As the world watches the games in London unfold, billions are tuned into their TVs, and exposed not only to some superb sport, but also to thousands of ads and sponsorships as brands fight for exposure. But does this kind of sponsorship work?
It does, say sponsorship experts, Havas Sports and Entertainment (HS&E). Research released the company shows sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games has already led to substantially stronger brand image and purchase intent across a wide range of official sponsors’ brands.
“Our findings demonstrate London 2012 sponsorship is already providing sponsors with tangible image and business benefits. These patterns apply specifically to the Olympic sponsors – the sameeffect does not apply to competitor brands, which indicates this is a genuine sponsorship effect,” says Alastair Macdonald, sponsorship insights director at HS&E.
“The impact we have measured is already significant, before the Games have even begun. Once the study has been completed in 2013 we will have the most comprehensive set of evidence yet produced as to how effectively sponsorship of the Olympic Games affects consumers’ perceptions and attitudes, as well as the impact on the products they choose to purchase.”
Perceptions of brand image are on average 25-50% more positive across a representative selection of Tier One and Tier Two London 2012 sponsors included in the study. Those aware of a brand’s Olympic sponsorship are on average 50% more likely to find a sponsor brand ‘inspiring’ and ‘trustworthy’ and 25% more likely to view a sponsor as ‘world-class’ or ‘admired.’
This enhanced brand image then successfully translates into a significantly higher purchase consideration, with those aware of a brand’s sponsorship being on average 50% more likely to consider purchasing a sponsor’s product.
The study was commissioned by HS&E, to identify the effects of Olympic Games’ sponsorship on sponsor brands, and to track interest in and attitudes towards the Games over a period of two and a half years.
“The key for brands is to use these sponsorships to engage with their target audiences in meaningful ways so they can benefit fully from the positive association highlighted in our research. Our insight from working over 20 years in global sponsorships and with 10 London 2012 sponsors is that the most effective campaigns find a meaningful association with the sponsorship that is unique to the brand or product, inquestion, and creates added value experiences,” says Lucien Boyer, president and global CEO of HS&E.
“We look forward to discussing this research in more detail at the HS&E House in London, which will bring together sports industry experts from brands and governing bodies for a series of daily seminars this summer.”
The HS&E Olympics sponsorship study will be presented at the HS&E House in London during the Games.