Gold-medal Games for sponsors?

Mediabrands Canada has released the results of a study examining the impact of brands' Olympic sponsorships.

With Canada racking up a record number of gold medals at the Olympics, Mediabrands Canada decided to see if sponsors were able to do the same through their sponsorships.

The holding company for M2 Universal, UM Canada, J3 Canada and Initiative surveyed 1,100 Canadians (18+), French- and English-speaking, in the week immediately following the Olympic Games (March 1 to 5). The survey asked respondents about sponsorship recall, viewing behavior, technology use, events, athletes and their perceptions of the Games.

Who scored the highest on brand recall? Adults 25 to 54 ranked McDonald’s the highest in unaided brand recall, with 38% of respondents correctly able to identify their sponsorship. Coke rang in second place with 36%, RBC in at 30%, and Bell with 24%.

Respondents were also shown a list of advertisers and asked which ones were Olympic sponsors. McDonald’s once again topped the list with 83% correctly identifying the brand as a sponsor, followed by Coke (74%), Visa (65%), Bell (62%), Rona (56%), HBC (54%), RBC (53%), GM (53%) and Petro-Canada (44%).

Unsurprisingly, those who watched every day had higher recall, and 12 advertisers achieved over 50% total unaided awareness among this group. These heavy viewers also largely agreed with the statement that companies align themselves with the Olympics in order to transfer goodwill to their brands.

Media-wise, television was the number-one way in which Canadians said they experienced the Olympics, with the internet in second, daily newspapers in third, radio in fourth and mobile in fifth.

When asked if the results surprised the Mediabrands team, Mediabrands chairman Hugh Dow said that the high percentage of brands recalled was indeed was greater than anticipated. ‘The levels of recall that we saw were very high and the other thing was the extent of the recall,’ he said, adding that record television viewing numbers, as well as cross-platform viewing opportunities, likely played a role in Canadians immersion in the Olympics.

Mediabrands Canada conducts its surveys through a propriety online panal of 5,000 Canadians.