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Consumers oblivious to Olympics sponsors

London Olympics Sponsors get a raw deal

Survey shows that despite spending millions of dollars in Olympics sponsorships, brands are not being able to get through to consumers and create awareness, which defeats the purpose of the exercise.

July 29, 2012 2:30 by

What comes as a rude shock to Olympics sponsors is that not only are consumers unaware of their brands’ association with the London Olympics 2012, but rival brands seem to have stolen the spotlight altogether.

In an online survey of 1,034 U.S. consumers last week, 37% of respondents identified Nike as an Olympic sponsor, and just 24% said, correctly, that Adidas is one. Thanks to a seemingly clever ambush marketing plan,

designed to steer public attention towards its global advertising campaign called ‘ Find Your Greatness’ which coincided with the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

The skew is a bit less alarming in the case of Coca Cola. While majority of the respondents cited the correct sponsor, a significant 28% incorrectly believed that Pepsi is a sponsor. It’s unclear whether respondents understood that marketers pay for category exclusivity and so Coke and Pepsi, for instance, can’t both be sponsors.

One of the most-cited brands was McDonald’s, correctly named by 40% of respondents, but 19% of those surveyed believed Burger King is an Olympic sponsor. Respondents were then asked if that Olympic sponsorship makes them feel more positive about that brand. Interestingly, some of the highest response rates were for brands that aren’t sponsors.  54% of respondents said Olympic sponsorship made them feel more positively about Nike while 52% said the same about Burger King and 48% about Pepsi. Talk about a plan backfired!

Another finding from the survey showed that 16% of respondents incorrectly identified Google as an Olympic sponsor. And 60% of those asked the second question about their feelings toward Olympic sponsors said that the sponsorship made them feel more positively about Google. Wonder if that has anything to do with the multicolored Google logo, which might have forged some kind of a confused recall for the public.

The bottom line is that the Olympic committee and official sponsors had better find a way to turn the game around soon, or the millions of dollars spent in sponsorship deals will have rival brands laughing all the way to the bank.

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1 Comment

  1. Mecandes on July 30, 2012 12:58 am

    I assumed Google was an Olympic sponsor not because of the colour of their normal logo, but because they have _changed_ their homepage logo to incorporate Olympic imagery that changes daily. See:


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