Sir Bradley Wiggins’ comments on the eve of the Commonwealth Games that the Emirates branding on the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow might have left Sir Chris feeling a little “done over”.
For those of us in the sponsorship industry though, Wiggins’ comments provided another reminder of just how important it is for sponsors to clearly demonstrate the value they’re adding to an event.
For Emirates, who have activated their sponsorship pre-event by spreading the excitement of the Games across the Commonwealth through the Queen’s Baton Relay and unveiled a new Emirates Lounge at Glasgow Airport just in time for the Games, it will be interesting to see how the airline actively engages audiences now the Games are underway.
The recent World Cup in Brazil pushed digital and brand engagement to the fore and further supported the premise that effective sponsorship is more than just a collection of logos and branding at an event. Sponsorship should help to actively engage with consumers allowing the audience to interact and create an emotional tie with a brand.
We’ve seen major brands and sponsors bend-over-backwards at recent global sports events to use meaningful and relevant activation to bring their brands as close to the action as possible. Here’s our selection of podium placers from recent global events where engagement was king.
P&G – ‘Thank You Mom’ (London 2012 & Sochi 2014)
To much critical acclaim P&G executed a clearly defined and emotionally charged message through an integrated “Thank You Mom” campaign, encompassing a host of digital channels, athlete ambassadors including the likes of Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Ennis-Hill and the release of an app allowing over 50,000 of us to say thank you to mum too!
Beats – London 2012
Beats was just one of a number of brands who managed, temporarily at least, to evade the brand police and creatively engage with audiences at London 2012 without sponsoring the event. Not only supplying (what seemed like) every athlete with a custom pair of Beats, they also created a pop-up space in Shoreditch House allowing 4,000 people including Olympic athletes from all over the globe to interact with the brand, watch the Games and make use of a photo booth which was used to generate content for poster shots later in the campaign.
Budweiser – ‘Rise as One’ (FIFA World Cup 2014)
Budweiser made sure to engage with its audience whether they were in Brazil or not. Fans from all over the globe were encouraged to get involved via Twitter with users urged to tap #ManoftheMatch tweets from @FIFAcom which generated Budweiser branded player photos and a tweet and vote mechanic. Many fans lucky enough to make the trip to Brazil were greeted with rewards in the form of the Budweiser Hotel which hosted parties and events throughout the tournament and acted as a hub for over 3000 satellite Budweiser parties all around the world.
With 1.5 billion people tuning in to the Commonwealth Games let’s hope brands involved make it equally engaging!