Four of the top five brands currently associated with the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup are not official sponsors of the event, according to new research released today.
Although tyre manufacturer Continental, which is a sponsor, significantly tops the table of firms linked to the World Cup when ranked by Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), the study by Global Language Monitor (GLM) shows Beats, KFC, Bridgestone and Nike – none of which are officially affiliated with the tournament – sit in second, third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
GLM also identified these brands as direct competitors to FIFA partners Sony and Adidas, and official World Cup sponsor McDonald’s and Continental.
“The numbers tell the story, and it is very interesting story, indeed,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President and chief word analyst.
“Global marketers have decided that aligning their brands with the FIFA World Cup is every bit as valuable as the Olympics, and perhaps even more so for certain audiences and demographics.”
Elsewhere in the top 16 rankings, P&G – which is not an official sponsor – wins the battle of the healthcare giants in 10th place, with World Cup sponsor Johnson & Johnson trailing behind at number 14.
There is some positive news, however, for official FIFA partner Visa, which sits in 11th place ahead of competitor and non-affiliated firm MasterCard in 16th place, while World Cup sponsor Budweiser edges out fellow lager brand Heineken by two places in the ranking.
Meanwhile, GLM is currently tracking the impact of the corruption scandal engulfing Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup on official brands.
Results released following the opening day of action in Brazil earlier this month showed that 9.26 per cent of mentions of the FIFA partners and sponsors have been affiliated with terms such as “corruption” and “disarray”.
“The brands were tested and ranked by their Brand Affiliation Index when linked to 2014 World Cup and words like ‘corruption’,” GLM said in a statement.
“GLM will follow up with the ‘corruption scandal’, as the World Cup unfolds.
“There are a number of press reports detailing the efforts of some brands to downplay the effects on the scandal to their brand.
“When your brand could be sullied in front of the 3.4 billion television viewers of World Cup 2014, their concerns, whether or not admitted, are serious and significant.”
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.