Nielsen shares key research on the power of the Paralympic brand

Report examines the rising interest in the Paralympics and how sponsors have successfully fostered greater brand awareness with Millennials. 14 Sep 2016
Agitos symbol unveiled on Copacabana Beach.

The Paralympic symbol - Agitos - was unveiled on Copacabana Beach before the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.


The Paralympic Games have the power to change public perceptions towards people with an impairment and are growing in appeal to Millennials according to a new report published by Nielsen at the IPC Academy Campus Games Experience Programme (GEP) in Rio, Brazil.

On the second day of the GEP which coincides with the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, David Lucas, Nielsen’s Head of Research & Insight for Rio 2016 spoke about how the increasing appeal of the Paralympic Games can be leveraged by sponsors.

Lucas shared key findings from a new ‘Nielsen Sports Paralympics and Para-Sports Report’ with an audience of senior representatives from governments and suppliers to major events, as well as from Olympic and Paralympic Games Candidate Cities.

The report examines the rising interest in the Paralympics, its growing status as a media product and how the Games already works for partners. It also highlights the opportunity it provides to change attitudes – and, critically, what that might mean for current and future para-sports sponsors.

Lucas highlighted how Paralympic sponsorships have fostered greater brand awareness and engagement among key consumers around the world, in particular among ‘Millennials’ (aged 18-37). The research shows how four in five Millennials are more likely to buy from a brand that supports a cause. Indeed, as a first conclusion, the report shows how the uplift for the Paralympic sponsors among Millennials tends to be significantly higher compared with the uplift for Olympic sponsors.

David Lucas, Head of Research and Insights for Rio 2016, Nielsen, said: “The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are offering one of the best opportunities for brands looking to associate themselves with social responsibility, athletes and to engage specifically with a growing young audience.”

“The research shared by Nielsen at the GEP proves that different sport sponsorship platforms are often viewed by consumers only as properties and not necessarily as causes,” said Alexis Schafer, Marketing and Commercial Director, IPC. “The Paralympics Games on the other hand are about sport as well as social transformation and Paralympic sponsors are given credit for helping make that transformation happen. That positive credit builds brand equity and can also translate into a desire to support the company via purchasing and loyalty among other areas.”

In addition to the insights from Nielsen, the GEP attendees also heard from Joseph Merlini, Director, UK Sports Partnerships, BP, who outlined how the Paralympics have been a positive Corporate Social Opportunity for them.

Other speakers throughout the GEP have included Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC; Andrew Parsons, Vice President of the IPC & President of the Brazil National Paralympic Committee; Lara Akeju, Project Lead, Events & Paralympics, Channel 4; Yiannis Exarchos, CEO, Olympic Broadcast Services; and Michele Hyron, Chief Integrator for Rio 2016, Atos.

About IPC Academy Campus and the Games Experience Programme

Standing alongside but distinct from the IPC Observers’ Programme, the GEP allows governments and other stakeholders to immerse themselves in a three-day tailored learning programme by hearing from experts through presentations and behind the scenes at Paralympic venues.

Delivered by the IPC Academy - the educational division created in 2009 as a partnership between the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Academy of Sport (WAoS) – the 2016 IPC Academy Campus (4-17 September) is a unique event-based learning initiative that gives stakeholders of major sports events the chance to learn from their peers during the Paralympic Games. The IPC Academy Campus features an Observers’ Programme, Games Experience Programme (GEP), Inclusion Summit and an IPC Academy Campus Cocktail Function hosted at British House.

Its Event Partners include the Adecco Group and the UK’s Department for International Trade. Its Media Partners are Sportcal (Intelligence Partner), Major Events International (Digest Partner), Around the Rings (Online Partner), Host City (Magazine Partner) and AXS Chat (Social Media Partner).

For further information about the the IPC Academy Campus, please visit or contact Claire Bennett, Project Coordinator, World Academy of Sport

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