Tag Archives: Independent Study

BP Oil Sponsorship Ramifications – The Full Report

Check out the presentation below to see the full results from the Performance Research independent study regarding the sponsorship ramifications in the wake of the BP oil spill.


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Performance Research / Survey Sampling International Study of Gulf Oil Tragedy




New poll suggest Americans hold a dim view of BP and it is getting worse.

In a two country poll conducted June 12th and 13th, 2010, by Performance Research, in conjunction with Survey Sampling International, of over 600 respondents, (half in the US and half in the UK), the overall consensus was that BP’s credibility as a whole, as well as a sponsor of major sports and arts properties, is taking a hit, and getting worse.  Yet there are stark contrasts in views between Americans and the Brits on a variety of topics, especially when it comes to the future of BP’s support of their favorite pastimes.

When asked to identify the single most important issue today, from a list of major world news and events, nearly half of Americans (47%) identified the gulf oil spill as most important, over the global economy failures (28%), health care (10%), or the Afghan war, the Iran or Iraq conflicts, national political shifts, or even the World Cup (each receiving less than 5%).  Compare that to the British, who claim the global economy failures as the number one issue (35%), followed by the war in Afghanistan (18%), then the gulf oil spill (17%), the Iran conflict (9%), the World Cup (7%), Health Care (6%), then political shifts and the Iraq conflict (each 5% or less).

When asked who should be paying for the clean-up, Americans are holding BP nearly fully accountable, with 90% claiming they should pay for all (52%) or most (39%), while only 77% of Brits feel the same.  As for the US Government’s role, only about a quarter of the citizens in both countries (24% US / 28% UK) feel they should be contributing all or most of the payments to help with the cleanup.


It is what’s at stake for both BP and the Obama administration.  Among citizens in both countries, it seems that BP is taking the hardest hit in the US, while the Brits seem to be giving BP a little leeway.  When asked how much they agree with these statements, only 19% of Americans feel “BP has been open and honest about developments with the oil spill,” while double that number in the UK (40%) seem to believe in BP.  Similarly, when asked if they “Trust BP when they say, ‘We will make it right,’” only 20% of Americans seem to buy it, while over a third (34%) of the Brits agree.  Probably most telling is that a majority of American (66%) and Brits (51%) believe that “BP is more worried about saving its profits than the spill’s impact on the environment.”

When asked to rate their overall opinion of BP prior to the oil rig disaster, and today, ratings among Americans dropped from 40% positive opinions to 15% positive, and from 49% positive opinions in the UK to only 29% positive today.  Inversely, negative impressions grew from 13% to 63% in the US, and 10% to 32% in the UK.

For the Obama administration, it isn’t quite as bad, but signs still point to skepticism.  Only 26% in both countries agreed that “The US Government is handling its response to the oil spill appropriately.”

Future of business for BP.

So what happens next?  The oil spill will someday be contained, and hopefully, the clean-up will be old news.  How will their business fair?  In the US, it looks like it might be a long road ahead, with nearly half (47%) of American vehicle owners we spoke with claiming they would be less likely to purchase fuel from the company in the future.  Not so tough were the Brits with only 21% drawing a line in the sand.

Now what about all of the marketing partners across the US and the UK who are affiliated with BP in everything from professional sports to modern art galleries?  Are they being chastised because of the supposed bad deeds of their sponsor?  It appears that consumers do have a heart after all, and most are still appreciative of BP’s involvement.  However, when renewal time comes along, it seems consumers here and abroad think those marketing dollars should be diverted to environmental efforts and causes along the Gulf coast  (56% US / 42% UK) and that money currently spent on sponsorships is taking away funds that could be used to help in the clean up (49% US / 35% UK).  Going forward, many (37% US / 15% UK) feel sports events or leagues should not seek or accept new sponsorship alliances or funds from BP.  Some even went so far as to claim that they would not support any sport or cultural institution that received any funds from BP (22% US / 8% UK).  Fortunately for the properties, this was a minority.

