Sponsorship Snacks

Week 24

Advanced Sponsorship Insights
3 min readJun 21, 2021

The European Championship is underway, and everybody loves football. Arenas are (kinda) full, and fan chants are back.

On the other side of the globe, Copa America is losing sponsors. When the news broke on May 31st, the negative sentiment for Copa America exploded with more than 25k negative mentions. Yikes. Consequently, Mastercard and beverage companies Ambev and Diageo decided not to activate the property after the organizers moved it to Brazil.

The move of the sponsors comes to little surprise. Brazil has recorded more than 476.000 Covid19-related deaths. Famous players such as Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, and the entire Brazilian team have openly criticized the move to Brazil (Source). Eight Venezuelan players tested positive right before the kick-off (Source), and after two days, there have been 52 positive cases.

But we can also see that Mastercard did not gain any positive sentiment from their decision to disassociate themselves with the event. While they probably avoided further scandals, they did not profit from their decision to back away.

(Side Note: the second negative spike at the end is not related to the Cop America but a response to Mastercard’s pride month campaign.)

But the world has become fast-paced. News are forgotten quickly, and business goes on as usual. Headlines such as “Messi sets up Rodriguez goal as Argentina beat Uruguay” make football fans forget the desolate situation in Brazil. Sentiment for Copa America got more positive after the event started and actual football was played.

Part of the reason why the viewers have moved on is the big international audience. Around 42% of the viewers come from Spain, the US, or other international countries and might not be familiar with the local scandals.

Our sentiment analysis from the other official sponsors (TCL, Kwai, Betsson, and Sinovac), who stuck with the event, did not show a clear impact of the negative Copa America headlines on the brands. One reason could be that these brands are much smaller than global brands like Mastercard.

The analysis highlights that the risk of sponsorships. There are risks associated with every sponsorship deal. In this case, the event jeopardized the brand protection of the sponsor. Thus, they decided to pull their activations.
To make trade-off decisions like that, brands must monitor and evaluate their portfolio consistently.

When it comes to scandals, the key is to act, not react.

For more expert insights into sponsorship data & analytics visit us on Advanced Sponsorship Insights. Or write us directly