A global survey of 34,390 Internet users by GlobalWebIndex reveals 32 per cent of FIFA World Cup fans consume Coca-Cola, the official sponsor, each week. The study also reveals 57 per cent of fans visit fellow sponsor McDonald’s at least monthly, highlighting the bottom line contribution of TV sponsorship.
Both companies have sponsored related global sporting events in the past including the Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the latter, these brands were joined by Adidas, Hyundai-Kia and VISA.
The findings reveal 4 in 10 World Cup fans bought an Adidas product in the last 1-2 years, the same proportion use VISA and 1 in 10 own or have owned a Hyundai. By comparison, just 37 per cent of Winter Olympics fans eat at McDonald’s monthly and just 29 per cent drink Coca-Cola on a weekly basis.
While the main sponsors enjoy strong affinity with World Cup fans, they also face stiff competition from international rivals. Coca-Cola, for instance, is not the most popular soft drink brand among World Cup fans globally. Of the drinks brands tracked by GlobalWebIndex, Nescafe takes the top spot, consumed by exactly one third of the global audience (33 per cent). While Coca-Cola isn’t consumed by as many fans weekly, the popularity of its subsidiary brands Fanta (17 per cent) and Sprite (20 per cent) suggest the group’s dominance around the World Cup.
While McDonald’s appears to lead the global fast food market among World Cup fans, it faces close competition from the likes of KFC and Pizza Hut, visited by 59 per cent and 42 per cent of the fan base respectively.
The effectiveness of World Cup sponsorship is reflected in the brand consciousness of its global audience. At this level 54 per cent of FIFA fans claim to be brand-conscious and 63 per cent state: “once I find a brand I like I tend to stick to it”, implying considerable levels of brand loyalty.
At a local level, in the UK brand-consciousness dips to just over a third (34 per cent). This may well be a contributing factor to Europe being the lowest region for brand-consciousness at 40 per cent. It’s worth noting as the sugar tax comes into force that just 20 per cent of UK World Cup fans drink Coca-Cola weekly.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Latin America, which has the highest rates of viewership, is also the most brand-conscious at 59 per cent, with Mexico (72 per cent) and Argentina (66 per cent) contributing significantly to this result. Interestingly, FIFA World Cup fans in the US and Russia rank equally at 49 per cent.
One manifest truth is the power of TV in driving brand awareness. Globally, 43 per cent discover brands through TV ads they have seen, and 46 per cent tend to buy from brands they have seen advertised. This compares to 35 per cent who discover brands through online ads.