Sponsors score as soccer fever hots up ahead of World Cup

New Delhi: Less than a week to go for the kick-off of the football World Cup in South Africa, main sponsors of the event, including Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa and Sony, are already scoring in popularity charts with public.

According to an online survey by global information and media firm Nielsen Company, sponsors of the World Cup are generating huge brand awareness through their association with the tournament, especially in countries where passion for the game is strongest.

When Indians were asked on who they think are the sponsors of FIFA World Cup, 39 per cent Indians voted for Adidas, 30 per cent of them think Coca-Cola are the sponsors of the game and 26 per cent believe Castrol to be the sponsors amongst others.

“Even before the first teams take to the ground in South Africa, it’s clear that the biggest investors in World Cup sponsorship are the ones most strongly associated with the event in consumers’ minds,” Nielsen Company, India President Piyush Mathur said.

The bigger the interest in football, the greater the public’s recognition of who the official sponsors are, he added.

The Nielsen Global Online Survey was conducted between March 8 and March 26, 2010 and polled over 27,000 consumers in 55 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.

Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa and Sony - four of the six top- level FIFA Partner sponsors - are the brands most strongly associated worldwide with the World Cup, the survey said.

“There’s high recognition of the involvement of World Cup sponsors McDonald’s, Emirates, Castrol and Continental,” it added.

Adidas, the brand that is providing the official World Cup footballs, is the one that consumers most strongly link with the event.

Globally, 41 per cent of people know that the sportswear giant is a main sponsor for the FIFA World Cup, but in football-crazy Latin America awareness level rises to 52 per cent, and up to 54 per cent in Asia-Pacific, where 70 percent of Chinese and 49 per cent of Vietnamese know that the sporting giant is a sponsor.

“Nearly one in four people (22 per cent) globally named Sony as a World Cup sponsor, rising to 26 per cent in Asia Pacific and 33 per cent in Latin America,” it said.

One in four global consumers also named McDonald’s as another Cup supporter, with higher awareness again among Asia -Pacific consumers (24 per cent) and Latin Americans (29 per cent).

While the cost of becoming a sponsor runs into hundreds of millions of dollars, the anticipated returns on investment make sponsorship of the world’s most-watched sporting event hugely appealing, the survey said.


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