Navigate Research

Industry Insights

As the industry leader in evaluating and measuring marketing investments, Navigate has a wealth of knowledge in the sponsorship and marketing space. This blog shares our knowledge and insights on current events in the sports business, marketing and sponsorship worlds.

MLS Introduces New Digital Branding

Navigate Research - Friday, July 10, 2020

By Kevin Kane

With the first game of the MLS is Back tournament, MLS introduced a number of new virtual broadcast branding opportunities for league and team sponsors. The one that caught everyone’s eye first was the Adidas branding at the center of the pitch. After tracking this logo for the first two games of the tournament, Navigate uncovered some insights on just how impactful this digital integration was, and will continue to be, throughout the tournament.


We tracked at least 18 minutes of prominent exposure throughout the 90-minute game (on screen for 1/5th of the broadcast). This equates to over 15 hours or 918 minutes of Adidas logo exposure throughout the 51-game tournament (taking into account the departure of FC Dallas and Nashville SC).


We estimate the Fair Market Value (FMV) of this logo to be roughly $75K-$100K per game depending on a reasonable range of ratings. For the tournament this would amount to between $3.8M - $5.1M.

It goes without saying that the league is doing everything they can to recover sponsorship value in this tournament. To MLS’s credit, the virtual integration of their partners and the rotating team partners was largely applauded. If MLS is looking to make good on lost value to its largest partners, this is a great way to do it. The league also allowed teams to place existing partners on the sleeves of their jerseys which will be a large boost to the brand exposure, specifically those missing out on naming rights value for this tournament. 

The implications of this for sports in months to come could be greater than we might expect. Who is to say this stops once regular season games resume, and if the center circle logo goes away, will other smaller areas take its place with rotating capabilities? Virtual logo integration could be a marquee asset for regional broadcasts in which teams would now have the ability to rotate partners on prominent on field positions and deliver higher TV exposure. The virtual logo integration is not anything new to sports, but the jolt from COIVD has brought technological advancements to center stage, some of which will continue once fans are back in seats.

AJ Maestas Global Passion

Navigate Research - Friday, June 26, 2020

For those I don’t know well, global travel and service are passions of mine.  Most of my work has been domestic, but that’s changing with my introduction to REALITY and the JDC.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (Schusterman), comprised of the REALITY initiative and the JDC Entwine grantee, is a global organization that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity. I was nominated to attend my first trip to Israel with the REALITY Sports group by Mindie Kaplan (thank you Mindie!). It was a week-long leadership journey that gathered amazing people in sports, health and wellness in an intensive, thoughtfully curated itinerary designed to elevate our leadership and ignite our ambition to change the world. We had the chance to visit the holy sites of three of the largest monotheist religions in the world, learned an extensive amount on the history and culture of the Middle East, and were fortunate enough to visit and experience the Holocaust Museum. It was incredible to explore Israel's culture and society through the lens of sports professionals, and as a platform for understanding the complexities of my own community and industry. 
The second JDC Entwine / REALITY partnership trip I was able to attend was to Ethiopia. Accompanied with another amazing group of individuals, we learned about the incredible programs in Africa, along with a flawless feedback loop for improvement on ways they are changing lives in the continent and country. Examples include Tikkun Olam Ventures (TOV), which leverages Israeli AgTech like drip irrigation technology to help lift Ethiopia’s most vulnerable farmers out of poverty. From this specific program the farmers are improving yields 2 or 3-fold. We also saw first-hand the work of Dr. Rick Hodes who selflessly has saved hundreds of lives across the continent with lifesaving and free surgeries.  Specializing in the most extreme cases the Dr. is a true angel who has fostered and adopted numerous children to host and fund them through their life transformation.  

We are starting to give back now, starting with the badly needed financing to support the work of the Dr. Rick and his team. We're responding to COVID-19 in Ethiopia today with handwashing stations, community awareness campaigns, PPE to medical clinics, and webinars with Dr. Hodes about COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment for East African medical professionals on the frontlines. 

A few highlights of our travels and the kids in need are linked below. If you are interested in learning more about the amazing Schusterman, REALITY or JDC initiatives, or ways in which you can become involved with relief funds / attending the next trip, please contact me!  
Links to learn more:

Blackout Tuesday

Navigate Research - Tuesday, June 02, 2020


Navigate Research - Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Navigate set out to understand (1) sentiment of sports and entertainment post COVID-19 and (2) the predicted shifts in behavior from the consumer/fan POV. 

Overall, COVID-19 has shaken up the sports landscape in America, but the sentiment and forecast for sports fans resuming ‘normalcy’ is promising.  While attendance is predicted to decrease among fans, they are still eager to get back into stadiums. In the meantime we can expect a notable increase in viewership.