By Sara Evans

Samsung 9_AugustAugust 10 - Social media research has found that Worldwide Partners Samsung and Coca-Cola are outperforming other Olympic sponsors at the London 2012 Games.

Business information group Precise has been conducting research into sponsor performance at major sporting events over the summer.

Based on a combination of share of voice and favourable mentions in English-language social media conversations about sponsors, Samsung (pictured top) and Coca-Cola are the most talked about.

Official London 2012 Partner adidas, the sports clothing brand, was close behind, despite only being able to promote its association within the host nation.

Mention of sponsors associated with the Olympic Games Torch Relay proved fruitful, with a significant increase in comments recorded about several of the sponsoring brands.

For example, 12 per cent of conversations concerning Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, and five per cent about Samsung directly mentioned the Relay.

coca cola_olympic_parlCoca-Cola has been much talked about at London 2012, both in and out of the sporting arena

After the Games Opening Ceremony, Samsung Galaxy devices were referenced in more than a third of comments about the multinational conglomerate company in relation to its sponsorship – suggesting that product placement is powerful, even when the logo and brand name are not in view.

McDonald's generated the most brand mentions out of all the sponsors.

However, most of these were negative with some people questioning the fast-food company's fit with the events it is sponsoring.

McDonald's also bore the brunt of more generally dismissive comments about sponsors and was the focus for criticism around the restrictions placed on what could and could not be sold at the venues.

Precise analysed social media conversations over a two-week period up to July 31, which included the later stages of the Torch Relay, the Opening Ceremony and the first few days of Games competition.

McDonalds 1_9_AugustMcDonald's has been the focus of many people's negative perceptions about the Olympic Games

James Withey, head of brand insight at Precise, commented on the findings: "This summer of sport stands out as being the most social ever.

"Social media has seen explosive growth over the last few years.

"This provides the sponsors with a new battleground for brand visibility and a new way to measure the success of their investment.

"However, to be successful they need to respond to the public mood and consider the pre-existing perceptions of their brand.

"The winning brands will be those that are seen to play a meaningful role and bring real benefits to people."

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