It would seem Germany is not the only victor to emerge from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

A new study released by Millward Brown, a brand equity research company, reports that Coca-Cola was the most-recognized brand sponsor of the month-long football tournament in Brazil. Coke's "The World's Cup" campaign was its largest-ever global marketing initiative.

The Science Behind It

Millward Brown’s consumer neuroscience practice measured the instinctive feelings of consumers in Brazil and the UK toward the World Cup and brands, using the speed of reaction to questions as a litmus test of consumers' connection between brand and event.

Of the more than 5,000 consumers surveyed after the final match, 81 percent in the UK and 92 percent in Brazil recognized Coke as a FIFA World Cup sponsor. Consumers associated Coca-Cola with the event 52% faster than average in Brazil and 34% faster than average in the UK.

To Sponsor or Not to Sponsor?

Millward Brown polled consumers both pre- and post-tournament and concluded that non-sponsor brands that scored highly before the event were outscored by official sponsors after the event.

“This research shows that when brands try to piggy-back major events like the World Cup, they are not guaranteed success. The confusion about brand affiliations that existed among consumers of these two passionate footballing nations was very high before the event. But the post-event wave of research showed that by its conclusion, consumers had intuitively grasped who was a genuine sponsor. It was these sponsors who then gained the most in terms of feelings of positivity,” said Sarah Walker, global director at Millward Brown’s neuromarketing practice.