SBD/February 16, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Castrol Renews Sponsorship With MLS, Mexico and U.S. National Teams Through '14

Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski was '11 Castrol Index MLS Player of the Year
Castrol today will announce a three-year partnership renewal with SUM that will see the company's GTX High Mileage brand remain the official motor oil of MLS, the U.S. men’s national soccer team and the Mexican men’s national soccer team for games played in the U.S. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. In addition to serving as a global sponsor for FIFA, Castrol has worked with the U.S. and Mexican men’s national teams since '10. Castrol Sponsor, Promotions & Creative Services Dir Carolyn Eckert said the renewal is "taking what really worked well for us the last time and expanding out both the assets as well as the time commitment.” The company’s exposure in the new deal differs slightly for each property. Castrol will get exposure from MLS through national telecasts, field boards and in-stadium PA announcements. The company also plans to continue an initiative launched at last year’s All-Star Game called the “Castrol Index,” a system that ranks how players perform during the season. “That’s been something that’s unique and we’ve been able to own it and market it with MLS," Eckert said. "We’re really excited to see that grow and potentially expand this year as well.”

RAMPING UP AROUND '14 WORLD CUP: Eckert noted Castrol “came on a little late to leverage both national teams” for the ’10 FIFA World Cup. However, extending the agreement through the ’14 World Cup in Brazil gives Castrol what Eckert calls the “ability to bring both national team sponsorships to life.” Castrol also has the potential to increase brand exposure as a result of nationalism stemming from the ’13 Confederations Cup and ’14 World Cup. “The focus on that is a really great opportunity that unfortunately we weren’t able to really leverage last time,” she said. Castrol does not have ad campaigns in the works, but Eckert said, “We’re going to look to do something with players maybe in the back half of 2012. Having a player, either as a spokesperson or just being able to leverage the player's personality, gives you a real chance to bring (a sponsorship) to life.” One of Castrol's main consumer targets is Hispanic consumers, so Eckert said sponsoring the Mexican national team “made a lot of sense." Eckert: “When you add in the U.S. national team, and the national pride that exists there and in MLS, it’s really a growth sport. It allows us to be involved in a sport that’s expanding, and it’s a great time to be part of the soccer community.” Castrol handled the renewal in house and did not use a sports marketing agency.
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