Magazine article Marketing

Dome Sponsors Defend Performance

Magazine article Marketing

Dome Sponsors Defend Performance

Article excerpt

Claire Murphy finds some of the main backers of the Dome standing by their [pounds]12m promotional investment

"Enough is enough," screamed the Daily Mail, announcing the [pounds]29m Dome rescue package. "The time has come to put it out of its misery."

Last week was another bad week for the Dome, possibly its worst yet. Bob Ayling's head rolled, the NMEC went cap in hand for a further [pounds]29m of public money to keep it running, and once again its attendance targets were revised down. They have fallen from 12 million to eight million.

The main sponsors of the Dome are BT, BSkyB, Marks & Spencer, British Airways, McDonald's, Ford, Manpower, Camelot and CocaCola. So surely those nine key sponsors are regretting hitching around [pounds]12m each of their marketing wagon to what is turning into a national laughing stock?

They may be doing a great job of putting a brave face on a situation largely out of their control, but some sponsors are keen to push the message that they've benefited from the Dome.

Granted, six of the nine refused to comment on their association with it. One even went as far as saying, "I'm not sure I could find anything constructive to say about it". But others plead the Dome is doing the job they wanted it to do.

Marks & Spencer is particularly vociferous in its defence of the Dome, although a spokesman refused to confirm whether the retailer had parted with the full [pounds]12m.

"Our site, the National Portrait Zone, has been well run," he says. "It doesn't rely on any gadgetry and so we haven't been subject to any of the breakdowns that other zones have experienced. MORI research shows that 85% of visitors say they thoroughly enjoyed it."

"Having a zone that reflects all things British is great for us; it's a natural affinity with our brand, which is inextricably linked with British-ness. Yes there's been negative publicity, but it's been directed principally at the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). I think most people would agree that, at an individual zone level, it is a success."

He adds that M&S's sponsorship of the zone has allowed it to operate other useful millennium activities. "We've leveraged the sponsorship, raising [pounds]18m for the Year of Promise campaign, for example. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.