With the Euros in full flow, and extremely high viewing figures for Ireland’s heroic performances against Italy and France, it’s hard to miss the presence of alcohol sponsorship throughout the tournament. However, is this type of sponsorship necessary for a successful tournament? For the most part, the answer is no. Almost 8 in 10 (79%) agree that without alcohol sponsorship, events such as the Euros would be just as good, according to recent research conducted by Empathy Research.
Almost 6 in 10 (56%) adults agree that alcohol adverts during sporting events should only be aired after the watershed, suggesting that many feel there is a time and a place for this type of messaging. Results differ greatly by age with just under half (46%) of 18-24’s believing this, rising steadily with age and peaking with almost 3 in 4 (72%) aged over 65 agreeing this should be the case.
Both of these opinions point to something of a cooling of relationships between sport and alcohol sponsorship in the eyes of the public. There appears to be significant reservations for many into the appropriateness of this type of sponsorship, particularly when we overlay the appeal of sport amongst the younger generations.
There is also limited claimed impact at an overall level on purchase intent from alcohol sponsorship, with just over 1 in 10 (11%) adult’s agreeing that alcohol sponsorship during sporting events has an influence on their purchase behaviour. Sponsorship is not solely about driving purchase intent, indeed it should be more so viewed as a viable way for brands to win the hearts of the public through softer and less invasive interactions.
Good sponsorships should reach consumers on a number of levels, with appropriateness, appeal, consideration and closeness all to the fore. Therefore, we should not necessarily expect to see high purchase intent figures, but the low levels of purchase behaviour are interesting nonetheless.
The preference seen earlier for alcohol advertising to be aired after the watershed may be stemming from the desire by older adults wanting the younger cohort of the population to have less exposure, as it appears they are more impressionable when it comes to this type of messaging. Almost a quarter (23%) of those aged 18-24 claim that alcohol advertising and sponsorship does affect their alcohol purchase decision, twice the national average.
For further information in relation to these attitudes to alcohol sponsorship, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.
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