World Cup sponsor messages failing to cut through

Most sponsors are still failing to connect with football fans despite their huge investment and with the FIFA World Cup less than a month away,
According to a new survey of over 1,000 UK football fans, unprompted awareness of Coca-Cola (32%), Adidas (19%) and McDonald’s (14%) is strong. However, the remaining official FIFA partners and sponsors have “failed to get onto people’s radar”.

According to a new survey of over 1,000 UK football fans, unprompted awareness of Coca-Cola (32%), Adidas (19%) and McDonald’s (14%) is strong. However, the remaining official FIFA partners and sponsors have “failed to get onto people’s radar”.

The telephone study, carried out on behalf of PR consultancy Van Communications by ICM Research, shows that Sony and Visa have unprompted awareness scores of 10% and 7% respectively.

Visa will be “particularly concerned” that slightly more fans (8%) associate rival (and Champions League sponsor) MasterCard with this summer’s tournament, says a Van Communications spokesman.

Visa Europe senior vice-president for brand management Eith Colin Grannell told Marketing Week last month that “awareness is important to us, but it’s not the complete end game”.

Despite a widespread campaign across several media channels, just 5% of fans associate US beer brand Budweiser with the tournament, while only 1% of those questioned knew Emirates and Hyundai were World Cup partners.

The study also highlights that brands that have chosen to link their association with the World Cup through the England team are faring “very poorly”. Kit supplier Umbro has an unprompted awareness score of 4%, followed by Carlsberg (3%) and Nationwide (2%).

Van Communications director Mark Cooper says time is running out for brands to make an impact.

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