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Volume 6 No. 216

Marketing and Sponsorship

Oil company BP "has signed up as a sponsor of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow" as organizers seek to raise £100M ($154M) toward the cost of staging the multi-sport event, according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. BP, which backed the London Olympics last year, "will also provide fuel for Glasgow 2014 Games vehicles." Top-tier sponsors such as BP will be able to display their brands at Commonwealth Games venues -- "something not allowed at the Olympics." The Games have a budget of just over £470M ($723M), and organizers aim to raise £100M ($154M) through commercial deals -- "tickets, sponsorship, broadcast deals and merchandising" (REUTERS, 6/24). The SCOTSMAN reported BP "will also become a partner of Team Scotland and Team England at Scotland's largest ever multi-sport event." BP will launch a mentoring scheme for 65 young people aged between 17-21 "to develop their workplace skills" (SCOTSMAN, 6/24).

Several brands including Gillette, Evian, Nescafé, Rolex and Lidl "have rolled out print ad campaigns to mark the start of the Wimbledon tennis tournament," according to Alex Brownsell of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Both official tournament sponsors and "opportunistic" brands are "looking to capitalise on interest in the event." Official Wimbledon partner Rolex "has launched a full-page print ad" with a large image of the All-England tennis courts, accompanied by the text, "Rolex and Wimbledon. United by the pinnacle of excellence." Another sponsor, wine brand Jacob’s Creek, "uses its ad campaign to promote a Wimbledon ticket competition," encouraging readers to "Open up and share your Wimbledon stories" on its Facebook page. Procter & Gamble-owned Gillette, a sponsor of one of the pre-tournament favorites Roger Federer, "promotes its association with the Swiss star." A Unilever brand, dairy range Elmlea, uses a tennis pun -- "Singles or doubles?" -- alongside its products pictured in front of a tennis net. Evian's Wimbledon print activity stars Maria Sharapova in an ad placed alongside another featuring an Evian "baby" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 6/24).

REACHING THE PEOPLE: CAMPAIGN LIVE's Chloe Smith reported the All-England Club "has launched a creative campaign to build anticipation for visitors at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, which will run from the local train station to the grounds." The ''Wimbledon Awaits'' campaign, devised by Space, uses Wimbledon photography, accompanied by a range of messages such as "tradition awaits" and "drama awaits" to engage visitors. It "includes digital and physical communications, including a new iPad app as well as outdoor media," to reach people walking from Wimbledon station to the tournament, and the thousands queuing for tickets. The All-England Club "has secured media rights for Wimbledon train station, including a large roadside outdoor site, the station exit archway, sites near queues to buy travel tickets, as well as brochures and information sites" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 6/24).

U.S. consumer technology firm Belkin "has become the title sponsor of the Blanco Pro men's cycling team, which was formerly sponsored by Rabobank," according to Bill Wilson of the BBC. The 30-month deal "will see them renamed as the Belkin Pro Cycling Team." The new team "will make its debut" at this year's Tour de France, which begins in Corsica this weekend. Rabobank pulled out at the end of '12, saying it was unconvinced the world of int'l professional cycling "can make this a clean and fair sport" (BBC, 6/24). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin said, "With this being the 100th edition of the Tour de France, the timing couldn't be any better." Pipkin founded the company, which produces computing products including routers, in his parents' garage in California in '83. It sees cycling sponsorship "as a way to boost its brand around the globe." Cycling teams "are largely reliant on sponsorship for their income and the Dutch-based Blanco team faced extinction at the end of the year if it had not found a new backer" (REUTERS, 6/24).

The Women's National Basketball League has secured a major airline and sponsorship deal with Virgin Australia through '15 (THE AGE, 6/25). ... Australian Rugby League side Manly Warringah has agreed to a deal with financial services company Mentor1 Financial. The alliance will see Mentor1 promoted on Sea Eagles playing shorts and at Brookvale Oval through the '13 season (Manly Warringah). ... Bundesliga club FC Augsburg "has caused some controversy with the presentation of its new jerseys." Three players of the team presented the club's new '13-14 jerseys at the service center of title sponsor Alko. The players "were accompanied by three models, who wore the new jerseys in form of body paint." The marketing move "led to a heated discussion on social media" (AUGSBURGER ALLGEMEINE, 6/21).