McDonald’s wins brand World Cup as food companies get most buzz


France may have lifted the Jules Rimet trophy, but they were not the only winners as big brands basked in World Cup glory, according to new research.


The latest Harris 24 survey conducted by Harris Interactive indicate the food and drink companies had the most impact with UK consumers during Russia 2018.

The study looked at attitudes towards the footballing spectacle, and consumer awareness of brands sponsoring the event. And with three quarters of respondents supporting England, it was no surprise that 79% found the competition enjoyable, while 78% also felt it was one of the best World Cups ever.

The brand sponsor who received the highest awareness rating was McDonald’s (44%), followed by Coca-Cola (40%) and Visa (37%). Beer brand Budweiser (32%) and sportswear giant Adidas (31%) completed the top five. Nike – a major football kit manufacturer – made the top six even though it wasn’t an official sponsor.

The feelgood factor associated with the World Cup is good news for brands, with more than half (53%) of respondents feeling that being associated with the tournament would improve their reputation. However, on a more negative note, 40% of those questioned felt there was too much branding around the World Cup, and only a fifth (21%) thought branding would directly encourage people to buy the products or services of sponsors.

When it came to UK TV coverage of the World Cup, the BBC came out on top, with almost half (47%) of respondents preferring their coverage, while only 16% were rooting for ITV. And in the ‘Golden Mic’ stakes, former Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker lifted the trophy, being named the most enjoyed BBC pundit by 44% of those questioned.

The trophy may not have come home with England, after their semi final exit, but almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents felt that of the final two teams, France were worthy winners over Croatia.

“No doubt England’s successful run contributed to an enjoyable and successful World Cup, with more than three-quarters of the public gripped by some spectacular football, controversial VAR decisions, and nail-biting penalty shoot-outs,” commented Lucia Juliano, Head of Consumer Research at Harris Interactive. “We can also see from the survey that sponsoring such a high-profile event raises the profile of brands and can enhance their reputation with consumers.”

A link to the full research can be found at here.

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