Experian Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service, today reveals that South African Airways was the brand that benefited most from its sponsorship of the FIFA Football World Cup last week.

Experian Hitwise identifies the brands topping the World Cup sponsorship league

South African Airways tops the list for the w/e June 12th
Heineken in second place; beer companies make up 4 of the top 5 performers
12-fold increase in searches for England goalkeeper Robert Green
13% increase in UK Internet visits to Gambling websites
1 in every 144 UK Internet searches currently World Cup related

London, 15 June 2010 - Experian Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service, today reveals that South African Airways was the brand that benefited most from its sponsorship of the FIFA Football World Cup last week. UK Internet searches for the South African Airways brand (one of the South African team’s official sponsors) increased by 129.2% between the week ending June 5th and the week ending June 12th. South African Airways’ Experian Hitwise World Cup Brands Index* score increased from 109 for the week ending June 5th to 250 for the week ending June 12th.

The top five performing brands in the Experian Hitwise World Cup Brands Index last week (w/e June 12th) were as follows.



Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e June 5th

Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e June 12th

Week on week change (%)


South African Airways
























The remaining top four positions in the table were taken up by beer companies, with Heineken (one of the Netherlands’ sponsors) experiencing a 75% increase in searches for its brand in the UK last week. Carlsberg (official sponsors of the England team) and Corona (sponsors of Mexico, South Africa’s opponents in the tournament’s opening match) both experienced a 50% increase, while searches for Budweiser (sponsors of the USA, England’s opponents last Saturday and also FIFA World Cup sponsors) were up by a third.

“The massive spike in searches for South African Airways illustrates the appetite for last minute travel to watch the World Cup. There has also been an 85% increase in searches for flights to South Africa over the last couple of weeks,” commented Robin Goad, Director of Research at Experian Hitwise. “The industry Index that saw the biggest increase in searches last week was Food and Drink (up by 8%), as illustrated by the strong performance of beer brands. It just beat Travel (up 7.4%), while Technology and Telecoms came in third with a 4.8% increase.”

“What the Experian Hitwise Brand Index highlights is that a weekend of football has given the food and drinks brands a real boost – particularly with England playing their first match on a Saturday night.  The timing of these opening matches has been reflected in their advertising and marketing campaigns with great offers and promotions that are relevant, humorous and authentic.

“It also highlights the rewards that integrated marketing campaigns can deliver. With the exception of the Dutch team, all the teams the top five brands sponsor had played at the time our Index was compiled.”

Other ways in which the World Cup has influenced UK online behaviour over the last week include:

• Following the England vs. USA match on Saturday, there was a 12-fold increase in searches for unfortunate England goalkeeper Robert Green
• UK Internet visits to Gambling – Sports websites increased by 13% on the previous week. The biggest beneficiaries of the increase in traffic were: Betfair Soccer (soccer.betfair.com, visits up 67%), William Hill Sports Betting (sports.williamhill.com, visits up 26%), and BetFred (www.betfred.com, visits up 23%).
• 1 in every 144 Internet searches in the UK was World cup related last week. The Fifa website remains the biggest recipient of World Cup search traffic, and last week was the 109th most visited website in the UK, and the fourth most popular Sports website.


Jannie Cahill
Experian Hitwise
+44 20 3042 4773

* About the Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index
The Index is based upon the volume of UK Internet searches for multiple variations of each brand. All of the brands selected are either official FIFA World Cup sponsors, or sponsors of national teams with products that have strong brand recognition in the UK. The base for the index was set at 100 using the average weekly search volume for each brand during May 2010.

About Experian Hitwise
Experian Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Experian Hitwise gives marketers a competitive advantage by providing daily insights on how 25 million Internet users around the world interact with more than 1 million Web sites. This external view helps companies grow and protect their businesses by identifying threats and opportunities as they develop. Experian Hitwise has more than 1,500 clients across numerous sectors, including financial services, media, travel and retail.

Experian Hitwise (FTS:EXPN), www.experianplc.com, operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and Brazil. More information about Experian Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.co.uk.

For up-to-date analysis of online trends, please visit the Experian Hitwise research blog at www.ilovedata.com and the Experian Hitwise Data Centre at www.hitwise.com/datacentre

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Find out more, visit http://www.experian.co.uk.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2010 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil. 

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.