Searches for World Cup Sponsors Surge in U.K.

Brands associated with the World Cup and its competing teams are witnessing substantial growth in searches from U.K. users, according to data from Experian Hitwise.

The online measurement company estimates searches for South African Airways – an official sponsor of the South African team – grew 129.2 percent between the week ending June 5 and the week ending June 12.

The rest of the brands in the top five gainers were beer brands, with Heineken – an official sponsor of the Netherlands team – experiencing a 75 percent increase in searches for its brand in the U.K. last week. Carlsberg, official sponsors of the England team, and Corona, sponsors of Mexico, both experienced a 50 percent increase, while searches for Budweiser, sponsors of the U.S.A team and an official Fifa World Cup sponsor, rose by exactly a third.

The World Cup began officially on June 11, meaning the data collection period only included two days of action from the tournament itself. Potentially, therefore, data encompassing a full week of matches could result in even greater growth in searches for brands aligning themselves with the event. It’s also likely, however, that such drastic growth in searches for South African Airways simply mirrors users’ desire to track down last minute flights before the tournament began.

Hitwise has also reported huge growth in non-brand terms relating to the World Cup, particularly around major players and events. For example, searches for England goalkeeper Robert Green grew 12-fold following an error in a match against the U.S.A last Friday, and searches for “vuvuzela,” the African horns blown indefatigably at most matches, increased 20-fold.

Increase in U.K. Searches for World Cup-Related Brands (Change is for week ending June 12 vs. prior week)

Rank Brand Week-over-week increase in related searches (%)
1 South African Airways 129.2
2 Heineken 75.0
3 Carlsberg 50.0
4 Corona 50.0
5 Budweiser 33.3
Source: Experian Hitwise

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