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SBD Global/June 17, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
HSBC Sponsorship Head Talks Sponsorships, Importance Of British, Irish Lions Tour
Published June 17, 2013
Q: What brought you back to the Lions?
Giles Morgan: We were shirt sponsor and principal partner of the British [and Irish] Lions since 2007 for the 2009 tour of South Africa which while ultimately unsuccessful in the test matches was a huge success for both the Lions' brand and rugby tradition and also for HSBC. We made a decision to sponsor the 2013 tour knowing we learnt a great deal about how to make it work better and knowing in certain markets we have great appetite for rugby union.
Q: Has the rapid ascent of companies such as Etihad and Emirates Airline as global sporting sponsors changed the industry?
Morgan: Yes and no. There have always been significant brands who have invested in sport. The Budweisers, the Coca-Colas, or the camera companies back in the seventies. There have always been sectors of industries that invest in sponsorship either consistently in the case of Coca-Cola or more recently in the case of some of the airlines in the Middle East like Etihad and Emirates. You also see a lot of financial services brands from all over the world investing in certain high-end associations such as HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays, Standard Chartered -- the list is long. You're now seeing a truly international portfolio of the very top companies sponsoring events around the world, be it HSBC or Etihad, because they have recognised that as a marketing tool to answer specific business objectives, sponsorship is a means to an end.
Q: What new events are on your radar?
Morgan: We've had a pretty significant audit and very focused look at our sponsored portfolio -- what it's for, where we invest, why we invest and how we invest. HSBC has significantly restructured as a business globally and therefore I wanted to make sure our sponsorship portfolio reflected the business change (THE NATIONAL, 6/16).