Olympics legacy: High morale and a boost in brand perception

The wide reporting following the London 2012 Olympics lists improvements to public transport, urban regeneration and the boost in sport engagement as the most powerful legacy, but new research shows that the Games have done the most for the perception of big brands and morale.

Mindi Chahal

The wide reporting following the London 2012 Olympics lists improvements to public transport, urban regeneration and the boost in sport engagement as the most powerful legacy, but new research shows that the Games have done the most for the perception of big brands and morale.

Research Now’s study looked at a global sample of 7,200, across the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany and France. Respondents were asked their views on the sponsors, and UK respondents were specifically asked how their attitudes about London and the Games have changed since the Olympics have come and gone.

The data shows the most pervasive legacy is a solid “onwards and upwards” mentality in British morale. The report also suggest a few stand-out brands that have benefited most from the Games.

A quarter of respondents said they more more inclined to buy from Adidas, and 17 per cent from McDonald’s and Samsung, purely because they sponsored the Games.

Slightly under a third of American respondents said they are now more inclined to buy from Coca-Cola, compared to just 12 per cent of Britons.

This comes at the same time Coca-Cola release figures for its last financial quarter claiming that its marketing to promote its sponsorship of the Olympics helped boost the number of products bought by consumers.

While marketing efforts might have resulted in a greater inclination to buy from some of the Games’ worldwide partners, roughly a quarter of respondents didn’t understand why Atos, Dow and BP were sponsors. Perhaps demonstrating the lack of communication from these firms around their sponsorship.

The potential waste of money can also be seen in the UK Consumer Attitudes Audit by Future Poll, the quant service from The Future Laboratory. This study showed a five per cent net positivity score for olympic sponsors, where as non-sponsors received eight per cent.

Over half of the sample were aware of how olympic sponsors effectively banned mentions of the olympics in the advertising and media output of non-sponsor brands. It is suggested that as a result, brands that did not sponsor the games emerged, post-olympics, with a significantly improved public perception than those which were sponsors.

Brand perception is changeable, as with the true nature of a legacy, only time will tell how well sponsors and non-sponsors fair as more brands release their success stories.

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