Internet an integral part of enjoying soccer WC in China

MUMBAI: It is not unexpected that television still remains the dominant medium through which people in China enjoy the soccer World Cup.

According to a TNS International survey, 77, 34 and 37 per cent of respondents reported that they had watched either live or recorded matches or commentary on TV. 40 per cent of people read the related news or writings in newspaper or magazines, and 16 per cent said that they had listened to live commentary on radio.
However, what is worth noting is the extent to which internet and social media are enhancing the consumer experience of the World Cup. By 22 June, people watching the live or recorded matches, or following the games on internet via computer were 49, 35 and 56 per cent respectively.

28 per cent chatted with friends via instant messengers like MSN, or QQ; 19 per cent joined the BBS/forums for discussion and comments; 17 per cent commented on social networking sites like Renren and Kaixin; and 10 per cent shared quick information through their micro-blog accounts. The results also show that the usage of internet and social media will increase further as the competition moves towards its climax. 
How are the sponsors doing : Just as popcorn plays a major role in enhancing consumer experience in cinema, snacks and drinks seem to add to the consumer thrill of watching the games on the telly - 50 per cent of them have soft drinks and 32 per cent alcoholic drinks when watching matches. It might be good news for World Cup sponsors like Coca Cola and McDonalds, who invested huge sums of money to display their names on the bill boards around the football fields.
The survey reveals that 72 per cent of Chinese know Adidas is the official sponsor of the World Cup, 65 per cent of them can recognize Coca Cola, followed closely by Visa and Sony with awareness of 61 per cent and 58 per cent. McDonalds, ranking the fifth among all the sponsors, has been identified by 47 per cent of Chinese consumers. The solar energy company Yingli Group, first Chinese brand to sponsor this worldwide game, has become familiar to 20 per cent of the match audience. Not an insignificant achievement considering it was practically unknown to most before the games kicked off.

It is interesting, however, to get consumers’ recognition without paying any sponsorship fee. 45 per cent of Chinese feel Nike is also one of the sponsors of the World Cup 2010 with Pepsi also getting an echo of 38 per cent from the media noise. KFC, competing with McDonalds for the share of consumers’ stomach, also seems to have secured a share of their mind and is wrongly perceived by over 20 per cent of consumers as a sponsor.

The Chinese also predict a Brazil versus Argentina final.

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