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

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