With six months to go until the London 2012 Olympics starts, the benefits of being an Olympic sponsor have yet to be realised according to a new survey by Ipsos MORI's Reputation Centre. Overall, spontaneous awareness of the companies sponsoring the Olympics is very low, with three in five (59%) not being able to name any corporate sponsors at all.
Long term Olympic sponsors Coca Cola and McDonald’s are the most well known (11% each), however the majority of the major sponsors are barely recalled as such – only 1% spontaneously mention Panasonic or Samsung as sponsors despite both companies being long standing members of the Olympic Partner Programme.
Awareness amongst Londoners for some of the larger sponsors, including BT, Lloyds TSB and EDF, are higher than elsewhere in the country, suggesting that London centric advertising campaigns are having more impact than national ones.
Managing Director of Ipsos Reputation Centre, Milorad Ajder, said:
“The Olympics represent a wonderful platform for brand building and the evidence to date is that there is more work for sponsors to do. Building brand equity on the back of the Games cannot be achieved without awareness.”
Nearly three quarters (73%) say that knowing a company is an Olympic sponsor makes no difference to their perceived favourability towards the company while one in four (27%) agree that sponsors of the Olympics are making contributions as a way of giving something back to society, compared to nearly half (45%) who disagree.
However, Londoners tend to be more aware of the Olympics corporate sponsors, and are more receptive to the idea that Olympic sponsorship would make them more favourable towards the company (23% in London compared to 18% overall).
Londoners are also more likely than other GB residents (33% compared to 25% overall) to agree that ethical and social expectations of sponsor companies are higher than those non sponsors. There is also some variation amongst different age groups; 15-34 year olds also tend to be more aware of the Olympic corporate sponsors with more than half (56%, compared to 41% overall) able to name at least one sponsor. They are also more likely to agree that ethical and social expectations of sponsor companies are higher than others (30% compared to 25% overall).
The Olympic Games provides its sponsors with an unparalleled opportunity to promote their brand and boost their corporate reputation. At the moment however sponsors are not yet managing to match the growing levels of excitement that the games are generating with PR and advertising campaigns capable of capitalising on it.
Managing Director of Ipsos Reputation Centre, Milorad Ajder, continued:
“Although there is still a lot to do there are some signs that Londoners are becoming more positively disposed to the Olympic Sponsors compared to the rest of the population. Given the size of London to the UK and its role as international capital this provides a useful platform from where sponsors can build.”
These results are taken from Ipsos MORI’s Omnibus
study; all interviews are conducted face to face
with a nationally and regionally representative sample of the GB public. 1,985 Interviews were conducted between 9th December and 15th December 2011