The Effectiveness of Broadcast Sponsorship: Channel 4 Sales’ Sponsorship Rocks

March 21, 2024

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In a landscape where brand safety and transparency are paramount concerns within the media industry, Channel 4 Sales has recently unveiled the results of its exclusive Sponsorship Rocks study. This comprehensive analysis provides compelling insights for brands navigating the complex world of advertising.

Over almost 240 sponsorships and 666 waves of research involving more than 400,000 viewers spanning the past fifteen years, Channel 4’s Sponsorship Rocks study showcases the effectiveness of broadcast sponsorship across various key performance metrics. The study, conducted in collaboration with independent research agency Consumer Insight, boasts a dataset twice the size of its predecessor in 2017.

This time, the research goes beyond traditional boundaries by incorporating streaming data, creative coding, and Barb reach and frequency data. The inclusion of these elements offers brands a holistic understanding of the impact of broadcast sponsorship in today’s dynamic media landscape.

Key findings

1) The findings indicate that in comparison to non-viewers of sponsorship, significant uplifts are seen in awareness (+8%), consideration (+8%), brand perceptions (+7%), relevance (+5%), trust (+6%).

2) Longevity emerges as a key factor in amplifying brand impact. Sponsorships running for over two years see a remarkable +20% boost in consideration compared to those lasting 1-2 years.

3) Frequency proves to be a virtue, with idents seen more than 60 times garnering a substantial +57% increase in prompted brand awareness.

4) Sponsorships improve with age. When more than 20% of viewers claim to be ‘getting fed up’ with a sponsorship ident*, it correlates with increased standout (+5%) and noteworthy boosts in awareness (+19%) and purchase intent (+30%).

5) Sponsorship delivers impact at any size. There are no significant differences in key performance indicators (KPIs) between lower and higher reach sponsorships, making it an attractive option for both new-to-TV brands and those with smaller budgets.

6) Particularly striking is the appeal of sponsorship to younger audiences, with the 16-34 age group exhibiting the highest recognition cut-through, traditionally a challenging demographic to engage.

7) Content alignment is crucial. A staggering 81% of respondents agreed that sponsors were appropriate to the content they sponsored. By closely aligning a brand’s creative with a sponsorship, the study suggests that brand metrics can be amplified, and key attributes of a programme can transmit onto the brand.

8) Correct branding emerges as a critical factor in sponsorship success. The study underlines the amplifying effect of additional factors, including product placement, licensing, and sponsorship of clips on social media. These strategies contribute to incremental gains across key KPIs, reinforcing the multifaceted benefits of a well-executed sponsorship strategy.

In conclusion, Channel 4 Sales’ Sponsorship Rocks study not only reaffirms the considerable power of broadcast sponsorship but also provides advertisers with some guidelines to navigate the evolving media landscape effectively. As brands seek meaningful connections with audiences, the study showcases the enduring impact of well-crafted sponsorships in driving brand success.

*ident is a short-form for an identifier, 10 – 30 seconds long short ads used to brand a network or channel.


This study highlights how well sponsorships allow brands to draw on broadcasters’ unique mix of content, creativity and innovation. The debate around brand safety continues across all media platforms, therefore it is so encouraging to see research which shows broadcast sponsorship provides a reliable, transparent and effective platform for brands.
Rupinder Downie

Sponsorship and commercial partnerships leader, Channel 4 Sales

Case studies:

  • Bosch Home Appliances & Channel 4 Inspired Living
  • Sensodyne & Made In Chelsea
  • Arnold Clark & Channel 4 Drama

Find out more about case study results here.