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Aussie-founded sports agency Repucom rebadges as Nielsen Sports after buy-out

The boss of the newly rebadged Nielsen Sports has said brands need to start really understanding the return on investment of their sponsorships, and move beyond the idea of “logo counting”.

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Australian-founded global sports marketing agency Repucom rebadged as Nielsen Sports last Monday, after the company was bought out by the research giant last month in a US$195m deal.

Repucom was founded by Australian Paul Smith in 2004 to specialise in measuring and valuing sports sponsorships, with one of its local bosses Shane Mattiske telling Mumbrella the deal will mean it can create more sophisticated tracking systems in the future.

“We’re very, very excited about this partnership with Nielsen, and already we can see huge value in joining the old Repucom offering together with this huge depth of data and insight that Nielsen provides across the broader landscape, whether they are digital insights, social media or digital measurement,” Mattiske told Mumbrella.

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Managing directors Shane Mattiske and Guy Port

Mattiske will continue as co-managing director of the Australia and New Zealand operations alongside Guy Port. While the deal means the company is now effectively a business unit under the Nielsen umbrella, he said there would not be any redundancies and the agency would remain in its current offices.

Asked about a recent opinion piece from Gemba’s Rob Hall which derided the habit of many sports marketers to rely on logo counting – totalling up the amount of times a company logo appears in the media with that sports brand – as a measure of success Mattiske said it was time for brands to really understand the return on investment across all channels.

“Media exposure is an important piece of information and it is something that has held currency for a long time internationally,” he said.

“But it is just one piece and there is a very strong focus in the Nielsen business of forming a view not just of television exposure but forming a view of total audience, so we have a view of how fans and consumers are accessing and engaging with content irrespective of the device they’re consuming that content through.

“And beyond that looking into behaviour and actually forming a link between the way a brand activates right through to how a consumer has responded through the retail products.”

He said one of the benefits of the new deal was being able to tap into Nielsen’s huge trove of consumer and media data, as the providers of social media, TV and digital news media ratings.

“The Nielsen offering has the ability to see when a fan’s in a supermarket deciding what type of cereal to buy, and we’re working now to connect that right back through to the marketing activity that brand may have undertaken within sport,” he added.

“It really provides a much deeper and more insightful view of how effective sports marketing and sponsorship can be.”

Globally the company works with the likes of the English Premier League, NRL and NBA, while locally it has relationships with many sports codes and a number of tourism bodies.

Mattiske said it was important in the fragmenting media world to “understand how consumers are consuming their sports content” and said that would be another focus for the company moving forward.

Mumbrella’s Sports Marketing Summit is this Thursday, July 28, with topics spanning sponsorship, broadcasting and data on the agenda. See the program and book your tickets here.

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