World Cup sponsors fail to resonate with fans

Most World Cup sponsors are failing to connect with football fans, according to a new survey.

The study, commissioned amongst 1,143 football fans in the UK shows that unprompted awareness of Coca-Cola (32 per cent), adidas (19 per cent) and McDonald’s (14 per cent) is strong.

However, the remaining official FIFA partners and sponsors have failed to get onto people’s radar.

The study by PR consultancy Van Communications shows that Sony and Visa have unprompted awareness scores of 10 per cent and seven per cent respectively.

Just five per cent of fans associate Budweiser with the tournament, while only one per cent of those questioned thought Emirates and Hyundai were World Cup partners.

Nike tops the list of brands winning the guerrilla World Cup war – beating many brands investing in official ‘partner’ and ‘sponsor’ status.

The study also highlights brands that have chosen to link their association with the World Cup through the England team are faring badly.

According to Van Communications, none of the FA’s ‘official supporters’ have any meaningful level of consumer recognition.

Umbro has an unprompted awareness score of four per cent, followed by Carlsberg (three per cent) and Nationwide (two per cent). National Express did not resonate with any football fans.

“Traditionally sponsors want their marketing campaigns to make an impact before the start of the tournament because, once the first ball has been kicked, then little gets in the way of the action on the pitch,” says Mark Cooper, a director at Van Communications.

“Any brand not yet resonating with football fans has a very narrow window of opportunity left to them in which to get their act together and raise their profile. ”

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