The Olympics – a major international sporting event that comes around every four years. It’s no wonder that brands are keen to pay big bucks to get involved...
But is it really worth forking out all that cash? What value do brands really get out of it?
I came across some research earlier from Opinium Research, who has been keeping a close eye on not only this year’s official Olympic sponsors, but also the brands that have no connection with the Games, but that are benefiting from it.
A survey of 2,000 people in the UK showed that only 10% of Brits are aware that BMW is an official Olympics partner. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola came out on top as the most recognised Olympic sponsors, with almost half of the UK aware that they are partners, with the awareness growing even more as we get closer to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Coca-Cola, in fact, has seen the biggest increase of 10 points between January and April.
But what is more interesting is that while brands pay a lot of money to be associated with the Olympics, those that aren’t involved are mistakenly getting credit from the public.
A fifth (22%) of Brits mistakenly believe that EDF’s rival British Gas is a partner to the Olympics. Meanwhile, Visa, British Airways, Lloyds TSB and Coca-Cola may not be so happy to find that their biggest rivals Mastercard (20%), Virgin Atlantic (18%), HSBC (14%) and Pepsi (11%) are thought of as being partners to the Olympics.
It’s clear that the big global brands among us – such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola – have a lot to gain from sponsoring a major sporting event such as the Olympics, but, as this latest research shows, maybe you don’t have to fork out the big bucks to increase brand awareness.
See also: Brands hit the right note - a recent piece we did with the official sponsors of the MTV EMAs to see what they got out of sponsoring an international event.