COLOGNE: Adidas, Nike and Puma are the brands consumers in Europe most readily associate with football sponsorship, a survey by Sport+Markt covering five major markets shows.

The consultancy polled more than 3,000 football fans in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK to see which companies they identified as having the strongest ties with the sport.

Adidas, which makes kits for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, was top of the list, ahead of Nike, which does the same for Manchester United and Barcelona, and Puma, the supplier for Lazio and Stuttgart.

Coca-Cola, a long-time sponsor of the World Cup, was in fourth, while Emirates, the airline, was in fifth, having bought up stadium naming rights and shirt sponsorship for Arsenal in the UK.

Carlsberg was the best-performing beer brand, with Audi taking this title in the automotive category, Samsung among electronics firms, and Vodafone for the telecoms sector.

Sport+Markt published a similar survey in 2005, also headed by Adidas and Nike, but almost half of the organisations featured in that study did not appear in its most recent rankings.

Hartmut Zastrow, executive director of the company, said "the trend in five years shows that huge investments and sustainability are essential to stay in top football markets in the long term."

Deutsche Telekom, O2, Pirelli, Siemens and Toyota had all fallen off the list, and there is a discernable reason for this, according to Zastrow.

"Jersey sponsors and kit suppliers dominate European communication in football," he said.

"Companies such as O2 and Siemens Mobile have dropped out of the ranking as they quit their jersey sponsorship engagements."

Data sourced from Sport Business; additional content by Warc staff