Independent Studies


British Football Fans Can’t Recall Euro 2000 Sponsors

Performance Research Europe conducted telephone research in the two weeks following Euro 2000 and discovered that despite watching an average of thirteen Euro 2000 matches many fans struggled to identify any tournament sponsors, often confused by the advertising presence of non Euro 2000 sponsors such as Nike and Carling.

There was no doubt that on the field Euro 2000 was a huge success, maybe even the best ever, but what about off the field? Who scored the golden goals and who conceded the penalties in the battle of the corporate sponsors?

During spontaneous sponsorship awareness questioning, one-half (50%) of the fans in this study were unable to name any sponsors involved with Euro 2000. One explanation offered, is that for most of the ?big games? fans had the option of watching the coverage on the BBC, thereby avoiding many of the sponsorship messages.

So did any of the twelve official sponsors stand out? Well, McDonald?s (20%) came out on top, followed by Coca-Cola, and Pringles, although both were only recalled by roughly 1 out of 10 fans.

Although top of mind awareness was low, would the results be more favorable when the fans were asked to identify sponsors from a list? For some companies and brands the answer appears to be yes. The majority (85%) of fans recalled Umbro as a sponsor involved with the England team, while almost three-fourths identified Carlsberg, who incidentally were official Euro 2000 sponsors, associate sponsors of the England team and also sponsored ITV?s Euro 2000 coverage.

Not bad recall you say? Not when you consider that after all that investment Carling, a non-sponsor, was only six percentage points behind. Moreover, Nike (71%) a non-tournament sponsor was easily ahead of official sponsors Mastercard (56%), JVC (48%) and Fuji (48%) and just ahead of main competitor and official tournament supplier Adidas (70%).

Unsurprisingly, with such low sponsor awareness, opportunities for building sponsor loyalty appear to have been missed. Few (18%) fans reported they would ?Almost always? or ?Frequently? choose the sponsors product ahead of the non-sponsors product. Conversely almost one-half (47%) reported they would ?Almost never? buy the sponsors product just because of their involvement with Euro 2000.

So fans struggled to recall sponsors, but were they any better at recalling the television adverts they had seen during the Euro 2000 coverage? It seems the answer is no, almost two-thirds (64%) of fans were unable to recall any television advertisements. The most frequently recalled advertisers were: Nike (18%), followed by Adidas and Carling (5%).

Mark Knight, Project Manager at Performance Research Europe believes “Sponsors should be doing more to communicate the differences between themselves and advertisers to their target audience, if they can?t maybe it is because few differences actually exist.”

Staff from Performance Research Europe randomly dialed and interviewed, two hundred and twenty one (221) football fans that reported watching or attending at least three Euro 2000 matches. All phone interviews took place within two weeks of the last Euro 2000 match and lasted no longer than five minutes. The margin of error is no more than 7%.

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