Experian Hitwise, a competitive intelligence service, recently revealed that South African Airways was the brand that benefited most from its sponsorship of the FIFA Football World Cup.
UK Internet searches for the South African Airways brand (one of the South African team’s official sponsors) increased by 129.2% between the week ending June 5th and the week ending June 12th. South African Airways’ Experian Hitwise World Cup Brands Index score increased from 109 for the week ending June 5th to 250 for the week ending June 12th.
The top five performing brands in the Experian Hitwise World Cup Brands Index last week (w/e June 12th) were as follows:
Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e June 5th
Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e June 12th
Week on week change (%)
South African Airways
The remaining top four positions in the table were taken up by beer companies, with Heineken (one of the Netherlands’ sponsors) experiencing a 75% increase in searches for its brand in the UK last week. Carlsberg (official sponsors of the England team) and Corona (sponsors of Mexico, South Africa’s opponents in the tournament’s opening match) both experienced a 50% increase, while searches for Budweiser (sponsors of the USA, England’s opponents last Saturday and also FIFA World Cup sponsors) were up by a third.
“The massive spike in searches for South African Airways illustrates the appetite for last minute travel to watch the World Cup. There has also been an 85% increase in searches for flights to South Africa over the last couple of weeks,” commented Robin Goad, Director of Research at Experian Hitwise. “The industry Index that saw the biggest increase in searches last week was Food and Drink (up by 8%), as illustrated by the strong performance of beer brands. It just beat Travel (up 7.4%), while Technology and Telecoms came in third with a 4.8% increase.”
“What the Experian Hitwise Brand Index highlights is that a weekend of football has given the food and drinks brands a real boost – particularly with England playing their first match on a Saturday night. The timing of these opening matches has been reflected in their advertising and marketing campaigns with great offers and promotions that are relevant, humorous and authentic.
“It also highlights the rewards that integrated marketing campaigns can deliver. With the exception of the Dutch team, all the teams the top five brands sponsor had played at the time our Index was compiled.”
Other ways in which the World Cup has influenced UK online behaviour over the last week include: