Adidas and BA ahead in Olympic sponsors' brand race

As London 2012 gets under way, Adidas and British Airways have been named as the two sponsors the public most associates with the Games, according to the latest PRWeek/OnePoll research.

What survey respondents think of London 2012
What survey respondents think of London 2012

When asked which of the tier one domestic sponsors they associated most with the Games, 21 per cent of those surveyed said Adidas, while 19 per cent chose BA.

The results suggest the pair are doing the best job of activating their sponsorships, and demonstrate a real change from six months ago. When the same question was asked in January, EDF Energy was the leading brand with 21 per cent, with Adidas on 14 per cent and BA on ten per cent. This month EDF has dropped to third, with 15 per cent.

Overall, the survey will make encouraging reading for the sponsors. When listed alongside their non-sponsor competitors, respondents consistently identified the official sponsor as the brand they most associated with London 2012.

This percentage had also increased during the past six months. For example, in the closely contested sports brand category, in January 27 per cent said Adidas was the brand they most associated with the Games, with Nike a close second on 22 per cent. In the latest survey, 40 per cent chose Adidas, while Nike dropped to 18 per cent.

But respondents have become more pessimistic about the legacy of London 2012. In January, 23 per cent said they trusted LOCOG and the legacy committee to ensure a lasting legacy from the Games. In the latest survey, this had dropped to 13 per cent.

Survey of 2,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll



Pie chart

Pie charts

Brand disaffection

90% of respondents said if a brand sponsored the Olympics they would not be more likely to buy their merchandise

Enhanced reputation

51% said the reputation of British sport would improve by hosting the Games

Torch relay fans

33% of respondents who watched the torch relay live were aged 35 to 44; this was the biggest proportion of any age group


Eddie May

We are a bunch of old cynics, aren't we? Only 55 per cent reckoned they would watch any of the Olympics and less than half believed the Games would benefit the reputation of London.

I believe that some of these numbers will change dramatically once the event is under way.

For sponsors, the general awareness levels are dramatically low in some cases. Levels are much higher against key rivals though, and this is where it counts at a commercial level.

Adidas will always have the edge here, with athletes and officials wearing the brand throughout the Games, but keep an eye on Puma if Usain Bolt does something special.

Ninety per cent of those polled said they would not be more likely to buy a sponsor's product.

Not good, but take that with a large pinch of salt because none of us likes to admit to being directly influenced in this way, which is why PR, with its more subtle approach, is often more effective.

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