If you’re an Olympic sponsor you may wish to look away now. A new survey by digital agency Jam has found that non-Olympic sponsor Nike is the brand most associated with the 2012 Olympics and is far out-performing Olympic sponsor and rival Adidas.
Research on web buzz – carried out by BrandWatch, commissioned by digital agency Jam – from 1 December to 7 February, shows that Nike is dominating conversations on the internet, with 7.7% of the conversations about the Olympics associated with the brand.
By contrast, Adidas is only pulling in 0.49% of conversations, despite a reported £100m sponsorship deal to be the official Olympic sponsor. That’s 1500% more association Nike are gaining by not being a sponsor that the official sponsor are getting!
In January, Nike launched its "#Make it Count" campaign, which features a number of British, Nike-sponsored athletes, such as cyclist Mark Cavendish, Paula Radcliffe and Rio Ferdinand through black-and-white photographs. Observers believe the campaign has clearly resonated with the public as being aligned to the Olympics, despite Nike not being a sponsor and not breaking any Olympic rules in the campaign.
The campaign clearly communicates the blood, sweat and tears needed to win and compete at a top athletic event....such as the Olympics and as all the athletes featured have some association with the Olympics it's a very clever and very effective campaign. The fact that Nike have used their English Premier League perimeter board media so effectively just accentuates the campaign not just in the UK but globally such is the power of the Premiership. When do you ever see adidas do an effective EPL campaign that you can remember?
You may not have noticed but adidas have actually launched an Olympic themed campaign titles "About to Blow" . However as you
can see from the creative it's pretty appalling in contrast to the Nike one in communicating the brand values of athletes of any kind. They have tried to tap into their rap heritage but the brand values don't convey and really in that tracksuit in London you just look like a chav not a brand trying to communicate Olympic ideas....
HSBC is the brand that is receiving the second-most buzz on the web in relation to the Games, but it is far behind Nike with just 0.68% of the web buzz. Coca-Cola and British Airways have come in third and fourth, ahead of Adidas in fifth.
You may remember that the same findings were revealed for the last World Cup with Nike also on top. Surely someone at adidas must be asking the question why are they continuing to sponsor big sporting events?
So the key appears to be that if you wish to be associated with any sport don’t bother with sponsorship, but build great profile with associated athletes through clever below the line marketing, compelling media planning in the right environments to tell the world about it……