For further updates as they become available, log on to https://blog.performanceresearch.com/



About Methodology:

Performance Research and Survey Sampling International conducted this study online among a national random sample of American consumers, aged 18-65, June 12-13, 2010.  A total of 600 respondents were included in this study, including 300 in the United States and 300 in the United Kingdom.    The margin of error for this sample is no more than +3%.

PowerPoint charts of complete research results are available by request.

About Performance Research:

Performance Research (Newport, Rhode Island) is the world’s leader in consumer research and evaluation for the sponsorship industry. Founded in 1985, the company has taken the leading role in understanding the marketing impact of sponsorship, as well as the phenomenon of emotional triggers and passion points among sports and arts enthusiasts.

Performance Research’s consulting and evaluation work affects nearly $800 million worth of corporate sponsorship investments each year. Custom studies include on-site event surveys, telephone interviews, online surveys, and in-depth qualitative focus groups that explore the marketing impact of sponsorship / advertising from the consumer perspective.

About Survey Sampling International:

Survey Sampling International is the premier global provider of sampling solutions for survey research. SSI offers access to more than 6 million consumer and business-to-business research respondents in 72 countries via Internet, telephone, and mobile. Additional client services include custom profiling, survey programming and hosting, data processing, sampling consulting, and survey optimization.

SSI serves more than 1,800 clients worldwide, including 48 of the top 50 research organizations. Founded in 1977, SSI has an international staff of 400 people representing 50 countries and 36 languages. The company has 17 offices in 15 countries to locally support your global sampling needs.

For more information:

Contact:  Jed Pearsall

Tel: 401- 848-0111

Fax: 401-848-0110

Email: jed@performanceresearch.com


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Olympics and Scandal – What’s the real opinion?

It seems every time the Olympics roll around there begins to be a debate revolving around the purity of the event and the money being exchanged behind the scenes.  While many different opinions exist regarding the business side of the Olympics and how it may aide in a tarnished image, this is not always the case.  I suggest you take a look at the Performance Research Independent Study regarding the Salt Lake Olympic Scandal.  This independent study conducted in February 1999 really breaks down how the public perceives Olympics scandal and how it affects their opinion of sponsors.  You should  find the results quite interesting.


Sponsors Still Live Dream Despite Scandal Nightmare

In a time when it seems that Olympic ideals might have been bought and sold, a new study suggests that the Olympic spirit remains alive and well with the American public, and consumers are no less willing to support sponsors which support the Games.

The controversy that is raging in Salt Lake City has left 40% of those responding to a nationwide poll believing that, “Their overall impression of the Olympics has been damaged”, according to a study by Performance Research of Newport, RI. Moreover, 57% agreed that “The Olympics have become all about big business and money”, and 62% feel that, “The Olympics are becoming just like big professional sports, filled with strikes and controversy”.

But is the damage all that severe? Only a minority (26%) indicated that they, “Have lost trust in the Olympics and what they stand for”, and 61% believe that, “The problem has been handled appropriately up to now.”

Despite the growing scandal, the majority seem to separate the Olympics (as a sport) from the business side of the Games. This is generally good news for corporate sponsors, which draw upon the image and aura of the Olympics to market themselves as leaders in their fields. Respondents were split on the issue, “My overall impression of Olympic sponsors has been damaged or lessened by the scandal” (31% agreed/ 51% disagreed/ 18% no opinion), but only one-in-five (22%) indicated that they were, “Less likely to support Olympic sponsors because of the controversy”. A majority (57%) believe that the current level of commercialism is “Acceptable”, and nearly all (85%) indicated that they “Welcome corporate sponsorship if it keeps the Olympics going”. The best news for sponsors: Nearly one-third (30%) indicated that, “A company’s involvement with the Olympics has a positive impact on my everyday purchasing decisions”– a figure which is almost identical to “pre-scandal days”, as compared to data previously collected by Performance Research following the Lillehammer, Atlanta, and Nagano Games.

