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How El Clásico generates over $40m in media value for sponsors

Traditional TV broadcasts accounted for less than half the media value for the last time the two teams met

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid’s El Clásico matches generate over $40m in media value for sponsors, however live TV broadcasts now account for less than half of that figure, highlighting the need for brands to better understand the worth of the different media platforms available to them.

As two of the world’s biggest clubs prepare to meet in what is likely to be a league-deciding fixture this Sunday (23 April), research specialist Nielsen Sports has provide an overview of the value of each media platform for sponsors.

The analysis revealed that the combined TV and social media value of the last El Clásico in December 2016 generated around $42.5m for sponsors. Live TV broadcasts accounted for 43% ($18.5m) of the total figure, with social media making up 12%. In Spain, social media delivered the same amount of media value ($5.1m) as the country’s TV news coverage of the match.

“With social media adding over $5m in total value to sponsors, this shows just how critical a medium it has become,” said Max Barnett, Nielsen Sports’ head of digital.

Its value fluctuates depending on where a sponsor’s team is playing, so rights holders must be able to adapt from game-to-game. As the home team in the last fixture, with partner brands appearing throughout the Nou Camp, FC Barcelona generated 87% ($37.4 million) of the total sponsorship value while Real Madrid made-up 13% ($5.1m).

Barnett maintained that this “highlights the importance of social media for an away team as a tool to generate value for partners when there is no possibility for exposure through traditional in-stadium advertising inventory”.

Such was the case for Real Madrid last time out when 41% ($1.7m) of the total media generated for their sponsors came from the club’s social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Between both teams the most valuable social media post was Barcelona’s ‘Full Time Final’ video on Facebook Live which was watched by over 4.3 million viewers and generated over $186,000 for sponsoring brands.

Facebook Live was leveraged extremely effectively in the build-up, during and after the last match, driving 27m views from over five hours of content broadcast by the two teams.

Social media’s growing and fluctuating worth to sponsors has fragmented the media landscape, something which Barnett argues has left brands and rights owners grappling to understand the value of their partnerships and highlights why a “unified measurement is so important”.

Barcelona’s director of digital, Russell Stopford, agreed with Barnett’s emphasis on the need for a better understanding around social media’s value.

“Being able to see the value our content provides fans and partners is essential to FC Barcelona and social media is a key part of that,” said Stopford. “Understanding what that value is and importantly which media channels it comes from is also vital and becoming more and more important for us as our global reach continues to grow."

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Tony Connelly

I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This includes breaking news as well as writing feature pieces with insights from experts in the sports marketing world.

All by Tony