Magazine article Marketing

Sport's 'Crown Jewels' Must Step out of Olympics Shadow

Magazine article Marketing

Sport's 'Crown Jewels' Must Step out of Olympics Shadow

Article excerpt

Brands affiliated with non-Olympic events must try harder to stand out this year.

With little more than six months until the start of the Olympics, and the early June kick-off for UEFA's Euro 2012 football tournament fast approaching, it is easy to forget the plethora of other sporting events clamouring for consumers' attention.

The sponsors of Wimbledon and Queen's, Test cricket and golf's Open Championship are all looking at how they can achieve cut-through for their brands in a busy period for sport tie-ups. After all, these 'crown jewels' events - which must be broadcast on free-to-air TV in the UK, with the exception of cricket - will be somewhat in the shadow of the 'greatest show on earth'.

Try harder

Mark Joy, marketing director at sports agency Fast Track, says that while the overall appetite for sport in general will be heightened this summer, brands involved in other events must plan carefully. 'I think that sponsors of other sporting events are going to have to redouble their efforts, or they will be pouring money down a hole,' he warns.

Despite this challenge, the opportunities are clearly there for those brands seeking to align themselves with sporting events outside London 2012 and international football, adds Henry Chappell, chief executive of sport marketing agency Pitch.

'It might be harder for non-Olympic sponsors to get cut-through, but, that said, newspapers are upping their pagination (this summer) and the sporting pie is growing,' he explains. 'I don't expect to see a drop in the level of attendance at the other big sporting events.'

Marketing spoke to three major sports sponsors to find out how their brands plan to stand out in 2012's crammed calendar.

TENNIS - IAN MURRAY, Head of sponsorship, Aegon (lead partner of the Lawn Tennis Association and headline sponsor of Queen's)

'The important thing for us is to be clever about turning up the volume on different elements of our sponsorship throughout 2012, whether it be emphasising our Aegon Schools or Aegon Parks grass-roots tennis initiatives, or the lead-in to the major tennis events we sponsor in June.

'We are not putting in extra marketing spend for the summer, but are working hard with our agency, Fast Track, on how best to spend our sponsorship activation budget in this Olympic year in a smart way. I'm sure there will a lot of big brands with an Olympic association, and in some cases without one, making a lot of noise as July approaches.

'For us, it is not about trying to meet that head-on. …

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