Thinkbox: What TV Sponsorships Deliver for Brands

Share the love and get with the programmes

People love their favorite TV shows and brands that sponsor them can share in that love and borrow from it. That is the central finding from new research by YouGov and House 51, commissioned by Thinkbox.

The study – ‘Get with the programmes’ – reveals the mechanics of TV sponsorship and its ability to build affinity for brands. It provides marketers with the evidence and benchmarks with which they can measure the impact TV sponsorship will have on their business.

It shows how TV sponsorships:

  • Matchmake viewers with brands
  • Increase key brand health metrics
  • Turbo-charge awareness, especially of newer brands

The research also provides guidance on creating the most effective TV sponsorships, in particular the importance of creative congruence and the success of long-term partnerships with their ability to provide long-lasting brand preference even after sponsorships have ended.

House 51 used a blend of mobile self-ethnographies, filmed depth-interviews, and a quantitative survey across 8 TV sponsorships, each time interviewing 300 viewers/non-viewers, to understand the mechanics of how TV sponsorship drives brand affinity.


YouGov key findings - evidence for the impact of TV sponsorships on brand health and increased effectiveness

TV sponsorship turbo-charges awareness – especially for lesser-known brands

The reach and frequency that comes from sponsoring a TV show raises brand awareness for all brands. For lesser-known brands this is particularly the case, underlining the impact TV sponsorship offers new brands.

For less well-known brands, both their brand and advertising awareness scores were substantially higher for viewers of the TV shows they sponsored. Brand awareness was 17.2% points higher than for non-viewers (it was 1.1% points higher for well-known brands).

TV sponsorship effects live on

In the six months following the end of a TV sponsorship, whilst ad awareness fell as expected, brand health metrics decayed at a far slower rate.

On average, looking at 16 completed sponsorships one month after they ended, the key brand health measures were unchanged. Six months after the sponsorships had ended they had only reduced by 19%, meaning that 81% of the advantage gained with viewers of the sponsored TV show was still active.


People judge you by the company you keep, and this is at the heart of TV sponsorship’s power. Through this research our understanding of how TV sponsorships work is better than ever.

Matt Hill , Thinkbox, Research and Planning Director

  • 17.2% Brand awareness was 17.2% points higher than for non-viewers.
  • 5% When the sponsorship creative was a good fit with the TV show, key brand health metrics for viewers of the sponsored show were 5% points higher than for non-viewers.

For more information on this case study, please click HERE for more from Thinkbox...