Digital marketing

Which brands are winning the online conversation in the run-up to 2016 Rio Olympics

EntSight has revealed the most popular brands ahead of this year’s Olympic Games. EntSight set out to discover how Olympics fans are talking about four of the biggest sponsors in the run up to the Rio 2016 Games.

Sponsors agree to a deal which operates on a four-year term in line with each Olympiad and currently the TOP Programme is made up of the following 11 multi-national companies; Coca Cola, McDonalds, Visa, Bridgestone, Samsung, Panasonic, Omega, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Dow, and Atos – with combined revenues exceeding $1 Billion USD.

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With 53% of online conversation, mainly in response to the release of the brand’s ‘World National Anthem’ video, Samsung have been the most-talked about.

In contrast, McDonald’s has been faring the worst with just 3% of online conversation. What’s more, it’s also received the most negative comments relating to its brand.

The Brands

To get an understanding of conversation about sponsors so far we picked four key brands for our analysis:

Coca Cola: The world’s largest beverage company have been sponsoring the Olympics since the 1928 Amsterdam Games; making them the longest serving Olympic Partner. This year Coca Cola are marking the Games with their newest campaign, #ThatsGold.

McDonalds: This brand are veterans when it comes to sponsoring the Olympics, and will be celebrating a 40-year partnership with the Olympic Movement at this year’s games. Their latest digital campaign #FriendsWin is feel-good initiative designed to increase the awareness of children’s participation in the Rio Games’ opening ceremony.

Samsung: As the Olympic partner in the Wireless Communication Equipment category, Samsung are aiming to make the Rio 2016 games the most connected ever. Not only have Samsung developed the official Rio 2016 app, they have released a Limited Edition Samsung S7 Edge smartphone to celebrate the event, and produced a ‘World National Anthem’ to celebrate the Olympic principles.

Visa: Since 1986, Visa have been a partner of the Games, and since 2008 Beijing Games they have been the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Games. During the Rio 2016 Games, for the first time ever, Visa will individually sponsor all 10 members of the IOC’s refugee team.

The Sentiment

In addition to receiving the lowest volume of conversation, McDonalds also received the highest share of conversation with negative sentiment. A large percentage of this was from fans sharing their opinions on a fast-food chain sponsoring a sporting event.


Just 1% of Samsung’s and Visa’s online conversation was identified as negative. Samsung’s ‘World National Anthem’ and Visa’s sponsorship of the IOC’s refugee team was received very well by online audiences. Many users turned to social media to share their positive feelings towards both announcements.

Coca Cola received the largest share of positive conversation. Fans of the drinks brand discussed the Coca Cola sponsored Torch Relay, shared social media posts published by the brand and posted their own photos of relating to the #ThatsGold campaign.

Key Topics

To pinpoint how conversation differed between the four brands, we used Brandwatch to analyse conversation around popular topics.



The most discussed topic in relation to Coca Cola and the Rio 2016 Games was the Portuguese phrase Isso ÉOuro, which translates to “This is Gold”, and is the popular campaign tagline being used by Coca Cola in Brazil.



Those talking about McDonalds and the Rio 2016 Games spoke about McDonald’s campaign hashtag #FriendsWin, McDonalds Rio 2016 and the Winter Olympics.  The Friends Win campaign tagline was mentioned just 215 times between June 1st and August 1st 2016, compared to over 2100 times for Coca Cola’s Isso ÉOuro.



Online users who discussed Samsung and the Rio 2016 Games focused around the Limited Edition Olympic themed smartphone. The Galaxy S7 Edge was mentioned over 9500 times. Much of this conversation was started by News Sites and was later shared across social media.



When audiences discussed the Rio 2016 Games in relation to Visa, the brand’s campaign was widely mentioned – however some of this conversation related to a Reuters’ news article which announced the launch of the campaign despite ‘difficulties in host country Brazil.’  Other topics included TeamVisa, the Visa sponsored refugee team of 42 athletes from across the world.


Both females and males discussed each brand in similar volumes, with Samsung remaining as the most talked about Olympic sponsor, with McDonalds being the least talked about.


Coca Cola saw a larger share of females discussing the brand’s involvement in the Olympics than males – suggesting that their #ThatsGold campaign has resonated better with this group so far. Samsung saw a higher share of conversation with males than females, whilst VISA and McDonalds saw around the same.


In conclusion, it is clear to see that so far Samsung are the likely champions of online conversion when it comes to partnering with the Rio 2016 Games, not only in volume of conversation but the positive PR surrounding their latest products and campaigns too.

Over the coming two weeks, we expect to see much more online conversation surrounding the Olympic Partners and their involvement in the Rio 2016 Games, and we’ll be closely watching to see how trends in online and social conversation emerge and evolve.

Data provide: entsight, Brand & Entertainment Audience Intelligence

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