Big audiences for the Pan Am Games and FIFA Women’s World Cup ensured a big return for sponsors and advertisers, according to the new Sports Sponsorship Quarterly report from Toronto based Solutions Research Group (SRG).
An estimated 60% of Canadians watched at least some of the Pan Am Games, compared to an estimated 48% who indicated they expected to follow the action prior to the two-week event.
In unaided recall, CIBC, Coca-Cola, Nike, Chevrolet and Visa were the top Pan Am advertisers. CIBC fared particularly well, with 32% of people following the Games indicating they noticed the financial services company on an unaided basis. Five of the top 10 most noticed Pan Am Games advertisers/sponsors were Canadian brands.
“You have to really give it to CIBC, who really invested big in the Pan Am Games and had stellar results,” said SRG president Kaan Yigit. “Their short spots were pre-rolls every time you clicked on an event on CBC mobile or online, so they had almost total domination on the digital front that helped drive awareness over and above TV spots.”
Meanwhile, the report concludes that the FIFA Women’s World Cup was largely a “wasted opportunity” for Canadian brands, with only one official sponsor – Bell – making it into the top 10 in unaided recall.
The big winner was Coca-Cola, which was mentioned by a record 57% of respondents on an unaided basis. Visa, Adidas, Gazprom and Hyundai rounded out the top five brands.
The report also provides an overview of both the NHL and NBA playoffs.
Nearly 60% of Canadians (59%) followed at least some of the NHL playoffs, with 21% saying they did so “very closely” – the highest number of any sporting event included in the research.
Scotiabank led all companies with 23% unaided recall, narrowly edging out Tim Hortons, while Molson, Rogers and Visa were also among the most recalled brands.
People who followed the NHL playoffs very or somewhat closely gave an average score of 6.7 to Rogers for its hockey coverage, up from 6.1 in December. Sixty per cent of respondents gave Rogers a score of seven or higher in the June survey, compared with 45% in December.
Nike, Coca-Cola, Kia, Rogers and Visa were the top five brands in unaided recall among those people following the NBA playoffs. Despite an early playoff exit by the Toronto Raptors, more than one third of Canadians (35%) followed at least some of the NBA playoffs.
While the overall audience for the NBA playoffs was smaller than that of the NHL playoffs, half of those who followed the Golden State Warriors’ march to the championship were under 35, compared to just 37% of those for hockey.
Yigit said big live events fuelled by social media, such as the Pan Am Games and FIFA Women’s World Cup, remain “viable ways” of reaching large mass audiences, often with less clutter than events such as the NHL playoffs.
While the NHL playoffs had 33 advertisers/sponsors that garnered 2% or higher in recall, he said there were “many” in single digits. “It tells you how much clutter there is,” he said.
The findings are based on interviews with 1,500 people across Canada conducted in two waves: 1,000 interviews with people 12+ in late June and another 500 interviews with people 18+ conducted in late July.