SBD/December 14, 2012/Research and Ratings

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  • MLS Fans Recognize League Sponsors At High Rate; VW Scores High In Auto Category

    Official MLS sponsors were correctly identified as such by the league's fans at a higher rate than the companies' rival brands across all categories, according to the results of this year's MLS Sponsor Loyalty survey conducted for SportsBusiness Journal/Daily by Turnkey Sports & Entertainment. The clean sweep in the consumer categories measured comes despite the fact that many of the league's partners are not the market leaders in their respective sectors. For example, the number of fans who correctly identified AT&T as an MLS sponsor was three times higher than the number of fans who thought Verizon had the league's wireless rights -- despite the fact that Verizon holds a slightly greater market share of U.S. wireless subscribers than AT&T (33% for Verizon, 31% for AT&T through the first nine months of '12). AT&T, the league's telecommunications partner since '09, saw a 15.7 percentage-point improvement in its score from last year, the most movement of all 56 brands measured in this year's survey. Fifth-year sponsor Volkswagen is also making the most of its league-level deal. Similar annual surveys have been fielded for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour since '07, and only Chevrolet's NASCAR relationship this year (40.1%) ranks in the auto category above the 28.5% mark (average of avids+casuals) earned by VW with MLS here. That VW recognition comes as only 3% of all cars sold in the U.S. through October were VWs, according to Autodata research.

     
    AVID FANS
    CASUAL FANS
    MLS SPONSOR (SINCE)
    '12
    '11
    '10
    '12
    '11
    '10
    Pepsi ('96)
    36.4%
    33.5%
    29.0%
    25.7%
    20.6%
    25.9%
    Red Bull ('06)
    31.8%
    26.5%
    28.5%
    30.2%
    23.1%
    24.4%
    Gatorade ('03)
    29.8%
    28.5%
    27.5%
    31.2%
    27.1%
    30.9%
    Anheuser-Busch ('96)
    40.9%
    21.0%
    22.0%
    35.6%
    29.7%
    29.4%
    Visa ('07)
    44.9%
    41.5%
    38.5%
    34.7%
    28.6%
    41.8%
    Volkswagen ('08)
    30.3%
    16.5%
    20.5%
    26.7%
    15.1%
    15.9%
    Allstate ('11)
    38.9%
    25.0%
    11.5%
    30.7%
    17.1%
    4.5%
    AT&T Wireless ('09)
    41.9%
    24.5%
    26.5%
    36.1%
    21.6%
    22.4%
    adidas ('96)
    44.4%
    n/a
    n/a
    42.1%
    n/a
    n/a
    Panasonic ('03)
    27.3%
    n/a
    n/a
    20.8%
    n/a
    n/a

    Print | Tags: Research and Ratings, MLS, PepsiCo, Anheuser Busch, Visa, Volkswagen, Allstate, ATT, Adidas, Panasonic
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