IEG’s Annual Event Marketing Survey
Pepsi Beats Out Coke as Most Frequently Mentioned Brand

• IEG’s annual event marketing survey, containing quantified findings from 2,039 properties listed in the 2000 IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook, holds a wealth of event marketing and sponsorship data.

• Nonalcoholic Beverages represent the most active sponsor category in terms of percent of properties reporting sponsors in that category; Telecommunications is down from last year.

• For the first time, Pepsi edged out Coca-Cola as the most frequently mentioned sponsoring brand (19% vs. 17%).

• More than 90% of the properties surveyed list at least one media sponsor; newspaper held onto the top spot after knocking Radio out last year, cited by 26% of properties compared with Radio’s 20%.

Interest in event marketing and sponsorships is up — particularly for Internet and telecommunications-related sponsor categories — but Radio involvement in event marketing continues to lag behind that of newspaper, according to the results of IEG’s annual event marketing survey. The survey, with analysis based on data from the 2,039 sponsorship opportunities listed in the 2000 IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook, is jam-packed with valuable data your station can use to get involved in event marketing and sponsorships in your area.

This issue of Radio Sales Today touches on some of the survey’s findings, including the most active sponsor categories, the top 10 sponsoring brands, the status of media sponsorships and more. Throughout the survey, reference is made to "properties." This term refers to any event, location, or venue that offers sponsorship opportunities.

Most Active Sponsor Categories
Percent of Properties Reporting
Sponsors in Category
Category 1999 1998 1997
Nonalcoholic Bev. 49% 46% 34%
Telecomm. 35 40 25
Automotive 35 35 29
Bank 32 28 25
Beer 25 28 28
Source: 2000 IEG Event Marketing Survey

Top Dogs
The sponsor categories cited by the highest number of properties are listed in the table at left. Once again, nonalcoholic beverages are at the top of the list with nearly half of respondents (49%) citing some sort of tie to a nonalcoholic beverage sponsor.

The categories that showed the most increased sponsorship interest were the Internet and telecommunications categories. Virtually every respondent that noted a change in the Internet category reported increased interest, and 94% of respondents reporting change in the telecom category did the same.

The strongest growth in event sponsorships was in the nonalcoholic beverage category, probably driven by the addition of non-soft-drink players such as bottled water. This category was listed by 49% of the properties surveyed, up from 46% the previous year.

Top 10 Sponsors
The properties included in the survey indicated more than 4,500 brands among their sponsors; certain brands, however, stood out. After topping the list for three years in a row, super-sponsor Coca-Cola was edged out by Pepsi this year, with the two soda giants appearing in 19% and 17% of properties’ sponsor lists respectively. Coke does still maintain a healthy lead over third-place Budweiser/Bud Light at 13%. AT&T captured the number-four spot with mentions on 8% of properties’ sponsor lists, and Miller Brewing captured the number-five slot with 7%. Rounding out the top 10 in a five-way tie are three top-10 newcomers (American Express, United Airlines, and Sprint), as well as list veterans American Airlines and Ford, each with 4%.

Attendance and Budget
Most properties are relatively small, with almost half drawing fewer than 50,000 attendees. Nearly 12 percent of properties draw more than one million attendees; five percent draw between half a million and one million; 22 percent draw between 100,000 and 500,000; and 12 percent attract 50,000 to 100,000.

Properties with $1 million-plus budgets increased to 29 percent from 27 percent last year; 22 percent reported budgets between $250,000 and $1 million, and 49 percent reported less than $250,000.

Media Sponsorships
More than 90% of the properties surveyed listed at least one media sponsor. This figure represents a slight drop from last year’s 95% figure. After several years as the most-cited media partner, Radio was edged out by newspaper last year. This year, newspaper held on to the top spot once again. Newspaper sponsors were cited by 26 percent of properties, compared with Radio’s 20 percent. Trailing Radio are TV stations at 18 percent, magazines at nine percent, and cable channels at eight percent.

What’s It to Radio?
Event sponsorship remains a valuable sales/revenue tool and an important part of station-level marketing efforts. Newspaper’s second year in the top spot should be, if not cause for alarm, certainly a wake-up call for stations who may be missing out on sponsorship opportunities. The overall decline in media partnerships means that there are chances to profit out there for enterprising NTR sellers who are keeping an eye out for new revenue opportunities.

For more information about IEG or the Sponsorship Sourcebook, call IEG at 1-800-834-4850; for other information about event marketing, call RAB Member Service at 1-800-232-3131 or log on to RadioLink at