Just 17% of those surveyed placed blame for the controversy on corporate sponsors, and surprisingly, only 23% believe that the Salt Lake Organizing Committee is most at fault.

So who is the anger directed at? The majority (59%) believe that the IOC is at the center of blame, and almost half (49%) believe that His Excellency, Juan Antonio Samaranch, should resign amid the allegations.

Performance Research  tested the awareness and attitudes towards the Olympics and the Salt Lake City scandal among 200 respondents by telephone interview in a nationwide sample during the first week of February 1999. The margin of error is + 5%.

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Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs : A Performance Research Independent Study

While only one football team has called a certain stadium in Miami home over the past 23 years, the stadium itself has been home to six different names.  Now while having your brand attached to something as grand as a stadium does offer a certain level of attention, how effective is owning these naming rights if  they are going to change often?  Also, shouldn’t you  make sure to benefit the club and its fans in some way?

Check out the Performance Research Independent Study below for a detailed look into the ups and down of stadium naming rights.


Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs

An independent telephone study conducted in the U.K. and U.S. by Performance Research tested consumer awareness and attitudes toward corporate sponsorship of stadiums and arenas. The research revealed that sponsors must consider the needs of the fans, understanding an unwanted name change may do more harm than good.

During research in the U.S., Performance Research found nearly 90% of sports fans in Chicago, Boston, Indianapolis and Minneapolis were able to correctly name (unaided) stadium / arena sponsors, and 20% of the U.S. sports fans questioned reported they personally benefit from corporate-named stadiums / arenas.

So how would fans in the U.K. compare, when the same study was conducted here? Firstly the level of stadium sponsorship is much lower, and this was reflected during spontaneous sponsor recall questioning. Less than one-fourth (23%) of U.K. respondents were able to correctly recall sports stadiums named after a company, brand or product. Bolton’s Reebok stadium was recalled most frequently (54%), followed by Huddersfield’s McAlpine stadium (48%).

Can sponsors benefit from stadium naming? Well, one-fourth (25%) of fans in the U.K. indicated that stadium sponsorship ‘Has, or would increase purchase consideration’ of that brand or product. Moreover, roughly one-half of fans reported a ‘More positive’ opinion of a company sponsoring a sports stadium, and 25% reported a sports stadium named after a sponsoring company holds positive connotations, implying the team must be good.

However, before sponsors rush out and sign naming right sponsorship deals there are some reasons to be cautious. Despite nearly one-half (47%) of U.K. respondents reporting they were ‘Very’ or ‘Moderately’ in favour of a new sports arena named after a corporate sponsor, fewer than one-third of U.K. fans indicated they would be ‘Very’ or ‘Moderately’ in favour of changing the name of an existing stadium. Moreover, one in five U.K. sports fans reported just because a company was a sponsor did not make it right for them to change the name of the stadium, and unlike fans in the U.S. the majority (88%) of fans in the U.K. reported stadium naming would be of no benefit to them, indicating that stadium sponsorship was unlikely to result in lower ticket prices.

According to Mark Knight, Project Manager, Performance Research Europe, a company which undertakes sponsorship naming of a stadium without considering the needs of the club or fans is guilty of ‘brandalism’ of the worse kind and is only going to harm their brand image. “A stadium can be a national icon or community focal point, an un-necessary name change may be seen as little more than a cold-hearted attempt to buy their way into a sport they ultimately don’t understand”.

During February 1999 staff from Performance Research randomly dialed and interviewed, a total of two hundred and sixteen (216) sports fans.  The margin of error for this sample is no more than + 7%.

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Performance Research Independent Study : Consumers Switch To Sponsors Products

With the Daytona 500 approaching this weekend, thought we’d post a Performance Research Independent Study regarding NASCAR from 2000.   Check it out!


