Market research firm E-Poll, which tracks consumer interest in and response to brands, athletes, celebrities, media programs and properties, issued a report this week that includes a look at the partnership between the NFL and Microsoft.
E-Poll concludes that Microsoft’s NFL sponsorship has been a win-win for both parties, starting with a look at how the brands complement each other. The research looked at 11 positive attributes and brand-connection statements among 18-to-54-year-old sports viewers and found that both brands exceed their respective industry averages on all 11 values.
For example, Microsoft is at least 10 points above the average score among technology companies for attributes such as “a leader,” “classic,” and “family friendly.” It is at least five points above the average of its competitors in the other eight areas, including, “high quality,” “influential,” “one of my favorites” and “makes my life better.”
The NFL is at least 15 points above the average score among sports leagues for attributes including “entertaining,” “one of my favorites” and “popular with people I know.” It also is at least five points above the average in the other eight areas, including “exciting” and “cares about making a positive difference in the world.”
In addition to sharing that type of brand health, the NFL and Microsoft offer each other a boost in areas where one is stronger than the other, according to E-Poll. For example, in the areas of “better than competitors,” a brand I identify with” and “would try brand’s new products and services,” Microsoft scores at average or below average versus its tech competitors. But the NFL scores 17 points above average in “better than competitors,” 15 points above average in “brand I identify with” and 11 points above average in “would try brand’s new products and services.”
Conversely, the report states that “implementing Microsoft’s tech throughout the league via Surface devices, apps, servers, etc. has proven beneficial to the league’s shift to a digital future.” To support that conclusion, E-Poll cites findings that show Microsoft scores 13 points above average for “cutting edge,” 12 points above average for “innovative” and 10 points above average for “trend-setter,” while the NFL scores below average on each of those three attributes versus other sports leagues.
Although there are many more elements that would need to be evaluated to determine the ultimate performance of the partnership for both parties, the look at how consumers feel about the brands indicates a solid foundation for the sponsorship to deliver return on objectives and investment.