On the eve of the 2012 London Olympics, more than one in two Britons are unable to confidently name a sponsor of the event, a study conducted in the UK found.

Despite hundreds of millions being poured into sponsorship and advertising saturation in the host country, research from survey firm ICM and agency Third City revealed that less than one quarter (24%) of Britons could not name a single sponsor and a further one in three (33%) said they could hazard a guess, but would be unsure if they were correct.

The findings, reported in Marketing UK, showed that sponsor cut-through in London is slightly better, with four in five of those living in the capital unable to name more than two of the Games’ 14 headline sponsors.

Founding partner of Third City, Mark Lowe, says, “Advertising that offers no promise, support or reason-to-believe looks like wallpaper. Unfortunately, too many Olympic sponsorships fall into this category.

“Just ‘badging’ a major event, no matter how high profile, just isn’t enough anymore.”

Olympic sponsor BMW told Marketing UK that it was “unlikely” to sponsor the next Olympic Games after spending an estimated £50 million (AU$75.3 million) on sponsoring London 2012.

Findings of the study conducted among 2013 adults on 11-12 July were released overnight.


  • Lynton Pipkorn

    Not that this really matters but anyway, a different study says tehopposite.

    A PRWeek/OnePoll reputation survey (page 22) of 2,000 members of the public has found that London 2012 sponsors have significantly boosted their association with the Games compared with non-sponsoring competitors.

    The survey undertaken last week found that 69 per cent associated Coca-Cola with the Olympics, up from 51 per cent in January. Meanwhile, only four per cent associated non-sponsor Pepsi with the Games.

    Similarly, 70 per cent associated McDonald’s with London 2012, up from 45 per cent in January. Adidas, meanwhile, grew its association with the Games from 27 per cent to 40 per cent.


    69% – Percentage of public who associated sponsor Coca-Cola with the Games

    4% – Percentage of public who associated non-sponsor Pepsi with the Games

    70% – Percentage of public who associated sponsor McDonald’s with the Games

    4% – Percentage of public who associated non-sponsor KFC with the Games

    Source: PRWeek/OnePoll survey July 2012