Major brands including Budweiser, Visa, Ford, PepsiCo, and McDonald’s invest big money in sponsoring organizations such as the NFL, the NHL, and the Olympics to increase the perception and value of their brands through affinity marketing. More often than not, the primary intent of these programs is to increase sales among fans through a direct association with the organizations. Sponsorship is a big stakes marketing ROI play that’s typically measured by how big the return will be.

However, what happens when sponsors find themselves in the middle of an emotionally charged national conversation such as the controvery surrounding the national anthem and the NFL? Similarly, what happens when a top athlete lands himself, or herself, in legal trouble that puts their sponsor’s brand in jeopardy?

In these scenarios, as well as in many others, our clients turn to prediction markets to provide invaluable consumer insight by informing both long term investment strategy and shorter term rapid response decisions.

A Prediction Market in Action.

In response to the NFL national anthem controversy, Consensus Point, along with its partners, ZappiStore and Lightspeed, wanted to predict how the “take a knee” demonstrations would impact both the sales and brand perception of NFL sponsors. A representative US sample of N=282 respondents participated on October 2, 2017.

Our research also addressed predictions around game viewership and attendance.  We wanted to know if NFL fans expected there to be an impact, and, if so, would the impact be short or long term.

How Do Prediction Markets Work?

Grounded in behavioral science and economics, prediction markets are a highly validated and efficient research method. Rather than predict their own behavior in a survey question, participants bet virtual currency (tokens) based on their knowledge and judgment of how a target audience will behave in a future state. This method has resulted in less biased and more accurate predictions of future in-market events and sentiment – especially when it comes to controversial topics!

Importantly, not all prediction markets are created equal. In fact, the best ones leverage a behavioral algorithm and gamified participant experience to capture the collective “wisdom” of a target audience. Four simple activities are then dynamically measured and aggregated to produce highly accurate results.

To Learn More

To receive a copy of the NFL national anthem report, or to schedule a demonstration of the Huunu prediction market platform, please contact us at 615-250-6600 or