Sponsorship: In pursuit of greatness

Sponsorship has become big business in recent years; from TV programmes and channels having individual sponsors, through to the naming rights of sports stadiums costing millions of pounds.

The Brand and Communications team at Opinium have been reviewing different approaches to sponsorship and activation throughout 2016, looking at, among a number of things, social media activity, promotions, use of influencers and brand awareness levels of sponsors.  This report covers the summer of sport, including sponsorship of Euro 2016, the Rio Olympics and Wimbledon. We also review TV sponsorship of some of the best loved programmes on UK TV, analysing why some partnerships have flourished whilst others have struggled to make an impact. 

Key conclusions

  • Sponsorship can provide bigger gains for smaller brands, as shown with the success of Turkish Airlines and Hisense at Euro 2016, who both jumped up our Euro 2016 Brand League Table over the course of the tournament
  • Being an official sponsor is beneficial. The official brands, such as Adidas and Carlsberg, outperformed non-official brands, such as Nike and Carling, at Euro 2016




  • Football tournaments have more commercial potential for brands than the Olympics. Total brand association increased 65% from the start of the Euros to the end, compared to only a 6% change in brand association during the Olympics
  • Brand and programme synergy is crucial in TV sponsorship. Those with a good demographic fit of brand user and viewers performed better


To read the full report on Sponsorship: In pursuit of greatness, click on the icon below to download an electronic copy.