The Olympics sponsors that made the biggest impact in the US and UK

Rishad Dsouza
August 30, 2021, 2:37 PM UTC

With the Tokyo Olympics having drawn to a close on August 8, we examine the sponsors that gained the most traction among fans of the Games in the United States and United Kingdom.

For the analysis, we choose from a pool of brands in the US and UK that are associated either with the Tokyo Olympics as global partners of the IOC or as sponsors for Team USA or Team GB. We then zero in on the five brands that registered the biggest improvement in their month-over-month Buzz scores in each market between July 7 – August 5, as per data tracked by YouGov BrandIndex. The Buzz metric is a reflection of whether consumers have heard positive or negative things about a brand.

We dive into the data to see the degree to which these brands made a positive impact on Olympics fans compared to the overall population. In this article, we define Olympics fans as those who are somewhat interested in the event or regard the event as one of their top interests.

Top five Olympics sponsors in the US

Team USA finished first in the medal table after a close contest with China, bagging 39 golds to the latter’s 38. Brands associated with the Tokyo event or with the US team also reaped rewards. As they would have hoped, between July 7 and August 5, they generated a higher Buzz score among American Olympics fans, compared to the general population.

Broadcast network NBC, which aired the Olympics in the US, registered the sharpest spike in Buzz scores among American Olympics followers. The brand scored more than twice as much among US adults with a strong interest in the Summer Olympics as compared to the general population (9 vs 4). Financial services brand Visa also registered a significantly higher Buzz score among the Olympics fans subset (21 vs 16). Chip manufacturers Intel, tire-maker Bridgestone and Japanese electronics giant Panasonic each gained a 2-point uplift among Olympics fans over the general American population.

Where the Buzz score is a net score of whether consumers have heard positive or negative things about a brand, Impression scores reveal what consumers think of brands themselves. In this metric each of the top five US Olympics sponsors (picked on the basis of highest month-over-month uplift in Buzz scores among Olympics fans) over-performed among fans of the Games, and to more of an extent than they saw in their Buzz scores.

It is worth noting the four of the five brands that feature in the US analysis (Visa, Intel, Bridgestone and Panasonic) are partners of the Tokyo Olympics, whereas NBC is a Team USA sponsor.

Top five Olympics sponsors in the UK

Much like in the US, and as they would hope for, brands in the UK that were associated with Team Great Britain at the Olympics tended to resonate more with fans of the sporting mega-event compared to the overall population over the last month. British Airways, for example, created twice as much Buzz among Olympics fans (6 vs 3). The story wasn’t uniform, though – despite registering a strong month-over-month uptick in its Buzz score, Samsung did not outperform among fans of the Games as compared to the general population.

Across the board, though, the brands showed a particularly impressive uplift in Impression scores. Beverage giant Coca-Cola witnessed a 6-point uplift among fans of the Games, while tire-manufacturer Bridgestone outperformed by 4 points with this group. Team GB’s official kit sponsor Adidas gained a 7-point uplift among Olympics followers, while Samsung enjoyed a 5-point positive difference.

In the UK analysis, Samsung, Coca-Cola and Bridgestone are partners of the Tokyo Olympics, whereas Adidas and British Airways are sponsors of Team Great Britain.

The National Lottery, which is operated by Camelot - an official supplier of Team GB at the Tokyo event - also witnessed growth in its Impression scores. The brand ran a campaign during the event to highlight the work it does to financially support athletes that represent Team GB. The initiative is reflected in the brand’s Impression score, which stood at 31 points among fans of the Olympics versus 26 among all UK adults.

Methodology:

Buzz Score

YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Buzz score is based on the questions: “Over the past two weeks, which of the following brands have you heard something positive about?” And “Which of the following have you heard something negative about over the past two weeks?” and delivered as a net score between –100 and +100. Scores are based on an average sample size of 1771 (UK) adults and 1931 (US) adults between July 7 and August 5, 2021. Figures are based on a 30-day average.

Impression

Impression score is based on the questions: “Overall, which of the following brands do you have a positive impression of?” And “Which of the following brands do you a negative impression of?” and delivered as a net score between –100 and + 100. Scores are based on an average sample size of 1771 (UK) adults and 1931 (US) adults between July 7 and August 5. Figures are based on a 30-day average. Learn more about BrandIndex.