Football sponsorship results revealed

Being French and having lived through the World Cup final and Zidane’s famous “coupe de boule”, Marketing Week readers will forgive me for taking my time to write. My previous letter (MW June 1) examined which global brands consumers associate with major sports events.

Before the FIFA World Cup, Adidas and Nike were running neck and neck for consumer recognition as tournament sponsors, even though Adidas was a sponsor and Nike wasn’t.

I can now report final findings from the Metro Life Panel (MLP), which surveyed 11,000 European Metro International newspaper readers before and after the World Cup to test recognition of sponsors.

Adidas and Coca-Cola increased their brand recall from 44% and 41% before the World Cup, to 64% and 53% afterwards. Their non-sponsor rivals, Nike and Pepsi, saw reductions from 33% and 9% before the tournament, to 30% and 8% respectively. This suggests that a percentage of the population will always think that certain big brands are associated with the biggest events whether true or not.

Interestingly, other official sponsors such as Philips, Continental, Anheuser-Busch and Toshiba only managed to score zero or +1% increases in brand awareness. This indicates that being a second-tier sponsor of a major event does little for a brand’s recognition. In other words, you need to be a main sponsor to really create cut-through.

Wilf Maunoir

Head of research

Metro International

London W1

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here