WPP sports specialist companies launch global sports brands study: SportZ

11 Mar 2003

  • 39% of sports fans who drink Coke (but not Pepsi) are interested in Formula 1.
  • 74% of British football fans love to hate Manchester United.
  • 30% of people who own a credit card have an interest in cricket.

In France, Arsenal’s relevance rating is as good as that of Perrier Mineral Water.
Real Madrid is a stronger brand in Spain than Ferrari is in Italy.
SportZ, the first global sports research to reveal what sports fans really think and feel about sports and sporting events as brands around the world, is being launched today.

Backed by WPP companies BroadMind, Global Sportnet, Hill and Knowlton, Mediaedge:cia and Premiere, SPORTZ measures the personality and image of key sports, sports events, and leading football and Formula 1 teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, China and the USA.

SportZ is also able to show how consumer behaviour and attitudes towards sport can impact on brands – both sponsors’ brands and brands within sport. The study allows sports brands to be compared and connected to 18,000 consumer brands across the world through links to WPP’s BrandZ study. In addition it can be linked to the extensive media and product purchasing information on the multinational Target Group Index (TGI).

Mandy Pooler, Chief Executive of The Channel, which co-ordinated the project, said: “At a time when huge questions are being asked about the future of sports sponsorship, SportZ is the first international study designed to quantify and qualify the value of sport among the only people who matter – the fans.”

SportZ reveals what sports fans think about 45 sports from tennis and golf to snowboarding and snooker. It also measures what fans think about 58 different sporting events around the world from the Olympic Games and the World Cup to Wimbledon, La Vuelta a Espana cycling and Aachen show jumping. The study reveals what sports fans really think about football and the top football teams and what they really think about every Formula 1 team.

The research, which was carried out by BMRB and Millward Brown, was conducted among over 21,000 sports fans over the age of 15 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, China and the USA.

“SportZ is an excellent example of WPP’s specialist companies collaborating to produce leading edge work” said Sir Martin Sorrell. “ For both sponsors and rights holders there is now an opportunity to take a far more scientific approach to the world of sports marketing”.

“There is a real need for professionalism in managing the complexity of sports brands and research like SportZ is an important asset in improving standards.” said Michael Payne, Marketing Director, International Olympic Committee.