How to Play the Name Game With Women, Men

Men remember sports sponsorships, but women are more likely to buy a product from a sponsor of good causes. Affluent consumers tend to notice sponsorships more, but mid-market viewers are more likely to buy products from a sponsor.

These are the top findings in a new global study by WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia on the benefits of sponsoring an event, cause, sporting contest or TV show.

The survey, conducted over the past month by the New York-based shop’s MediaLab research division, polled 12,000 consumers in 18 countries by telephone and via the Internet. Respondents were asked how much they notice sponsorships, whether they are influenced by them and what their perceptions are about companies that do sponsorships.

Fifty-three percent of male respondents said sports sponsorships strongly influence their buying habits; only 26 percent of women concurred. Nearly 70 percent of women said they would buy a product if its maker sponsored a good cause, compared with 46 percent of men.

Age also plays a role. Slightly more than 40 percent of people ages 25-34 cited sports sponsorships as influencing purchases, and less than 35 percent in that age group said sponsors are a factor in buying decisions. By contrast, 25 percent of respondents ages 35-44, and just 18 percent ages 45-55, said sponsorships are an influencing factor for them.

Income was also a differentiator. Half of the respondents in households with incomes of more than $50,000 were aware of sponsors. However, mid-market households ($40,000-50,000) were most likely to act on that awareness, with 40 percent indicating they would purchase products in response to a sponsorship.

“People in the higher income group, because they pay closer attention to who the sponsors are, tend to be more turned off by them as well,” said Joe Abruzzo, Mediaedge:cia evp, director of media research.