Fast-food giant KFC has emerged as the standout sponsorship winner of Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL), new research finds.

The fast food brand is associated with the professional BBL Twenty20 cricket league by 21% of the population, a survey by research firm Roy Morgan has found.

And among cricket fans, the penetration rate rockets to 40% – head and shoulders above rival sponsors Fox Sport and Commonwealth Bank.

The levels of KFC brand association are the result of a long-term commitment to the event, observers say.

CEO of Roy Morgan Michele Levine told B&T Magazine it can take time for a brand to be readily associated with a major sporting event; but KFC’s recognition demonstrates the kind of results a long-term commitment can deliver.

“KFC has been the naming-rights sponsor for Twenty-20 Cricket in Australia for over a decade now,” she said.

“Over 4.2 million Australians now associate KFC with the Big Bash League and when you start analysing people who have a declared interest in cricket whether by playing, attending, or watching on TV, this penetration rises dramatically.”

Compared to the high-levels of brand association for KFC, just 3% of TV cricket fans connect fellow lead sponsors, Fox Sports and Commonwealth Bank, with the Big Bash. However, the Commonwealth Bank achieves far greater recognition in connection with Test cricket (24%), for which it is a long-term sponsor.

Another winner in Test cricket is long-term sponsor Victoria Bitter, associated with the game by 15% of TV cricket fans. But KFC again achieves success in One-Day International sponsorship where it achieves the highest level of sponsors’ brand recognition from TV viewers at 24%; it also achieves 22% recognition in Test cricket sponsorship, just trailing Commonwealth Bank.

WARC’S Global Ad Trends: Sponsorship report revealed sponsorship was forecast to reach $65.8 billion globally in 2018, with the lion’s share going to sport – that’s up from $44 billion in 2009.

Globally, two thirds of brands regard sponsorship as a legitimate marketing channel, with marketers primarily using it to drive brand metrics and reach.

Sourced from B&T; additional content by WARC staff