The latest Brand Agility Index by PR firm Waggener Edstrom Communications [WE] analysed the effectiveness of sponsors across five UK-based events: Wimbledon, The Ashes, The Open, World Championship Athletics and Silverstone F1.
Topping a list of 19 brands, Robinsons was credited for its “pick one event and go big” approach and its personalisation during Wimbledon, in which it deployed community managers to respond instantly to tweets.
“Like Irn Bru, who topped our list last year, Robinsons is proof that that a ‘pick one event and go big’ strategy is what works rather than spreading yourself too far afield,” said Gareth Davies, head of digital and insight at WE.
“It had a very strong community engagement plan with community managers responding to almost every single tweet, making it score very highly in personalisation.”
The Brand Agility Index works by scoring brands 1-5 points on 10 categories including standout; how the brand stood out amid other content, right to play; could a brand justify its position at the tournament; relevance; originality and sentiment reaction. It achieved this by analysing all conversations and engagement levels from brands at each of the five events through the BrandMatch tracking tool.
Under Armour was second to Robinsons for its sponsorship of golf’s The Open, scoring highly in personalisation, sentiment and speed, and originality. WE was impressed by its social media strategy in generating support for golfer Jordan Spieth and posting tweets as if they were printed onto golf balls.
Brands who performed poorly include Nike and its sponsorship of the World Championship Athletics. It lacked a “consistent story” and didn’t “properly engage” with the tournament despite the likes of Mo Farah wearing the Nike logo, according to the study.
Beer brand Bombardier, meanwhile, was slammed for only posting one tweet against the hashtag of #theashes despite cricket being one of the brand’s primary content themes.
In terms of the F1, Hackett and Red Bull both scored low across the board, with each accused of “not putting enough effort” into their content or posting enough tweets to support their respective teams.
“Overall there is a trend that shows fewer brands truly engaged with consumers at sporting events in 2015 in comparison to 2014,” added Davies.
He concluded: “Only a handful of brands, such as Robinsons and Ladbrokes, went big on content and creativity with many just relying on wasted commentary fans could have easily got elsewhere.
“However this dip could be due to a lack of major events in the UK in 2015 comparable to the impact of the Commonwealth Games or Tour de France last year.”