What’s it worth to sponsor Ted Lasso’s fictional AFC Richmond?
June 28th, 2023, Clifton Mark

What’s it worth to sponsor Ted Lasso’s fictional AFC Richmond?

Ted Lasso is a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Since the release of the third season, the feel-nice football sitcom has been one of the most-streamed and most in-demand programs in US and UK markets. This means that sports brands featured on the show are getting a lot of valuable exposure. But just how valuable is it?

YouGov Sport has long provided valuations of brand sponsorships for sports broadcasts such as Wimbledon, the ATP and more. But what about streaming content? How much was The Last Dance worth to the Chicago Bulls, for example? How valuable was the exposure in F1 documentary Drive to Survive to Mercedes? Or, more to the point, how much is the exposure in Ted Lasso worth to Nike? As commercial director Joshua Marcus puts it, “To date, rights-holders and sponsor brands have been faced with something of a blind spot when valuing docuseries and other SVoD content.”

Fortunately, says Marcus, YouGov has found a solution to this problem. “With the advent of YouGov Stream, we’re now able to integrate robust streaming audiences and ensure this value isn’t being left on the table. The data we’re releasing today shows the significant value this type of content provides and can supplement more traditional means of sponsorship activation.”

How does it work? Product lead, Dominic Prince explains. “Through gathering zero-party data shared with us by our panellists, YouGov Stream allows us to accurately predict audiences for titles on streaming platforms. For example, Ted Lasso has already been seen more than 14.5 million times across the US and UK alone, despite it being just 28 days since the final episode of the series released. This kind of data on streaming audiences unlocks new abilities in the arena of sponsorship and product placement valuation, which we’re well served here at YouGov to provide.”

Audience data for SVoD content allows YouGov Sport to apply its methodology based on proprietary logo-recognition software.

For example, within the Ted Lasso world, Nike was the sponsor of the fictional AFC Richmond and appeared on the team clothing. Over the course of the third season, YouGov Sport values this apparel exposure in the US and the UK at $20.5m (£13.9m). What about the appearance of the swoosh on the interview board where Lasso sits when being grilled by the media?  $1.8m (£1.2m). Altogether, the value of Nike’s exposure in Season 3 of the fictional sports world of Ted Lasso is worth $27.2m (£18.4m) - so far.

Of course, Nike was not the only big brand in the show. Hypothetically, if AFC Richmond existed in the real world, its exposure on team clothing, in the changing room and player bench, on the side of buses and so on would be worth $32.2m (£21.7m). Never one to leave money on the table, Nike has capitalized on this exposure and created a line of AFC Richmond branded sportswear.

Another big sponsor of the fictional football club is the equally fictional dating app Bantr. Promoted by model-turned-PR consultant Keeley Jones, the app eschews pictures, making users rely on the written word to judge potential dates. According to YouGov Sport methodology, the total exposure of Bantr to UK and US audiences is worth over $10.6m (£7.2m). Would a dating app without pictures be popular? Real-life dating app Bumble partnered with the Apple TV comedy to find out, launching Bantr Live within the regular Bumble app.

Sports sponsorships on SVoD are valuable, a fact that brands like Nike and Bumble are taking full advantage of. YouGov Sport, coupled with data from Stream, now provides a tool to determine exactly how much return on investment such deals can deliver.

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