McDonald's a 'poor fit' for Olympics, claims survey

A quarter of consumers believe that Olympic sponsor McDonald's is a poor fit with the Games, raising questions about the long-term sustainability of sports sponsorship by high-calorie food and drink brands.

McDonald's: a quarter of respondents thought it was a "poor fit"
McDonald's: a quarter of respondents thought it was a "poor fit"

Exclusive research commissioned by Interbrand for Marketing has revealed that McDonald’s prompts the greatest division of opinion, followed by Coca-Cola.

A quarter of consumers either strongly or completely disagreed that McDonald’s is a ‘good fit’ as an Olympic sponsor. Meanwhile, 10% of respondents strongly or completely disagreed that Coca-Cola is suitable.

Meanwhile, 32% of consumers said that the fast-food brand’s involvement conflicts with what the Olympics stands for, and 39% believed that its products and services are not relevant to the Games.

A spokeswoman for McDonald’s defended its sponsorship: ‘Our long-term commitment to the Olympic Games has provided us with the opportunity to develop exciting programmes for our customers and for our people.’

She added: ‘Sponsorship is essential to the Olympics, and as a London 2012 sponsor, we are using our catering and customer-service expertise to provide high-quality British food, and help train the 70,000 volunteers that will be needed to make the Games a success.’

Adidas was ranked as the most appropriate Olympic partner; 59% of consumers said that its sponsorship is a good fit.

However, in better news for McDonald’s, it was the second-most spontaneously recalled sponsor, with 35% of respondents recognising its tie-up.

The brand came second only to Coca-Cola, which had a 42% unprompted recall rate. Consumer interest in what has been dubbed the ‘first social-media Olympics’ has been growing steadily since the beginning of the year.

According to Interbrand, 4m tweets mentioning the Olympics have been sent in the past year.

Click here to view the full survey

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