Viagra and Lycos Outperform First Year Sponsors to NASCAR

According to a recent study by Performance Research, an independent market research firm based in Newport, RI, Lycos and Viagra gained consumer recognition with their new presence in NASCAR sponsorship.

Lycos’ first year as a primary sponsor for NASCAR driver Johnny Benson starts with high points…

The press around Lycos’ last minute signing of their sponsorship agreement with driver Johnny Benson the night before the Daytona 500 race combined with Benson’s exciting unexpected strong showing towards the end of the race boosted Lycos’ exposure as evidenced by the 12 percentage point awareness among NASCAR fans, ranking them first among all other first year Winston Cup sponsors. Boding well for Lycos is the fact that the study also found that Internet access among NASCAR fans has increased nearly 20 percentage points from 53% in July of 1998 to 70% in February of 2000.

Also getting a boost was Viagra who had impressive consumer awareness without even qualifying for the Daytona 500…

Viagra received 5% unaided sponsorship awareness in its first year as a Winston Cup sponsor, even though driver Jeff Fuller failed to qualify for the Daytona 500.

How important is this awareness…?

Past studies have shown that given the choice between two products of equal cost, 72% of NASCAR fans would almost always or frequently choose the brand they associate with NASCAR over one that is not associated with NASCAR. Interestingly as well, when there is a price differential, a strong 46% mentioned that they would purchase a brand costing as much as ten percent more if associated with NASCAR over a less expensive brand that is not associated with NASCAR.

In fact, 43 percent of NASCAR fans were influenced enough by NASCAR sponsorships to switch from their normal brand of a grocery store item to try a different brand. Tide came up as a beneficiary of this sentiment with 20 percent of all consumers questioned switching from their normal brand to try out Tide. Among others mentioned most often were Kellogg’s, Cheerios, Coca-Cola, M&M’s and Budweiser.

The current demographics of NASCAR fans were recorded in this study as well. The typical fan was measured as male (68%), married (73%), a high school graduate (97%) with a total household income of $50,000 or more (68%).

Two- hundred (200) telephone interviews were conducted with a random nationwide sample of NASCAR TV viewers forty-eight hours after the 2000 Daytona 500 had taken place. The margin of error is no more than + 5%.

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PR Independent Research Study: The America’s Cup Ten Years Ago.

In light of the current running of the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, we decided to post one of our  Independent Studies regarding the worlds most prestigious race.  Check it out below and stay tuned for more………


Log-Ons and Sponsors and Boats, Oh My!

Who knew sailors could surf?According to a nationwide study of sailing fans by Performance Research, over half (61%) of the America’s Cup audience reported logging on after almost every race and nearly three fourths (74%) followed the America’s Cup on the internet this year, a testament to the expanded internet coverage and the ever-increasing number of internet users. Virtual Spectator Limited (providing subscriptions to live on-line coverage of the America’s Cup) might be a good site to place your virtual bets with 45% of the fans commenting that they would be “Somewhat” or “Very likely” to pay for extended coverage such as Virtual Spectator during future America’s Cup defenses (19% of those surveyed signed on with Virtual Spectator to follow this year’s Cup).

Sponsors win even when boats lose. According to Nicole Alio, project manager for Performance Research U.S., “There seems to be an overall acceptance of and appreciation for the sponsors of this America’s Cup compared to the previous three defenses. I believe this approval is because fans are beginning to realize that corporate sponsorship is essential to creating a winning team and to bringing the Cup back to the United States. In fact, the vast majority of fans interviewed (81%) approved corporate sponsorship as “Essential to the overall success of the event”. Sponsors are not only becoming accepted by the fans but are seen as “More innovative” (62%) and “More interested in their customers” (53%) than their competitors as a result of their affiliation with the America’s Cup. There has been a steady increase in reported brand loyalty when comparing the results to a similar study conducted during the 1995 defense (34%) where now, nearly one half (44%) of the fans interviewed reported that they would “Almost always” or “Frequently” select America’s Cup sponsors’ products over those of non-sponsors.

