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MKTG Insights: Consumer Perceptions / Attitudes Towards the Pan-Am Games

MKTG Insights: Consumer Perceptions / Attitudes Towards the Pan-Am Games

The 2015Pan-Am Games are just one year away.

On July 10th 2015, the world's third largest international multi-sport games will begin in Toronto, Canada and become the largest sporting event ever hosted in Ontario. More than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 41 countries will compete in this landmark event. Over 250,000 tourists and 20,000 volunteers are expected to attend the games next July. In one year's time, the average Canadian will interact with the Games in one fashion or another, be it as a fan, spectator, or disgruntled commuter. However, one year removed, what are the average Canadians perceptions of the Pan-Am Games? Are they proud to have the world gather in their country? Annoyed at the fact that their taxpayer money is being invested into venue builds?

Given the marquee nature of the event,  there is great potential for fan insights and key learnings for corporate sponsors to emerge from the Games. Recognizing this opportunity, MKTG has invested in proprietary market research on the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games. MKTG leveraged Google’s Consumer Survey tool to survey an audience of 500 Canadians on their attitudes toward the event and its existing / potential brand partners.

Over the next couple of weeks, MKTG will be releasing the results of our research along with our commentary via our MKTG Insights Blog. Interested in learning more about the games? Have an opinion on the opportunity that the Games present to corporate sponsors? Tweet at MKTG to join the conversation.

In our first edition, we will be focusing on Consumer Perceptions towards the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games , exploring attitudes around the Games, and the perception of Sponsors associated with the event.


- Survey was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys between July 19th and July 21st -Survey targeted general Canadian population (French Quebec excluded) - Sample size of 500 respondents

 Q1: How likely are you to consider trying a product/service if that product/service is a sponsor of the 2015 Pan-Am Games?

More Canadians say a sponsorship of the 2015 Pan-Am Games would have a negative impact on propensity to purchase than a positive impact. Negative propensity is amplified amongst female respondents: 20% are less likely to consider trying a product/service if that product/service is a sponsor of the 2015 Pan-Am Games. One contributing factor for low purchase consideration may be the amount of  negative press that has circulated surrounding the Pan-Am Games.

In the past 24 months, the Pan-Am Games have been in a perpetual cycle of negative media attention, likely influencing public sentiment surrounding the event. The property has faced stories surrounding their governance and financial oversight, executive departure, and the burden of the event on taxpayers. Secondly, unfamiliarity with the event may be contributing to no/decreased purchase consideration amongst surveyed consumers. Given that the event will take place strictly in the GTA, Canadians outside Ontario may face low affinity towards the property. Overall, the Games lack a halo effect and the "hosting pride" impact on their communities of past events such as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Q2: What quality do you most associate with a sponsor of the 2015 Pan-Am Games?


Nearly 65% of Canadian consumers are unsure of what quality they most associate with a sponsor of the Pan-Am games. High levels of ambiguity amongst consumers is likely driven by  the limited amount of activation activity in-market by Pan-Am sponsors to date, and the overall lack of brand storytelling related to the event. The Pan-Am Games begin in one year’s time (July 2015), yet current partners have been unsuccessful in articulating their reason for association with the event. With marquee events like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup, smart sponsors extend the windows of engagement with pre-event activation (ie: Torch Relays, Trophy Tours, etc.)

What Can Sponsors Do?

Effective sponsorship is about storytelling. With the Games one year out, now is the time for sponsors to generate excitement for the Games and communicate their singular reason for investment. Lead Partner CIBC, and other primary sponsors (Loblaw's, Chevrolet, etc.) were originally brought on as partners years ago, meaning they have been committing funds towards the property for years. While some may argue it would have been too early to activate the property more than a year out, funds were being committed without attribution being earned for the sponsoring brands.

Both sponsors and properties have a role to play in drumming up goodwill surrounding the event. Yet, in the case of the Pan-Am, the property has spent so much time on the defensive, that they haven't had the opportunity to get their message out. MKTG's research is a signal that now is the time to move on activation and brand storytelling.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of MKTG's Pan-Am Analysis, focusing on sponsor recall and sponsor awareness amongst Canadian consumers.

Disclosure - Sampling Bias:

When targeting an audience representing the Canadian population, MKTG attempted to find respondents that match the distribution of people in Canada by age, gender and location as reported in the Canadian census. The sampling bias of the survey communicates the difference between the collected answer distribution and the desired distribution from census data.

The RMSE measures the differences between the desired distribution and actual distribution for each targeted population segment and calculates a weighted average error.

The survey questions presented in this deck have a sampling bias of 5.1% (RMSE).

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