By Richard Peters, Co-CEO, Stadia Solutions

If you’re a smaller football club, you may be wondering how to make the most of your assets to generate revenue. Football clubs – whatever the size – have a bewildering amount of assets to sell, and maximising them is tricky. A fair market rate for every sponsorable asset is the only way to maximise return – too cheap and you sell out, too much and you have unsold inventory losing value as every game passes. The truth is, there are more opportunities than many realise.

In sponsorship, like any marketing and advertising, all parties need to feel that they have got what they have paid for, at a fair price, and that the investment has given them a return. The ROI part often has a lot to do with the sponsor’s product, and is a little out of the club’s control. However, proving delivery and a fair market rate for the assets most certainly is in the club’s control and that’s where we can help.

The first step is to accurately evaluate what assets you have, and to gauge their market value (i.e. what they should cost your clients). This is not a question of a simple research report though. We take the best tools in the market, add in market rate data, and with decades of experience, build a media value report to give you and your sponsors comfort.

Our Insight Team starts with the basics, stripping down the whole estate to the constituent parts and placing a media value on each element. This is not about which clubs are charging what, but assessing how much that asset is commonly being traded for in the UK now, whether in sport or not. The more competitive your pricing, the more business you will win. We provide the club with a full audit, not just the obvious sponsor assets, but also the less obvious, such as social media.

This detailed inventory report gives the club the necessary information to work with their potential commercial partners to build bespoke packages that suit everyone. As well as valuing existing assets, this also allows clubs to place a value on their unsold inventory and on new or planned assets (for example WiFi) , opening up new avenues for commercial return.

We can also continuously track inventory, so this process is ‘always on’. We believe this is vital for all parties to be sure they are getting value throughout the contract. Brands are used to deploying advertising budgets with planning and commitment cycles that last months, not the years that rights holders crave. Building partnerships this way allows you and your partners to reconfigure rights throughout the term to suit. Your partners’ business objectives will undoubtedly change in the coming years. If you allow the rights to change with them, they will be more likely to commit long term, and stay.
In many ways, this approach makes the negotiation process easier, as the club understands the value they need to achieve while the sponsor can gain comfort that they are paying a fair price for all the elements of their partnership.

Of course, clubs can do this themselves, but commercial teams can often be dragged in different directions. Outsourcing for specialist advice can ensure an evaluation project is given full attention and resource, gives an independent viewpoint for your partners, and maximises returns on previously under-estimated assets.