Adidas isn’t actually faring so badly…

Posted on June 16, 2010. Filed under: Measurement | Tags: , , , , , , |

If we believe in recent surveys from Nielsen and Meltwater, being an official FIFA World Cup partner doesn’t help you at all. Back in 2005, Adidas was spending $351 million for this exclusive privilege, including the sponsorship of the ball, referees, and ball boys. Nike, which is ‘only’ a supplier of some teams and players and not an official sponsor, generates apparently much more media buzz with its unconventional tactics. This week the media was broadly reporting on the sweeping success of Nike’s ambush campaigns (examples from Reuters and USA Today)  most notably its YouTube video, “Write the future.”


Sounds fantastic at first sight, but having a deeper look, some questions on the methodology arise. There is a very insightful post from Edelman’s Matthew Gain who observes that, for example, Nielsen’s study period (May 7 to June 6) clearly plays in favor of Nike’s YouTube campaign. Will Nike be able to keep up the momentum once the tournament has begun? What about non-English content which has been excluded here? And should we assume that the only goal is to create social media buzz?


So here’s the full picture. When Nike’s video appeared on YouTube, it created a massive spike between May 20 and May 22 (chart on the right). Since then, Nike’s volume is trailing off. On the other side, Adidas’ media footprint is steadily rising, up to the inauguration match on June 11.

If we consider only mainstream media, which is basically the influential press and web, Adidas is actually taking the lead at the beginning of June, relegating Nike to a second position (chart on the left).  Since then, Adidas is more often mentioned by the traditional media outlets. Is the FIFA partnership paying off at the end?

Methodology: Dow Jones Insight tracks media mentions of the FIFA World Cup sponsors in traditional media and social media in 23 languages.

Georg Ackermann is Team Leader in the Dow Jones Insight Media Lab in Singapore.

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Tiger scandal follows Clinton trajectory…

Posted on December 16, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Is Tiger the new Bill? Using Dow Jones media measurement tools, we compared media coverage of the current Tiger Woods scandal against five other indiscretions to see how long the golfer might expect his name to stay in the news for something other than golf.  We looked at news mentions of Tiger Woods, David Letterman, Mark Sanford, Eliot Spitzer, and Bill Clinton in the months their scandals hit the news, the preceding three months to get an idea of “normal” coverage, and for six months after to see how quickly the scandals died down.

The Tiger Woods scandal just keeps getting worse...

Of the five, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer had for the most dramatic rise in March 2008 when his sex scandal broke.  Coverage increased a whopping 158% compared to his average volume of news in the three previous months.  The scandal just as dramatically fell off the media’s radar, with a 171% drop in coverage in April.

Remember South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s dalliance in Argentina? Sanford experienced the second largest increase in coverage when it was reported he went “hiking the Appalachian Trail” in June 2009.  However, in July, his coverage dropped only 20% – it took Sanford about 5 months to see the same proportional decrease that Spitzer experienced in his first month following the crisis (fast forward to the present and Sanford is back in the news recently as his wife has filed for divorce).

David Letterman’s scandal, if you can even call it that, is the biggest success story – news of sex with female coworkers received about the same amount of play as Sanford’s affair.  Compared to a Southern governor, you’d expect much more from a scandal involving a celebrity national talk show host – just one more piece to the growing body of support for Letterman’s handling of the issue.  His coverage only bumped up 70% in October 2009, quickly falling 99% in the first month following the scandal.

Tiger? Well, he certainly didn’t pull a Letterman out of his golf bag.  Tiger’s trajectory is starting to look far more like that of former President Bill Clinton.  When rumors first broke of the Monica Lewinsky scandal in January 1998, mentions of Bill Clinton increased at a similar level to Letterman.  The problem for Clinton is that it didn’t go away – coverage of the scandal stayed pretty constant for the next 6 months.  Tiger’s coverage rose 78% in November 2009; a considerable increase considering the scandal only broke around November 21.  In the first two weeks of December, coverage of Tiger Woods is already 44% higher than in November.  

With recent news about sponsors like Accenture dropping Tiger, coverage of this scandal isn’t likely to go away anytime soon either.  Just don’t tell us it depends on what the definition of “is” is, Tiger.

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Coca-Cola’s World Cup Sponsorship Looks to be a Winning Strategy

Posted on December 11, 2009. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , |

My colleague, Inma Canti, and I recently prepared a report on media coverage of the corporate sponsors of the 2010 World Cup football (soccer) tournament.  We thought this would be an interesting topic because the event is the world’s most watched sporting event and a big platform for corporate sponsors who are willing to shell out millions of dollars to have their names and brands affiliated with the event.

A noteworthy finding in the report is Coca-Cola’s strong emphasis on marketing events associated with the World Cup and its efforts to promote these activities in the media.  For example, Coke had more than double the number of media placements for its World Cup activities than Visa, which was the company with the next highest volume of placements.  Also, Coke CEO Muhtar Kent was the executive quoted or mentioned most often in the coverage.

These results should not be surprising, considering Coke’s recent strategy that emphasizes growth in global markets.  Kent noted in the company’s 2008 annual report that, “critical to expanding our global beverage leadership is achieving balanced growth across a range of geographies. We have identified emerging markets as critical to our business growth. We are [also] taking aggressive actions to reinforce our business in key developed markets like Japan, North America and parts of Western Europe.”

Being a World Cup sponsor is an expensive proposition: official sponsorships cost $125 million, which doesn’t include the marketing activities undertaken by the companies to promote their involvement with the tournament. It’s logical for Coke to devote considerable resources to this effort, however, since the event is an ideal platform for a company emphasizing a growth strategy focused on emerging markets (16 of the 32 participating teams are from Africa, Latin America, or Eastern Europe), Western Europe (9 teams) and Japan (also a participant).  Our data show that 74% of the media coverage for World Cup corporate sponsors in Q3 came from either European or African sources, which confirms that the World Cup is probably an ideal vehicle for Coke’s marketing strategy.

A copy of the World Cup 2010 Sponsors media report can be found here.

David Breg is a media consultant based in Washington, D.C.

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