BEIJING: Coca-Cola and Adidas are the brand owners which are currently receiving the greatest benefits from their sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup among consumers in Asia Pacific.

MEC, a unit of WPP Group, surveyed 1,600 adults in Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand in order to gauge their interest in the World Cup, as well as their awareness of the event's corporate partners.

It found that Coca-Cola, the beverage maker, and Adidas, the sportswear specialist, posted the biggest overall "share of consumers' minds" in each of these markets with regard to spontaneous recognition of their affiliation with the tournament.

The long-term commitment of both of these firms to the World Cup was argued to have been one of the major factors behind this high level of recall.

By contrast, consumer electronics giant Sony, which has established an official tie-up with the competition for the first time, claimed fifth position in China and third place in Thailand.

Other companies that have forged similar alliances with the event include Emirates, the air carrier, Hyundai, the automaker, and Visa, the financial services provider.

One of the main reasons Coca-Cola is sponsoring the World Cup is that it taps into a "passion point" among its core target audience, Joe Tripodi, Coke's chief marketing and commercial officer, said recently.

In a further demonstration of this, MEC revealed that 75% of Chinese contributors held a favourable view of the competition, with 38% stated that they "loved" it and 37% that they "liked" it.

These figures stood at 35% and 39% respectively in Singapore, measured against totals of 30% and 44% in turn in Thailand.

Respondents in Australia were somewhat less positive, as just 22% of the panel in the country professed to "love" the World Cup and only 27% "liked" it.

In terms of potential viewing habits during the event, a range of channels are expected to supplement traditional consumption patterns at home and via big screens in communal settings.

Online, in particular, is due to see a spike in activity in many areas, and MEC predicted the web will act as a "substitute TV when viewers have no access to a TV set", such as during working hours.

Some 45% of the Chinese sample were also planning to keep up with the World Cup using the mobile web, as were over a fifth of their counterparts in both Singapore and Thailand.

Data sourced from WPP Group; additional content by Warc staff