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The real winners and losers of the World Cup

The real winners and losers of the World Cup

Brands are clamouring to boost their profile and sales by tapping into the passion surrounding the World Cup, but while some are official sponsors, others are just benefiting from the ‘halo effect’.

A new snapshot report from Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has revealed that 7 out of the top 10 brands spontaneously recalled by viewers are official World Cup sponsors. The other 3 are those brands engaging in what has become an unlikely success story: ambush marketing.

The report, which covers 15 countries, finds that people are less confident of remembering the official partners when prompted. Brands like Nike, Pepsi, Mastercard, Samsung and Panasonic are profiting from the halo effect of their competitors’ sponsorship activity.

Nike is not an official World Cup sponsor, but thanks to some creative marketing and it’s ‘Write the Future’ campaign starring Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, almost half (44%) of respondents thought it was. This has placed Nike in the third spot in sponsors/partners recall after Adidas and Coca-Cola.

OMG also tracked the online buzz surrounding the main World Cup sponsors to see how much the official brands were discussed in the context of the global sporting event. The official partners of FIFA World Cup 2010 have been gaining high shares of voice across blogs, news, forums and Twitter as fans generate buzz around the global football tournament.

Coca-Cola has the loudest buzz volume of 31,886, with Sony at 31,271. McDonald’s came third, followed by Budweiser and Visa.

But what exactly has everyone been talking about?

World Cup music was a key topic in the buzz surrounding Coca-Cola and Sony. Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the official World Cup anthem by K’naan has had over 4.1m views on YouTube, and many people commented or tweeted links to the video.

Similarly, Sony’s official World Cup song ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira was a popular discussion topic, although most buzz around the consumer electronics company focused on its new 3D TVs.

Competitions and games also played a crucial role in generating buzz for the official sponsors.

McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy Football League deserves a mention. Similarly, Budweiser’s ‘Man of the Match’ was a hot topic on Twitter as was Visa’s ‘Goooal!’ contest where consumers submit videos of themselves to the financial company’s YouTube channel yelling ‘Goal!’

One of the most interesting campaigns was from main beer sponsor Budweiser, which created a TV series called ‘Bud House’ where 32 fans (one for each team competing at World Cup 2010) are living together in a big house in Cape Town, South Africa.

But who is watching?

OMG’s snapshots results show that interest in the World Cup attracts a significant audience who are not normally football fans. There is actually a 16% difference between interest in football and the 2010 FIFA World Cup which is driven by nontraditional football countries such as USA, Australia, Russia and China.

FIFA World Cup also encourages more women to get interested in football, with 62% interested in the event, compared to just 40% in football itself.

The results of the study also proves that the FIFA World Cup offers brands access to a younger audience – with 73% of 16 to 34 year olds tuning in.

Furthermore, it sheds light on national pride. The study shows that the national team is more important than the club team in all countries aside from England, Australia, Spain and China. It’s an opportunity to unite behind one team and patriotic cause, making it an ideal opportunity for local advertisers.

Where to watch?

The World Cup sells TVs and as HD and 3D technologies become more accessible, some football fans have been investing in new TVs to ensure they get even closer to the live match from the comfort of their sofa.

OMG’s research reveals that 10% of people have bought HD TV for the World Cup.

There’s undoubtedly a big opportunity for technology and consumer electronics companies as 8% of people are still planning to buy HD TV, while 19% are not yet decided. Meanwhile, 54% of viewers would have loved to watch the World Cup in 3D.

The most traditional viewers are German and English with just 30% interested in 3D matches.

TV remains the most popular way for fans to watch live games (64%) while the internet (21%) is catching up with radio (24%). Nations that are generally more passionate about football (Brazil, Spain, Italy and Argentina) are following the World Cup live games by combining all possible media channels - TV, radio, internet and mobile.

When it comes to getting news and results from the matches, the popularity of channels is more balanced. Radio may still be preferred by just one quarter (26%) of respondents, but it remains more than twice as popular as mobile devices.

To read the full World Cup 2010 newsletter from Omnicom Media Group, click here.

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