MPs struggle to identify all London 2012 Games official sponsors

With a year to go until the London 2012 Olympics, MPs have named Coca-Cola, Visa and EDF Energy as the brands most closely involved in the Games.

London 2012: challenge for sponsors
London 2012: challenge for sponsors

More than half of MPs recognised these brands as an official partner or sponsor of the Games, according to research by Populus. The findings suggest that lobbying and PR efforts are paying dividends for Coca-Cola, Visa and EDF as they seek to raise awareness of their work around the Games in Westminster and Whitehall.

But other brands appear to be struggling in their lobbying around the Games. In particular, GE, BMW and Cadbury may be minded to refocus their public affairs strategies with just one in ten MPs recognising them as sponsors.

The polling firm surveyed 126 MPs on its Parliament panel. The research also found brands who are not sponsoring the Games are giving the official sponsors a run for their money in Parliament.

More MPs thought Nike sponsored the Games than Adidas - although Adidas is a tier one partner. LloydsTSB is a tier two partner, but almost as many MPs believed Barclays sponsored the Games. Similarly, BMW is having trouble asserting its tier two sponsorship over Jaguar Land Rover.

Populus business development director Jo Gibbons said: 'Companies spend millions on Olympic sponsorship to associate themselves with the Olympic ideals. With only a year to go, some companies are missing an opportunity to maximise their association with next year's biggest event among this key stakeholder group.'

However outside of Westminster, founder Mark Borkowski said non-sponsor brands faced a challenge getting involved in the Games due to the control being exerted by the organisers over PR activity.

He added: 'The tier one sponsors are very comfortable. Otherwise, a lot of people who thought they could get into town and have some effect are working out that it's not going to be as easy.'

The MP research follows a similar exercise by PRWeek sister title Marketing, targeting the public. Conversely, it found that Lloyds TSB was the top-tier Olympic sponsor most associated with the Games, followed by EDF Energy. Olympic campaigns by BT, British Airways and BP were found to be failing to resonate with customers.


Olympic partners

Domestic tier one partners Adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB

Domestic tier two supporters Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS

Domestic tier three suppliers and providers Twenty-five in total including GSK, John Lewis, Holiday Inn and Next

Worldwide Olympic partners Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Visa.

364 Days to go until 2012 Olympics (as of 29 July)
64% Percentage of MPs who recognised Coca-Cola as an official sponsor*
20% Percentage of MPs who recognised Adidas as an official sponsor*
6% Percentage of MPs who recognised GE as an official sponsor*
*Populus survey

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