Sponsorship, it works. National Sponsorship Index heroes Fandom, Goodwill and Linkage as key levers for Sponsorship effectiveness

Good news, sponsorship works. This morning, here in Core’s home base in Windmill Lane, our partners in Sponsorship and Research launched the National Sponsorship Index, the first of its kind benchmark for sponsorship effectiveness, which has been compiled over the last three years. While Sponsorship investment has been growing consistently over the last several years, there has been a huge challenge to prove it’s influence on a brand’s impact.

Jamie Macken, our Deputy Managing Director of Core Sponsorship, asked a critical question early on…we have been striving to measure our sponsorships; but are we measuring what matters?

What is the NSI?

The NSI (National Sponsorship Index) which launches today, provides a solution for many brands who are already investing in Sponsorship properties; and those brands who have yet to invest without such justification. However, the benchmark itself is only the starting point – as it is the conversations we look forward to now having in the Industry about how we can use this knowledge to take our sponsorship activity to a new level.

While you will find more detail on the NSI over on our website, hot off the presses – we wanted to share with you some of the highlights of this work presented this morning:


  • We mentioned sponsorship works. In fact, Irish sponsorships deliver an average improvement of 50% in commercial effects for brands.

  • The Top 10 Sponsorships in Ireland were also revealed today (image below). 9 out of the top 10 sponsorships have been active for over 5 years. Long term wins.

  • Tony Meenaghan, author of the ‘Understanding Sponsorship Effects’ and Chairman of Core Sponsorship, called out what makes the NSI different. Paraphrasing some of this comments this morning, he says “Rather than measurement of sponsorship being so focussed on business measures alone (consideration, sales uplift, awareness, etc), the NSI looks to the consumers, the fans and the people who are actually acutely aware and ingrained in the properties that brands sponsor.”
Sponsorship effectiveness, Sponsorship measurement, Irish Sponsorship Industry
Tony Meenaghan’s Paper on Understanding Sponsorship Effects

How does the NSI work?

Mark Nolan, Managing Director of Core Research, revealed the methodology behind the NSI, which is fundamentally based on three key levels: FANDOM, GOODWILL and LINKAGE.


As someone who was once dedicated to Social Media and its impact, the word ‘fan’ is not new in our world. However, we always questioned the value of a ‘fan’ back in the old days. Today, the NSI talks about Fandom in a new and more impactful way – leveraging different levels of people’s ‘interest’ in a property / channel / event.



Not enough to simply badge our brands overtop of a property that has loads of fans, the Goodwill measure is one that is perhaps overlooked. When our brand’s sponsorship is able to generate goodwill, the impact of the sponsorship will increase significantly – a +71% uplift in commercial effects, in fact.



And finally, it is one thing to find a property that generates fans and that our brand has helped create goodwill; but if there is not a direct, clear and relevant connection back to the brand – it will not have the effect we want. This is why the third measure is linkage, which also leads to a +30% uplift in commercial effects.

Knowing these three measures are the foundations of the Index, we can review how our Sponsorships are performing against each; and focus on the lever that we need to focus most on.

What’s next from here?

Well, it’s clear I’m a ‘fan’ of the National Sponsorship Index. ( 🙂 See what I did there?!). However, having brought the NSI to the market now, our colleagues in Core Sponsorship look forward to having more in-depth discussions on each Brand studied, and any future sponsorship activity you may be considering – so that we are always clear and confident as to how it will be measured.

You can also find more information on our website here.

Learn more about the NSI here

Our crew in Mediaworks enjoy working on activating many sponsorship properties in Ireland, and we’re all excited to use this new insight available on an ongoing basis to enhance our approach to this with clients.

For more questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself (Emer Lawn), or even better…your contact in Mediaworks and our pals in Sponsorship (@CoreSponsorship).


Emer Lawn is a Director in Mediaworks