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.

Sponsorship Activation Wednesday 5.27.15

Navigate Research - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Rolling Stones were featured on Justin Wilson’s car during the Indy 500!

  • Wilson’s #25 car, part of the Andretti team, featured a Rolling Stones logo with a "checkered tongue." 
  • The Stones launched the rock band's 2015 “Zip Code” tour on Sunday in San Diego. On July 4, the Stones will perform at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"Image is Everything"

Navigate Research - Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sports sponsors and advertisers invest millions of dollars to associate with a team, player, or event in order to achieve a multitude of possible business objectives. Assuring the right fit is absolutely crucial in order to see a return on those dollars spent. Depending on the nature of a brand, associating with controversial players or topics in sports can sometimes bode well. 

For example, world-renown 1990’s tennis player, Andre Agassi, was seen as a deviant in the sport of tennis. However, brands such as Canon, leveraged his rebel reputation and used him to promote their, at the time, new Canon EOS Rebel camera with tagline “image is everything.” While associating with a reputable figure such as Agassi with his rebellious attitude may have not been beneficial for numerous brands, Canon saw utilizing Agassi’s image as a great opportunity and fit. 

When aligning with a rather controversial figure, it is crucial for brands to perform proper front-end risk assessments before executing any kind of endorsement. Nothing would be worse than going into an endorsement deal with the hopes of enhancing your brand to only get burned by illegal or immoral actions of the chosen figure. 

Today, there have been numerous controversies in associating with controversial sports figures including Adrian Petersen, Alex Rodriguez, and Johnny Manziel. Alex Rodriguez has experienced numerous boos by his own fans due to PED usage. Adrian Petersen lost his endorsement of Nike due to violent behaviors involving his child. While the controversy is quite obvious in terms of people’s reactions to these issues, sponsors and advertisers focus and concern is how these controversies are affecting consumers’ views on their brands and, ultimately, consumers' behaviors. 

At Navigate Research, we help brands measure the impact of their partnerships across a variety of different metrics. All brands have unique business objectives and at Navigate, we are here to help understand how to achieve those objectives, as well as, effectively utilize research and data relating to your investment. 

The "B" Word in Higher Education

Navigate Research - Friday, March 13, 2015

Written by Jackie Schetter 

Earlier this week Mark Cuban brought attention to the announcement that Sweet Briar College would be closing its doors when he tweeted, "This is just the beginning of the college implosion."  ESPN, Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, NPR and multiple other news outlets have also picked up the story or chimed in on the unfortunate situation.  Cuban has expressed his concern for funding in the higher education space for a few years, as evidenced by his creation of, a site that tracks student loan debt.

With student loan debt on the rise and many public universities feeling the crunch of state budget cuts on an annual basis, administrators are under a lot of pressure to fix this problem.  This problem being - how to successfully operate on less without displacing the burden on the students by raising tuition.  This is a tall task but as the saying goes, there is no education like adversity.
While use of the "B" word has traditionally been discouraged in higher education, the call to action here is for universities to start operating like Businesses.  While the number one priority of schools should be to maintain the integrity of their mission and the delivery of education, they do need to start thinking like and operating like a business if they want to remain relevant and keep their doors open.

One key area that is being underutilized by most schools is the purchasing and procurement process.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over $450 billion are being spent annually by post-secondary institutions on a wide array of products and services.  By nature, the RFP (Request for Proposal) process is very stiff and transactional.

Navigate Research is working to reinvent the RFP and transform it into more of a "Request for Partnership," which would create a two-way, living and breathing partnership opportunity.  Between a dozen or so key procurement categories, universities can raise millions of extra dollars per year by harnessing the power of their loyal communities (faculty, staff, students, alums, etc.) and delivering the full package to their vendors.

Sponsorship Activation Monday - 3.9.15

Navigate Research - Monday, March 09, 2015
Each Monday, we will share some great activation practices throughout the sports and entertainment landscape. This blog will serve as a space to highlight innovative ideas and campaigns. Want to have your idea or campaign featured? Send us a note on Twitter at @Navigate_Res

Today, Samsung Canada announced a sponsorship deal with the NHL to be an official corporate partner. However, they are looking to get more than just exposure out of their sponsorship. Brands today are looking to use sports sponsorships to generate content tying in both the brand name and associated sponsorship in order to enhance their overall impact. 

Samsung Canada is leveraging their sponsorship with the NHL by allowing Samsung smartphone users who download the NHL app exclusive access to videos that other phone carriers are not allowed to access, including edited footage from the NHL's "Situation Room," where officials review videos on disputed calls. After a call is made, Samsung users will also be able to view a video explaining how the officials reached their decision on the play call. 

Senior Vice President of the KMAC Group marketing consultancy, Keith McIntyre, says, "Samsung's products fit with how people consume games. People want to be able to stream, and it allows Samsung to truly showcase how their products can be brought to life." 

While Samsung's deal also includes sponsorship of a blog on, the exclusive content they are receiving is the most vital element because it reflects broader sports sponsorship trends. Fans our looking to experience a brand through content, rather than simply viewing their logo in an arena or on TV. Sponsors nowadays must build experiential marketing elements into their sponsorship packages in order to gain greater impact.