There's been a lot of chatter about the benefits of sponsorship and the threat of ambush marketing over the past few months. Some believed the All Blacks were a more valuable property to be associated with, others believed the Rugby World Cup was worth the sizable investment. So we were interested to see this Nielsen data showing which brands the hoi polloi perceived as sponsors of the event in June and then again in October.
Of the official sponsors, Heineken was the brand most people associated with the tournament, up to 52 percent from just 20 percent in the first survey in June. ANZ was next (and also had a big gain from June), and MasterCard was third. Broadcast sponsors Bunnings and Telecom (which also sponsors the All Blacks) were surprisingly high up the list and well ahead of official sponsors like DHL, Coca-Cola, Brancott Estate, Emirates, Blackberry, Landrover and Societe Generale.
All Blacks sponsors Adidas will be pretty happy with second place on the list given it has no association with the tournament, as will fellow All Blacks supporters Air New Zealand, which didn't seem particularly vocal about its support during the tournament but still managed to come in 6th. Despite a campaign closely linked with the All Blacks' performance at the tournament over the years, Steinlager was back in 15th.