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Nielsen Unveils The Power Of Sport

By Publications Checkout
Nielsen Unveils The Power Of Sport

With around a million people tuning in to Euro 2012 and Olympic Games last year, it’s no wonder that sporting events represent such a lucrative opportunity for advertisers, as a new report from Nielsen suggests. 

A new report from Nielsen has highlighted the importance of major sporting events on FMCG purchasing, following a year in which Euro 2012 and the London Olympics dominated TV schedules. According to the report, sporting events represent an ‘ideal vehicle’ for advertisers to get in front of hard to reach demographics, while also presenting additional opportunities for in-store events. In addition, given the often ‘high levels of engagement and passion’ and the popularity of live (as opposed to time-delayed) coverage, sporting events tap into the ‘experiential’ market like few other occasions.

“The big sporting events matter in Ireland,” Maureen Mooney, Commercial Director, Nielsen, explains. “They influence viewing and purchasing, particularly when there is a local interest. The combination of promotions, advertising and in-store theatre give opportunities for retailers and brands to capitalise on the excitement.”

Euro 2012

Unsurprisingly, Euro 2012 was the biggest sporting occasion of the year, with 1,025,900 viewers tuning in to Ireland’s opening game against Croatia – the top viewed programme of 2012. Ireland’s other group matches, against Spain (938,400 viewers) and Italy (797,200 viewers) were also amongst the most watched TV events of the year. 


‘The Euros gave advertisers an opportunity to reach some key demographics, and also offered retailers and manufacturers an opportunity to capitalise on the excitement with in-store events and promotions,’ the Nielsen report explains. ‘Categories benefiting were BBQ and lager, for example. One of the sponsors, Carlsberg, saw sales increase by over 40% year on year during the Euros, with the support of sponsorship, promotions, distribution gains, and advertising.’

London Olympics

Irish consumers were also avid viewers of the London Olympics, with viewing figures for the competition well ahead of Beijing 2008. The biggest event during the Games was the Katie Taylor Gold Medal fight, which despite taking place on a Thursday afternoon, achieved a massive audience of 969,300. 

Brands that capitalised on the Games included Cadbury, which boasted a full range of sponsorship, promotions, advertising, in-store marketing and NPD in the run up to and during the competition. Sales increased by 20% for Cadbury Dairy Milk alone, compared to the previous year, while Nielsen estimate that Cadbury’s Creme Egg ad was viewed by 93% of Adults (aged 15+) at least once, with each viewer seeing it on average 16 times. 

P&G’s Fairy Olympic ad campaign was ‘similarly hard to miss’, the report explains, with 92% of Adults (aged 15+) seeing it at least once, and on average each viewer seeing it 15 times. 


“The average Irish Adult viewer spent over 25 hours each week viewing TV in 2012 and saw on average 36 advertisements every day. 92% of that time was spent watching live TV as it was broadcast,” says Jill Mc Grath, CEO TAM Ireland. “Sport is a programme genre that is in the ‘must see live’ category and is very engaging. This is great for sponsors and advertisers alike as we’ve seen from the Carlsberg example at the Euros and the Cadbury example at the Olympics above, brands can really benefit from associating themselves with sporting events on TV.”

The full report is available on both the Nielsen Ireland website ( and the TAM Ireland website ( All data quoted is taken from Nielsen/TAM Ireland Television Audience Measurement, Nielsen Retail Measurement Service and Nielsen TV Brand Effect (GB). 

This article appeared in the February 2013 edition of Checkout

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