Olympic Sponsorships Pay Off For Brands

Olympic-Rings-ANew Research from Havas Sports & Entertainment indicates that sponsorship of the upcoming London Summer Olympic Games (July 27-Aug. 12) and Paralympic Games has already led to stronger brand image and purchase intent for official sponsors' brands.

HS&E, the event marketing unit that is part of Paris-based Havas, said it would discuss the research further in a series of panels it will hold during the Olympics in London. Participants will include marketing companies, sports organizations and media outlets such as Procter & Gamble, Visa, the Olympics organization, the National Basketball Association, The National Football League, YouTube and Twitter.

HS&E said the study included a “wide range” of brands. An HS&E rep confirmed that some of the brands analyzed included The Coca-Cola Company, Visa, Panasonic, Lloyds TSB, BP, Cadbury, Holiday Inn and P&G.

The research shows that perceptions of brand image are on average 25% to 50% more positive across the studied sponsors, per HS&E. Those aware of a brand’s Olympic sponsorship are on average 50% more likely to view a sponsor as “world-class” or “admired.”

The study also found that consumers aware of a sponsor’s link to the games were 50% more likely to consider purchasing that sponsor’s product.

“Our findings demonstrate London 2012 sponsorship is already providing sponsors with tangible image and business results,” stated Alastair Macdonald, sponsorship insights director, HS&E. “These patterns apply specifically to the Olympic sponsors -- the same effect does not apply to competitor brands, which indicates this is a genuine sponsorship effect.”

Several more waves of research will be conducted through August of 2013 to glean further insights into the halo effect of sponsorships and to what extent they translate to an uplift in sales. For each wave of research, HS&E is polling a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults online.

The London Olympics Organizing Committee has raised over $1 billion in sponsorship fees from dozens of sponsors, including McDonald's, a top-tier sponsor reportedly spending $150 million for exclusive worldwide sponsorship rights for the retail food services category. It is using the Olympic logo in its branding efforts, advertising and thousands of meals for athletes and other Olympic-related participants.

Other major sponsors include BMW and British Airways.


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