Toronto arrows

Case Study

The Toronto Arrows Win Sponsorship
Dollars with an Assist from Relo Metrics


The Toronto Arrows are a rugby union club based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and are members of Major League Rugby. The team was founded in 2018, and have already made their presence known in the sponsorship space. They have already renewed a majority of their sponsors and signed a handful of new ones for their upcoming season thanks in part to the data they receive from Relo Metrics.

Even though they are a non-traditional sport operating in Toronto's diverse sporting landscape, working with Relo has helped them be able to prove the value they bring through both social and broadcast to retain and attract new partners.

The Toronto Arrows may be a smaller team, but with a strong sponsorship team that uses Relo, they have the tools to be able to show the value that they are bringing throughout the season.

The Challenge

The Arrows knew that for them to compete to win dollars from bigger sponsors, they needed a holistic approach to measuring sponsorship value.

Specifically, their Director of Digital Strategy, Alex Borthwick, knew that they needed data on broadcast performance. By not providing data on broadcast they were missing out on tracking and reporting back to their partners about 80% of the total value their sponsorships were bringing in.

Borthwick also wanted to make sure that his team could easily see if their digital content plan was working and be able to tangibly report back on his team’s success both to partners and internally. Being able to put a monetary value to all the different channels they were using to promote sponsors was something that they needed.

The Solution

The Arrows decided to partner with Relo Metrics knowing that Relo had worked with other MLR teams and the league. They wanted to ensure that:

  • They had a single provider for broadcast and social data to have a consistent value provided to their sponsors.
  • They had a tool that enabled them to report faster to their sponsors and make real-time changes during the season
  • They would be able to show sponsors where they excel compared to other teams in their market.

Real -Time Data

The Toronto Arrows use Relo Metrics’ near real-time data to see how their partners are reaching and exceeding the value of their partnership, where they might need to optimize, and the total value of assets through the course of a season. This way, they are easily able to show the ROI that partners are receiving from working with them.

They also can also see which particular channels are bringing in the most value. This season they noticed that although they had fewer followers on the platform, TikTok content was resulting in considerably more engagements and impressions than Facebook so the team now puts more energy into creating content on TikTok.

Unlocking New Sponsorship Opportunities

Since the Arrows are a newer team, they wanted to make sure they were taking advantage of all available assets that they could pitch to partners.

Relo was able to help them see that the back of the jersey was a very lucrative sponsorship opportunity for them, which they had previously not been selling. Traditionally, brands lean towards wanting their logo on the front of the jersey, but the way that rugby is played, the back of the jersey can be lucrative as well. Now, going into this upcoming season they can already demonstrate the value that a partner would receive with this placement

Team Benchmarking

Relo Metrics’ Benchmarking tools have allowed the Toronto Arrows to see how their social performance compares to others in their own league and similar-sized leagues.

The Arrows have used this data to position themselves as a top content creator in Major League Rugby. Benchmarking tools have shown them that while they might not be first in the league in terms of followers, they are regularly number one when it comes to engagements generated. They can now make brands aware of this and show the value that engagements can bring.

Borthwick also recognizes that while rugby is a relatively niche sport in North America, the Arrows still want to make sure their performance is on par with other leagues similar in size. They have been able to use engagement rate data to provide their partners and sales team with intel that shows that even though they might have fewer followers, they still have a higher engagement rate than more than half of Canadian Football League teams. This has been a really powerful story for the team to be able to tell.

The Result

The Arrows now have tangible numbers they can show partners that demonstrate by investing a smaller amount with them than with other teams or leagues, they can generate a stronger return.

In particular, when they were only three-quarters the way through their 2022 season, the Arrows were able to show their title sponsor that they had already over-delivered on that partnership.

Going into the 2023 season,the Arrows are armed to increase revenue through renewals and due to new assets found through whitespace analysis.

About Relo

Relo Metrics is an AI-powered sponsorship intelligence platform that allows rights holders, properties, and brands to understand, measure, and maximize their sponsorship investments. Relo tracks sponsor exposures across live broadcasts, social media, and OTT streaming platforms and leverages an allin- one platform with a single methodology in near real-time. Over 200+ global stakeholders in the sports marketing and sponsorship industry trust Relo’s data to power their partnership performance.