SBD/March 7, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Citi, P&G, The Hartford Release Paralympic-Themed Ads For Live Broadcasts

Citi, P&G and The Hartford on Friday rolled out a series of Paralympic-themed advertisements to support their sponsorship of the first live broadcast of the Paralympic Games by NBC. The spots tell the stories of athletes with disabilities who overcome adversity through dedication and effort to compete at the highest level of their sports. Citi, The Hartford and P&G are joined by BMW, BP and Liberty Mutual as the six exclusive sponsors of 27 hours of live coverage of the Paralympics on NBC and NBCSN from March 7-15. Terms of their sponsorships were not available, but Olympic and media sources valued the financial commitment in the mid-six figures for each sponsor. Citi developed a 30-second and 60-second spot featuring sled hockey player Rico Roman. The military veteran lost his leg after serving in Iraq, after  which he took up sled hockey. In an ad called “Long Shots,” Roman says, "Before you begin to run, you will learn to walk again. You will curse the fact that something you mastered as a one-year-old is now the most difficult task in the world. But you will take that first step and then another. ... You will realize that everything until now has been a long shot. ... And the bigger the long shot, the bigger the pay off.” It closes with Citi’s message that it believes in “everyone’s potential” and highlights that it is donating $500,000 to amateur Paralympic and Olympic organizations.

THE HARTFORD, P&G FLOCK TO PURDY: The Hartford, a longtime sponsor of the U.S. Paralympic Team, developed two separate spots featuring Paralympic snowboarders Amy Purdy and Evan Strong. The spots, called “What Defines You,” showcase each snowboarder on the slopes and features their voice talking about what they do. It closes with the words, “The Hartford proudly supports Paralympic athletes and all Americans who define themselves by what they can do, not what they can’t.” Meanwhile, P&G developed its first Paralympic-specific spot to support its sponsorship. The spot is called “Tough Love” and it features mothers of children with disabilities helping them to compete. It is narrated by Purdy, who says, “You could have protected me. You could have taken every hit. You could have turned the world upside down so I could never feel pain. But you didn’t. You gave me my freedom.” It closes with the words, “The world’s toughest moms raise the world’s toughest kids.” It shows logos for P&G’s Tide, Bounty, Pantene and Duracell brands.

OTHER SPONSORS GETTING INVOLVED: Other Olympic sponsors also developed Paralympic-specific ads. AT&T has a spot with Heath Calhoun, a double-leg amputee and Iraq vet who is a member of the Paralympic ski team, that aired during the Sochi Games. United and BP have spots that feature both Olympians and Paralympians, while Kellogg’s has a digital short on Purdy and Liberty Mutual has a digital spot on Roman. Samsung, an official sponsor of the Int'l Paralympic Committee, has an ad that is airing on CNBC and CNN that shows Paralympians from around the world training before the slogan “Sport Doesn’t Care.”
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