Research shows The World Cup brand winners

Involvement with the World Cup is obviously a big investment for a brand and research from the South Africa 2010 tournament sheds some light on whether the marketing spend is worth it. 

Mindi Chahal

Carlsberg was the big winner in 2010 with its ‘Probably the best team talk in the world’ activity, with 26 per cent of marketers saying it had a lasting impression on them, according to a study by consultancy EMR.

The brewer’s activity came ahead of Nike’s TV campaign (18 per cent) and Bavaria Beer’s ambush stunt (17 per cent).

Bavaria, a non-FIFA affiliated Dutch brand of beer, ambushed a match between Holland and Denmark by getting 36 women to wear short orange dresses carrying its logo.

Yet marketers are divided on the subject of ambush marketing. Almost a third (32 per cent) feel ambush marketing should be subject to stricter regulations while 33 per cent feel the opposite, with the remainder unsure. 

This sounds about right considering the amount sponsorship deals cost. Clever brands will explore how they can associate themselves with these events on a small budget. While Bavaria was rapped by FIFA for its activity, the brand had positive results in terms of brand impression and recall. 

It may be obvious that sports brands gain the most from World Cup activity with almost half (47 per cent) of marketers picking out one of the two sportswear giants as enjoying the greatest brand benefits.

However, what is interesting is that more than one in four (28 per cent) marketing professionals identify Nike as making the most from its association with the World Cup. Official sponsor Adidas – signed up until 2030 – only gets 19 per cent of the vote.

Meanwhile brand Brazil will clearly benefit, with almost half of the respondents predicting a positive lift for the country.  

In global events such as this the fight for attention is always tough. With the opening ceremony next Thursday and England’s first match a week on Saturday, brand activity is reaching fever pitch. 

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