One-nil to the soft drinks brand in consumer appeal, Onside research finds
No whistles have yet been blown but, in the lead-up to Euro 2016, Coca-Cola is proving the sponsor with the most appeal to the Irish public, according to sponsorship consultants Onside.
The soft drinks brand, an official sponsor of the tournament, was found to be the most appealing sponsor of the event, according to Onside’s sponsorship tracking study, followed by beer giants Heineken and Carlsberg and sportswear rivals Nike and Adidas.
But Onside’s research suggests the challenge for sponsors to stand out has intensified this year, with 39 different brands identified by the Irish public as being sponsors that appealed to them, compared with just 24 sponsors identified in a similar study conducted ahead of Euro 2012.
Onside chief executive John Trainor says Coca-Cola’s appeal is being helped by Euro 2016 fan giveaways – a “tried-and-tested” sponsorship mechanic that it will be hoping drives more purchases.
Many of the brands mentioned by the 1,000 consumers surveyed were not official Uefa Euro 2016 tournament sponsors, however, but sponsors of the Football Association of Ireland or companies with sponsorship links to Premier League teams.
“Public response seems to be suggesting that consumer awareness of brand sponsorship on this sports platform may not extend much beyond a link with football in general. Most of the brands mentioned in our research were the sponsor of a different major team or competition,” says Trainor.
Oh well. Some of those cited, like Guinness, “haven’t much history with football, but they have with other sports”, while the bad news for Republic of Ireland sponsor Three is that “even Vodafone scored quite highly, even though they haven’t had much recent association with football” since the ending of its Manchester United shirt sponsor deal in 2006.
Historically, the big football tournaments have been seen as a battle for the hearts and minds of male consumers but this time around, sponsors are also keen to reach women, says Trainor.
Coca-Cola’s current campaign, meanwhile, is “Taste the Feeling”. Other soft drinks are available.