Transforming sponsorship in Sydney’s most celebrated rugby union competition

The Shute Shield is Sydney’s premier club rugby union competition. Played between April and September every year, it consists of 12 teams participating in a 18 game round-robin competition that concludes with a playoff series and Grand Final. The tournament is managed by Sydney Rugby Union (SRU) under the auspices of New South Wales Rugby and its naming rights sponsor is Charter Hall. 

Rugby Union is one of three Winter Sport codes in Australia, and competition for fan attention and sponsorship revenue is high. To help its proposition stand out, SRU wanted to take an innovative approach that would use data to demonstrate the value of sponsoring the competition to existing and potential sponsors alike.

We were brought in to find solutions

Demonstrating sponsorship value

Following an initial consultation, we assessed SRU’s challenges and proposed a programme of sponsorship tracking across three key Shute Shield matches, as well as the Grand Final. After each fixture, reports were created showing SRU the visibility of their key sponsorship assets, as well as the equivalent media value they generate.

A modern approach

The way fans consume the sports they love has changed, with as many following coverage through social media as watching on television. Our approach takes this into account, and monitors official social channels, as well as live broadcast and highlights packages, to deliver a truly comprehensive view of visibility and value.

To arrive at our figures, we first use AI to identify logos within broadcasts and across social content. A proprietary methodology that takes factors such as the size of the logo on screen and its clarity gives us an understanding of the quality of the logo’s exposure, and that information is put together with attention metrics to understand the impact the appearance may have made on the audience.

Data-driven decision-making

Data is only half the battle; actionable insights delivered rapidly are even more important. Having analysed the data, we created concise reports to show SRU the total media value generated through sponsorship and via each channel and asset. 

Key points were analysed and recommendations made on how to enhance visibility and add further value for sponsors. And to give SRU the opportunity to take advantage of these recommendations in time for future fixtures, we delivered the reports within days of the games being played.

A new approach to sponsorship

SRU were delighted with the reports and renewed our services for the 2023 Shute Shield season.

Peter Watkins, General Manager at Sydney Rugby Union, said: “DataPOWA helped introduce us to a new way of thinking about our sponsorships. Their methodology is transparent and they presented their findings clearly and simply, allowing us to easily communicate them to stakeholders. 

“Their rapid turnaround is particularly beneficial. Rather than waiting until the end of the season, we were able to respond quickly to performance, make necessary changes and deliver additional value to Charter Hall.

“I’d strongly recommend working with DataPOWA to anyone looking to take a forward-thinking approach to their sponsorship and take their sport to the next level.”

Get in touch to find out how DataPOWA can help you get more from your sponsorship deals.