A study* looking at UK sales of FMCG brands around 15 major sports events shows that:
- Ad spend around the event increases by 25% as more companies advertise and average spend is 10% higher.
- The resulting clutter reduced the return on sales by as much as 50%, an effect which is particularly pronounced for advertising just before and during the event and for brands which have low fit with the event.
- For brands that increase their share of voice, both the short- and long-term effectiveness goes up, but only during single-sport events (where the audience tends to be more homogeneous).
Whilst sales are important, it may be secondary to brand image by associating with certain sports.
A more in-depth summary of this study is available here
*Maarten J. Gijsenberg (2013), Going for gold: investigating the (non)sense of increased advertising around major sports events, International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM)