More About that Loyalty Question

bimboYesterday we wrote about the Turnkey Sports study (as reported by SBJ) that demonstrated the incredible brand awareness and loyalty of Major League Soccer fans. We’ve been reporting on that survey for a number of years and the remarkable willingness of MLS fans to actively promote companies that invest in the league is a common thread.  According to data from the 2010 version of the survey, 80% of avid MLS fans are more likely to recommend a product or service if it has a relationship with the league.  How many of you have considered Continental Tires, Allstate Insurance or a room at a Sheraton Four Points because of the MLS ties?

The demonstrated loyalty of MLS fans provides a unique business opportunity for potential and existing league sponsors.  One of the key points to emerge from the study was that the level of visibility achieved by MLS sponsors far outstrips their market penetration.  The VW data is a telling on this point.  We noted yesterday that VW has a 28.5%  recognition level among avid MLS fans.  Per SBJ, “that VW recognition comes as only 3 percent of all cars sold in the United States through October were VWs, according to Autodata research.” Thus, even though the league as a comparatively small fan base, sponsors get incredible bang for the buck.

We received some interesting e-mails and Tweets discussing the vested interest soccer fans have long had in the success of the league.  So we now pose the question here.  How many of you are more willing to consider products  because of their investment in the league.  Will you buy Continental Tires, an AT&T plan or Allstate insurance?  Do you distinguish between team sponsors (Quaker) and league sponsors (Four Points)?  Drop a line and let us know.

6 Responses

  1. Absolutely yes. I bought tires recently and definitely asked about Continental because of the league. I bought my wife Quaker oatmeal rather than store brand. It makes a difference

  2. I agree but part of it is that you get bludgeoned withe same ads over and over. Who doesn’t know that continental and dicks are league sponsors at this point. Same cannot be said for NFL where so many brands buy ad time.

  3. I have considered continental tires because it was a sponsor, though I ended up going with a different brand only because price was significant issue in this particular case. I think the economy has an impact, but definitely know that I have supported other sponsors and will continue to support in the future

  4. One of the key factors I think is jersey sponsorships. No other sport has jersey sponsorships in the manner in which soccer and MLS does. Will I buy a VW the next time I need a car because they sponsor MLS and DC United? Maybe.

    But some of the sponsors could do well by offering some benefits. I know Alaska Air used to (maybe still does) offer early boarding for any person flying out of Portland wearing a Timbers jersey. That is a tangible benefit. WV could offer a discount for buyers in a DC United jersey, or Quaker Oats could package a coupon book for Chicago Jersey buyers. The point is that given this intense brand knowledge, the sponsors could start leveraging that brand knowledge to start building brand LOYALTY that goes both ways.

  5. I make it a point to consider sponsors. I’ve even gone one step further in contacting several Chicago Fire sponsors to let them know I appreciate their support. I got a standard reply but I have to believe that kind of contact will percolate up to decision makers.

  6. Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very imaotrpnt.

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