PARIS: Coca-Cola is the brand which has made the most effective use of its sports sponsorship in Europe, reports a study conducted by Eurosport, the broadcast network, in association with Synovate, the market research firm, and media agency ZenithOptimedia.

According to the "Business & Sport: Perfect Partners" report, Coca Cola's long-term involvement with the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup made it the premier operator in the field.

Sports brand Adidas came in second place for its long-running association with various footballing events, with telecoms provider Vodafone taking third for its tie-up with the UEFA Champions League and Formula 1 motor racing.

The research was based on in-depth interviews with senior marketers and the responses of 1,600 senior business professionals in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Auto marque Mercedes' sponsorship of Formula 1 team McLaren was seen as the sponsorship deal that had most improved business customers' brand opinion, receiving 43% of votes overall.

EDF Energy's sponsorship of a rugby union cup competition was also regarded as producing the biggest improved brand consideration among business audiences, followed by BNP Paribas' tie-up with the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros.

Perimeter ads were seen as the best means of securing brand visibility (47% of votes), with official sponsorship seen as premier way of gaining attention (37%), while long-term commitment was seen as more beneficial than short-term deals.

Data sourced from M&MGlobal; additional content by WARC staff