While a few years ago mainly static boards were used, video boards with LEDs are now the state-of-the-art for clubs in the first and second Bundesliga. During a match, several companies and brands can have a place on the board and creative design options such as animations are also possible. Most clubs have double boards, i.e. two rows of video boards arranged one behind the other in their stadium. This allows either two different brands to be advertised at the same time, or a company can use both boards for a coherent animation to increase the advertising space with this so-called power pack. In addition, there are the Cam Carpets, printed carpets that are often located next to the goals directly behind the goal lines and look like upright advertising spaces from the angle of the lead camera of a broadcast.
In order to investigate the effect and impact of these three different advertising media in stadiums (first and second boards, Power Pack and Cam Carpet), the market research institute DCORE and SPORTFIVE conducted an extensive study in Germany. The German market is particularly well suited for such a study due to the great fascination with football. The qualitative study, which approached the topic of perimeter advertising through interviews with football fans, was followed by the quantitative study with over 300 football fans. The aim was to find out how fans perceive perimeter advertising and the like in order to make it easier for companies and brands to choose the right advertising medium.
How do fans view advertising and sponsoring?
The study found that fans rate advertising and sponsorship differently. About 28 per cent of respondents found advertising annoying, while this was the case for sports sponsorship for only 14 per cent. More than half of the participants understood that sponsorship serves to finance the clubs and only just under 16 percent thought that sports sponsorships were overbearing. However, when it comes to advertising, 37 percent criticised that there is more and more of it. For 55 percent of the respondents, it was important that the company fits the club - then the sponsor is also perceived more likeable.
Does fan status influence advertising perception?
The perception and rating of the various advertising media differed according to fan status. The Power Pack, for example, appealed to around 57 per cent of heavy fans who follow almost all matches in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga. In comparison, this type of perimeter advertising was met with enthusiasm by only 37 per cent of those who follow roughly only every second football match. The classic advertising placement on the first and second boards was only able to convince 19 per cent of the general football fans surveyed, compared to just under 36 per cent of the heavy fans. The cam carpet also went down well with the heavy fans: 43 per cent found this type of sports sponsorship innovative, while only 28 per cent among the interested parties saw it that way. All in all, all three different advertising media in the stadium were better received by heavy fans than by those generally interested in football.
Which type of advertising is most likely to be remembered?
In comparison, one advertising medium clearly came out on top: the Power Pack. The respondents found this type of advertising more eye-catching, innovative and visually appealing than the classic perimeter advertising or the cam carpet. The study participants also remembered the Power Pack better - but in general, perimeter advertising, whether Power Pack or on the first or second perimeter, is better remembered than the Cam Carpet. Younger people and those with a higher level of education in particular rated the various advertising media better and were more positive about them, regardless of whether they were Power Packs, classic boards or Cam Carpets.
Which designs work best?
The same is true for all three advertising media examined: lettering must be clearly legible and logos must be presented visibly. The study shows that with dynamic content, font and colours in particular should be more eye-catching and concise than with static content. Product animations as part of the Power Pack lead to the respondents tending to rate the advertising as higher quality and more eye-catching. Especially due to the large area of the Power Pack, animations can therefore be used well to attract even more attention and entertain fans and viewers.
The study shows that perimeter advertising is still an important and effective form of sports sponsorship. The Power Pack in particular, with its large surface area and the possibility for eye-catching dynamic content, proved to be particularly effective and is better remembered by fans than the Cam Carpet, for example. However, companies should make sure that they enter into authentic sponsorships that fit both their own brand and the club. Overall, however, advertising media in stadiums offer a wide range of opportunities to increase the reach and impact of companies with football fans.