Paul Cayard talks the talk and walks the walk. Even though the fans were somewhat evenly split among which U.S. syndicate they had originally hoped would make it to the finals, (America One 23% / Young America 27% / America True 18% / Star & Stripes 20% / Abaracadabara 3%), the performance of skipper Paul Cayard seemed to endear him as the future US representative. Sailing fans rated Paul Cayard highest (47%) as the America’s Cup personality they would most trust as a product endorser over other stalwarts including Dennis Conner (23%), Dawn Riley (33%) and Russell Couts (32%). Furthermore, three out of the seven most frequently recalled America’s Cup sponsors were affiliated with Paul Cayard and America One – Ford, Hewlett Packard, and SAIC. Citizen, Toyota, Italian syndicate sponsor Prada and Challenger series sponsor Louis Vuitton rounded out the top seven mentions. According to the fans, Paul Cayard is the man with the right message and image that sponsors should look to in the future.

The typical America’s Cup fan in this study was a male (66%) college graduate (84%) over 45 years of age (75%), with a total annual household income of $60,000 or more (83%).

Three hundred and four (304) telephone interviews were conducted nationwide among respondents who had watched at least two races on ESPN2 and/or had used the Internet at least once a week to follow the America’s Cup racing. One hundred (100) interviews were conducted during the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series 1/18/00-1/20/00. Two hundred and four (204) interviews were conducted after the conclusion of the finals 3/2/00-3/7/00. The margin of error is no more than + 6.

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PR Independent Research Study. Turning Back to the Clock to 2002.

Below is an independent study that was conducted Fall 2002 in Times Square, NYC.   Keep coming back often, as we will be posting our Performance Research Independent Studies bi-weekly from now on….



What can a company do to differentiate itself from the advertising clutter in Times Square? Since 1996, Nissin Foods has been effectively competing against higher profile companies like Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Discover by steaming up Times Square with its Cup Noodles advertising.

While standing in the middle of Times Square with your eyes closed, which companies, signs or advertisements could you recall surrounding you?

When a recent Performance Research study asked just that among 320 visitors to Times Square they found that Nissin Cup Noodles (13%) was remembered far more often than expected, actually ranking third, out of seventy-six companies mentioned. The only others mentioned more often were Coca-Cola (32%) and Budweiser (19%) – each with substantially higher profiles and national ad budgets. Additional companies mentioned in the study included NASDAQ, MTV, Discover, Sony and Kodak.

Moreover, when visitors were asked which one ad was Times Square’s most prominent, Nissin Cup Noodles was credited second only to Coca-Cola out of 40 companies named. Other prominent ads were by NASDAQ, Budweiser, Sony, Discover and Fleet.

So what differentiates Nissin Cup Noodles from others in Times Square, and allows them to compete with all those higher profile companies? It’s the novel idea that, since 1996, brings their advertisement to life, where Nissin has created a way for steam to rise out of their large replica Cup Noodles container; it almost makes you hungry just watching it.

This unique advertising is not just a gimmick for the tourists. In fact, Nissin’s ability to be remembered among “frequent” visitors was much higher when compared to “first time” visitors to Times Square. (18% frequent visitors vs. 7% first time visitors).

But what audience are they reaching? The difference between younger people noticing Nissin’s advertisement and older people noticing was greater than any other company mentioned. More than any other advertiser, Nissin was breaking through the clutter to reach the younger consumer (18% under 35 vs. 6% over 35).

Respondents were intercepted by Performance Research staff at various times and egresses from Times Square and asked to participate in a brief interview. A total of 320 respondents were included in this study. Interviews were conducted in late fall, 2002. The margin of error for this sample is no more than + 7%. Full study is available for purchase from Performance Research.

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