During the Ice Hockey World Championship held in Russia from May 6 to May 22, 2016, the Heineken brewing company sold about 1,100 hectoliters of beer in fan zones (or about 220,000 0.5 liter bottles), a company representative said. Heineken was the official sponsor of the championship and advertised the Krusovice brand on it. Sales of this brand in May increased by 5% compared to the same period last year, its market share increased by 0.1 percentage points in May, and only by 0.04 percentage points during April-June, a Heineken spokesman said.
The market share of Heineken in Russia in volume terms in 2015 was 12.8%, in 2014 – 12.4%, follows from the company’s annual reports. In January – June 2015, Heineken sales decreased by more than 10%, in the first half of this year – by 7-9%, a Heineken representative said earlier. According to Nielsen Russia, beer sales in Russia in the first half of 2016 decreased by 3.6% year-on-year in physical terms, in 2015 – by 6.2%.
The World Ice Hockey Championship matches were held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, attended by about 500,000 spectators. This is less than in previous years (see incision). In Russia, stadiums are not as large as in other countries, it is difficult for foreign fans to get here, explains a Heineken spokesman. According to Heineken, 32 million people watched the championship matches in Russia on TV. According to TNS, about 34.9% of Russians watched the broadcasts of the championship for 10 minutes without switching. Official sponsors of the World Ice Hockey Championship can interact with fans around the world, the audience can reach over 1 billion people, says a spokesman for Infront Sport & Media (negotiating with sponsors for IIHF – International Ice Hockey Federation).
Records in the stands
The World Ice Hockey Championship, which took place in the Czech Republic last year, was attended by 741,690 spectators, it follows from the IIHF data. The previous record belonged to Belarus, 640 440 people came to the matches of the World Ice Hockey Championship in this country.
In total, the championship had 24 official sponsors and partners, including Raiffeisenbank, Coca-Cola, Tissot, Pirelli and others. The general sponsor of the tournament is Skoda. The companies polled by Vedomosti and the representative of Infront Sport & Media do not disclose the cost of the packages. The package of the official sponsor of the Russian Ice Hockey World Championship cost “several million euros,” says one of the sponsors. The package cost between 3 million and 5 million euros, says a marketing agency manager. With this money, you can conduct a good campaign on federal TV, says an expert on the advertising market.
The sponsorship package included the placement of branded banners on the boards during the games, a video on the screen above the arena, access for representatives to the fan zone, says Olga Konyushkova, Head of Marketing at Raiffeisenbank. Coca-Cola’s logos were in the championship arenas, fan zones, printed materials and online resources, a company spokesman said. Raiffeisenbank considers itself the second most memorable sponsor of the championship after Skoda, according to the bank, 41 and 55% of viewers showed spontaneous knowledge, respectively. Heineken posted commercials on Channel One, Match TV, Russia 1, Sport-1, Krusovice ads were seen on television and in the press by more than 8 million target audience (men 25-45 years old), says representative of the company. More than 50% of viewers liked the sponsored video of Raiffeisenbank, which was posted only on Match TV, says Konyushkova.
According to her, Moscow, St. Petersburg and eight other large regional centers of the country were involved in the bank’s advertising campaign. The advertising campaign, she continues, had two goals – promoting the image and supporting consumer loans at a rate of 14.9% per annum (special offer). The number of new customers who took out a consumer loan after the campaign increased by 70%, adds Konyushkova. It is not a fact that advertising on television would bring similar results – the sponsors of the World Cup received their target audience, says a marketing agency manager. Sponsors will never admit to wasting money, he adds.
Skoda is pleased with the results of the World Cup marketing campaign, there was a strong presence of the brand during broadcasts and high audience coverage, says a spokesperson. Skoda has been offering a special series of Hockey Edition vehicles for two years now, which has been a hit with customers, a company spokesman said. Despite the continuing decline in the automotive market, the Skoda brand shows positive dynamics. According to the AEB, in May 2016, 4,706 (+ 24%) Skoda cars were sold, but sales in the first half of the year fell by 2% compared to the same period last year to 31,560 units. Skoda and Raiffeisenbank are IIHF’s long-term partners.
Coca-Cola is a partner of FIFA, UEFA, the Olympic Movement, the Russian Football Union and others. The company does not consider any of these contracts in terms of direct impact on the sales of drinks in a particular country, says a company spokesman. These partnerships are of an image nature and are aimed primarily at improving the reputation, he adds.
Representatives of the international and Russian hockey federations did not respond to the request.