets are retweeted, views of LinkedIn posts tick up. Back Bay Cycling Club and Ride Studio Cafe helped us promote the launch of the team with a party last summer, and this got good social media buzz. Because most of our followers are in life sciences companies, we know we’re catching the eyes of potential clients. In addition, our credibility and trust scores with Google have risen, contributing directly to our search engine positioning.
Pictures and videos have higher rates of engagement on social media, and we are able to use lots of exciting shots of our racers in their Team Averica skinsuits. These may not generate retweets or click-throughs from non-fans, but they represent “touches” nonetheless.
Second, we see a 5-8% recognition rate of the program when talking with customers. The only visible event that generated a similar level of comment (“I saw the press release about the cycling team – great stuff!”) was the launch of a completely new-look website in 2012. Talking with a scientist/customer on the phone, it’s not uncommon hear “I used to race bikes and I think it’s great you sponsor the cycling team.”
Last, our press releases about the team and our social media activity are heavily tracked within the cycling community. We get attention as a local/regional sponsor, a supporter of women’s cycling, and we get a figurative fist bump for being associated with Erin Faccone, Hanna Rossi, and Julie Wright (Team Averica) and Alex Carlson, Lydia Hausle, and lots of others on Back Bay Cycling Club. We had the good sense and good luck to get our name associated with outstanding, wonderful people who are well liked and well connected.
We have more than a year to go with Team Averica before our sponsorship agreement runs out. In all likelihood, we’ll look for a way to extend our involvement, whether or not we learn the best way to quantify the impact. It’s clear that Averica’s brand benefits from it.