Consumer Sponsorship Rankings 2013

Last week at the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™, more top line content was released from the CSR 2013 (Consumer Sponsorship Rankings). This research by the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists and REPUCOM provides exclusive proprietary knowledge and in-depth research for Partnership Group clients through its consultant’s access to the data. Partnership Group clients have the advantage of their consultant having the in-depth knowledge translated through this extensive research. The Partnership Group also makes this research available to properties and sponsors through subscription services to this unbiased annual study of over 2000 Canadian consumers and their perspectives on sponsorship in Canada.

Here are some of the findings released at the 2013 SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™. This is probably one of the longest Tuesday Morning Commentaries in the four years of this blog, but the majority (80%) is raw data and information. The balance (as usual) contains my thoughts and comments around it.

  • Ontario Lotteries Corporation was noted to be the most supportive lottery company in Canada.
  • Quebecers, though, believe more than any other province specifically that their lottery company is extremely supportive of the community through sponsorship , while Ontario rank second.
  • Canadians over 50 tend to see lottery corporations as extremely supportive more than the other age demographics, while couples versus singles feel that same way.
  • As a percentage of the whole, Atlantic Canadians  believe that oil and gas companies are the most supportive of sponsorship followed by western Canada, while Quebecers are almost 1.5 times more likely to say that oil and gas companies are not supportive of sponsorship in Canada.
  • RBC is cited by Canadians as the most supportive financial institution in Canada and leads not only overall, but also in each geographic sector (except Quebec where Desjardins leads the pack and BMO also wins out over RBC, but only by a slight margin).
  • CIBC ranks lowest of all five big banks at about 1/3 the rating of RBC.
  • Petro-Canada and Shell are both dominant brands in the energy sector, with Shell being the choice of Canadians in the west, while Petro-Canada reigns in Ontario. In Quebec and Atlantic Canada, the two companies are tied for first place.
  • Shell tends to skew to the favour of the younger audiences (under 30), while Petro- Canada skews highest with both the 30-49 and 50+ age demographics.
  • Rogers scores highest in most age, income, and geographic demos against any single other recalled single brand, but when Bell and CTV are combined, they dominate most categories
  • SHAW with Global, radio and TV ranks below TVA, Astral (now a Bell product) and Quebecor.
  • Coca-Cola not only ranks #1 in all categories (except the under 30 category and in Quebec where Red Bull ranks #1), but Pepsi is a distant fourth in rankings only coming at least second once, and that is in Atlantic Canada.
  • In the telecommunications sector, TELUS clearly ranks #1 in western Canada owning more share of Canadian consumer support than the next six telcos combined.
  • In the rest of Canada, Bell dominates share, with Rogers a close second and Videotron fourth, followed by SHAW.
  • Interestingly enough, though Air Canada’s overall share of positioning by Canadian consumers over the past two years has dropped slightly, it still dominates the landscape in all regions including the west, where it nudges by Westjet.
  • When it comes to exhibitions, the CNE wins overall with a dominant share in Ontario (obviously). The west is led by the Calgary Stampede with the PNE also taking a large share. Outside of the west, the PNE has very little recall, while the Stampede is recognized across the nation.
  • The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs a close third in most segments behind the Stampede and ranks #2 in Ontario.
  • Northlands Farm Fair Agribition outranks is own summer exhibition “K-Days” and also outranks Regina’s Canadian Western Agribition from a consumer recall perspective as a participant in the sponsorship industry in Canada.
  • The Juno awards continue to be most popular as a sponsorship property in Atlantic Canada, even though they were held in western Canada in 2013.
  • When it comes to Canadian music festivals, Ottawa’s RBC Blues Festival ranks #1, while older Canadians (50+) skew to the Montreal Jazz Festival.
  • The Canadian Cancer Society scores highest for a cause in the industry, and as could be expected, skews highest recall in the 50+ age category and $100,000+ income category, while the CIBC Run for the Cure shows up outside the top 10 of the most important causes or charities in Canada and the Terry Fox Run ranks highly.
  • Naming rights of events is least appealing to Western Canadians (one in four finds them unappealing); they are also not appealing to Canadians under 30, where again, one in four finds them unappealing.
  • More Quebecers find it extremely appealing for a sponsor to offer discounted tickets to an event, while the lowest number of Canadians as a percentage of the whole to find this extremely appealing are Atlantic Canadians – couples with children at home skew higher to this offer as a value than singles or couples without kids at home. Interestingly though, there is virtually no difference in any of the income brackets in the percentage who find the discounting of tickets extremely supportive.

This is just a small sampling of the data available from this extensive research. As you can extrapolate, bands can determine how to deliver sponsorships by region, age category, or other socio-economic data. What works in the west may not work in Quebec and data such as this proves that fact. This sort of data also allows properties to better understand what consumers think of them in unaided recall, not “exit surveys” or calls lists they have from subscribers or ticket purchasers from their own events. It also helps properties know how to market specifically to different sector categories and brands.
To achieve their best ROI, properties and sponsors need to understand the landscape from a consumer perspective. This study and its deeply segmented research delivers that understanding. Research is a critical part of success in sponsorship in Canada. For more information on how to obtain a copy of this exclusive research, email
These are just one person’s thoughts. Yours are welcomed as well. Please add your thoughts or comments below. Thank you for reading and your feedback.

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