Olympic benefits for corporate reputations

visa-infographic-london2012-top

The past two weeks of the London 2012 Olympic Games have certainly been a time of drama, high emotion, success and failure, and a general lifting of the spirits to witness such displays of intense effort and much achievement by athletes from over 100 countries.

The positive focus on this wonderful sporting event has just about excluded any other news from anyone’s attention as our TV screens, newspapers and favourite social networks have given us so much to consume, share and interact with over all that’s good about humanity and society.

It’s as if we know reality will resume this coming Monday, so let’s make the most of it!

You could apply similar thinking about a corporation or a brand from being associated with such goodness, where such a groundswell of positive feeling and perception rubs off on that corporation or brand.

As marketing intelligence company Warc reports, that’s exactly what’s happening with regard to Visa, BP and Acer – three of the main sponsors of the 2012 Olympic Games – which have recorded the greatest uptick in buzz among US consumers, citing new figures from the YouGov research firm.

[...] Visa, the financial services provider, registered the largest improvement on this metric, as its index score rose from 8.2 points before the competition to 22.7 points once it began on July 27.

Second place in the YouGov rankings went to BP, the oil firm, which has been tackling negative perceptions ever since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Its total climbed from –5.9 points to 2.6 points, an 8.5-point lift.

Acer, the IT group, took third, improving by 5.1 points to 8.9 points overall.

Warc’s report adds that Coca-Cola, the soft drinks maker, accrued an additional 3.5 points, taking it to 24 points in all. McDonald’s, the fast food network, was also up by 2.3 points to 16.1 points.

BP’s rise is especially impressive, given the still-ongoing reputational challenges the energy giant faces following the consequences of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

I think a key element in the success of BP and the others Warc mentions is how such corporate sponsors have been presenting their corporate selves and brands’ association  with the Olympics in TV and other advertising.

Take Visa’s example of explaining the economic value they say will result for London and the UK in general, following the games, as shown in this infographic (a portion of which you see at the top of this page).

In TV advertising, BP’s a good example of how a public perception of selflessness is positive, such as in this corporate spot shown on US television a few months ago focusing on athletes and their potential to win, with next to nothing said about BP’s business.

(If you don’t see the video embedded here, watch it on YouTube.)

BP has been showing similar-focused ads on TV in the UK.

YouGov’s concise report makes good reading as it adds commentary to the numbers including the other brands covered in the latest research – see the chart here (and check the three sponsors showing less buzz in the US than before).

olympicsponsorbuzz

Public opinion is a fickle thing, to be sure, but Visa, BP, Acer and others show that public relations benefits on reputation can result if you get it right. I wonder what such research would show for buzz about all these sponsors in the UK.

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About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.