Unveiling Success: Sponsorship Performance at the FIFA Women's World Cup
- September 21, 2023
- Jessa Morris
The tournament is big. More than 75MM US consumers have engaged in the past year, 36% of which did so on a weekly basis. Soccer is poised for growth in North America with the 2026 FIFA World Cup around the corner.
Seeking to understand which sponsor came out on top at this year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand, we put sponsors under the spotlight including industry heavyweights such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Adidas, Rexona (comprising Dove, LifeBuoy and Lux, and Axe), McDonald's, Budweiser, Cheetos, Hyundai, Geico, and AT&T.
Awareness: The First Step to Success
Awareness is the initial touchpoint for any sponsorship endeavor. On average, we found that awareness across all sponsors measured was 54%, slightly below the SponsorPulse benchmark. Notably, long-term partner Adidas led the pack with a remarkable 74% awareness. Not only is Adidas the official match ball provider, but they also outfit all officials, referees, player escorts, ball crew, and volunteers for all FIFA-affiliated events, which they are also the title sponsor of. Coca-Cola and Visa closely follow in sponsor awareness at 71% and 66% respectively.
While awareness is a critical metric, it's the subsequent impact on consumer perceptions that truly matters.
Favorability: Shaping Positive Sentiment
Brand favorability is a key indicator of a sponsorship's effectiveness. On average, sponsors experienced a 49% increase in brand favorability, outperforming the SponsorPulse average by +5%. That is to say that among consumers who are aware of sponsors, 1 in 2 of them became more favorable toward sponsors of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In this arena, Adidas emerged as the frontrunner with an impressive 59% net increase, closely trailed by Coca-Cola and McDonald's, both boasting a 54% increase. Both Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have a rich history with FIFA, Coca-Cola being the exclusive sponsor of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, while McDonald’s partnership dates back 2 decades. Hyundai also made a strong showing, securing a 51% favorability rating.
Purchase Consideration: Closing the Deal
Ultimately, a sponsorship's success lies in its ability to drive purchase consideration. Once again, Adidas demonstrated its prowess, securing a 50% net increase in purchase consideration. Not far behind were Cheetos and the suite of snack brands, including Lay's, Doritos, Ruffles, Tostitos, and Pop Corners, with a 48% net increase. Frito-Lay is a newer partner on the scene, announced as the Official USA Snack of the tournament. Looks like their digital activations made an impression on US fans. AT&T rounded out the top three with a 44% increase.
Surprising Success Stories
Interestingly, despite some brands achieving lower awareness levels, they were still able to drive impact. Brands like Hyundai, AT&T, and Cheetos, which garnered lower levels of awareness, experienced some of the most substantial gains in terms of impact on consumer behavior.
Overall sponsorship performance was strong. When we compared sponsorship reach and impact between the Women’s and Men’s World Cup tournaments, the Women’s World Cup significantly outperformed with conversion to impact among those reached.
Illuminating the Path to Success
Sponsorship Impact reporting is not just about evaluating investments; it's about understanding how your brand stacks up against the competition and attributing gains to assets and activations. Without this valuable insight, brands are left in the dark when it comes to making critical investment decisions.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to unlock the potential of your brand's sponsorships.
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