Turnstile Interview – ISC 2024

Turnstile is about giving the sports market the best possible way to assess what sponsorship is worth.

Moving away from valuations based solely on media equivalency, it provides fair market valuations.

“We’re about trying to evolve the market so that there are actually accurate, defensible and ultimately translatable values being discussed and talked about,” explains Andrew Brember, Turnstile’s Head of Commercial.

The company does this by taking a more holistic approach to valuations which they believe can provide a truer reflection of how sponsorships should be transacted.

“If everyone is coming to the table, on all sides of the sponsorship conversation, to negotiate over the same logical, rational, justifiable starting point, then the negotiations will be more productive,” Brember continues.

In this way, Turnstile helps rights holders understand what is realistically achievable when talking to the market about how much they want for sponsorship. Equally, on the other side, they help brands to understand what they should be paying for a package and inform them of their true worth.

As such, Turnstile’s clients are diverse. From federations and football clubs to agencies and brands, it can support in making sure they all achieve the right value.

These clients all benefit from Turnstile’s recognition that intellectual property also has weight in sponsorship deals.

Brember explains that companies do not just sponsor football clubs, for example, to have their logo on TV and get hospitality at a game. Instead, they are paying for an association with that organisation, their community and heritage, and what all that stands for, too.

So while media equivalency currently sets a benchmark in sponsorship, a core part of Turnstile’s proposition is the inclusion of IP in any assessment. This is what sets it apart from its competitors.

“[Intellectual property] has historically been treated as intangible and therefore unquantifiable. We don’t he agree with that,” Brember says.

“It’s that connectivity to emotion, to fandom, and to all that slightly softer side. That’s value that we’re leaving on the table.”

In this way, Turnstile are finding greater returns on sponsorship. Where space on a shirt or on pitch side LEDs is finite, an association with intellectual property can continually elevate value.

By attending ISC 2024, Turnstile has increased its own visibility and facilitated conversations across the industry.

“The ideal world is that a couple of football clubs come up that we’re not already working with and we can propagate those conversations, but we’re open to talking to everybody,” says Brember.

When reflecting on recent challenges, Brember was realistic about current economic conditions with everyone thinking harder about how they spend their money. But he sees opportunity in the situation.

“Our proposition is ultimately about making sure the money [clients] do spend is better spent,” he says. “So actually, part of our conversation is we can help you spend the budget you’ve got more effectively.

“Invest a little bit with us to make sure that the multi-million-pound sponsorship is as effective as it can be.”

At the heart of its business, Turnstile wants to see an evolving market where two sides can come together over a rational starting point for deciding what a sponsorship is worth.

“We believe,” Brember says, “that both buy and sell side should understand the fair market value.”