World Cup sponsors already winning across Europe

LONDON - World Cup official sponsors Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Mastercard are already seeing gains from their links with the tournament, according to a report released by sports research company TNS Sport.

TNS Sport's World Cup Monitor survey shows more than 50% of viewers in the UK linked Coca-Cola with the World Cup, with 70% making the association in Germany.

The report also showed that 70% of adults in Italy and Spain are interested in the World Cup. In Germany, this rises to 80%, likely to be due to "new" fans gained from the tournament being staged there.

The company expects these figures to increase long after the last goal has been scored.

Richard Ames, TNS Sport managing director, said: "After the final, we will be running a second wave of the monitor in Europe and there is little doubt that the partners will make significant gains."

The news that sponsors are receiving increased levels of recognition for their products coincides with figures from Initiative Futures, the research arm of media agency Initiative, which state that the 2006 World Cup could be the most watched television event to date with a global audience of more than 5bn viewers during the tournament.

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