Football star Luka Modrić invests in sports social media app Sportening

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Sponsorship and engagement marketing solutions company KORE Software has announced two acquisitions, buying both sponsorship analytics provider Hookit and professional sports vertical from CRM company SSB. The acquisitions will increase sponsorship and consumer insights for KORE customers, who now cover nearly 1,000 sports properties, 20,000 athletes and more than 100 major global brands.

Hookit’s artificial intelligence analyzes a brand’s social media exposure and engagement to help gauge sponsorship ROI. Among the 75 brands to use Hookit are Red Bull, EA Sports, Pepsi, Mastercard, Oakley, New Balance, Nissan, Audi as well as the Las Vegas Raiders, ATP and UEFA.

“Covid has helped us in a weird way,” says Hookit CEO Scott Tilton. “When events ceased, social media defaulted to being the number one way to activate and take full advantage of referrals. If brands and rights holders weren’t serious about measurement and ROI, Covid just forced that. So we ended up growing through Covid, and 2021 has been a really good year for us.

KORE now also owns the professional sports division of SSB, whose data management tools are used by teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Wizards and Detroit Tigers. SSB is expected to change its name and focus on the higher education and college sports market.

Hookit began by measuring the value of social media sponsorship on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Today, Tilton says TikTok is “just dropping off the charts.”

“We were seeing statistics around the Tokyo Olympics. And some of the athletes were driving like 20x engagement on TikTok than they were on Facebook,” Tilton said. “I would say Instagram is probably the dominant platform right now, and TikTok is catching up fast.”

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