|Sponsors need to be quick to react- Jamie Salmon|
Harlequins won the Premiership rugby final last Saturday in a wonderful match in front of a full house at Twickenham. Over the week-end there were lots of pictures on and off line showing the action with their sponsors reaping the benefits of all the media coverage.
By Tuesday it was bound to die down with Euro 2012, the French Tennis Open and the cricket test match taking centre stage. But no, a full page colour advertisement appears in the sporting pages of at least three national papers I saw with a natural but clever link to their main sponsors ‘other’ team. It is a simple advertisement featuring two very highly respected sportsmen with an undisputable headline.
Sponsoring sporting teams and individuals is a rollercoaster, which pretty much explains that no sponsor supports just one individual as one injury can mean months and months away from the public spotlight.
I hope from a British perspective we win a few gold medals at the Olympics and if so, I suspect there may well be a another race to produce a similar advertisement with a gold medal draped around the athlete’s neck to go with a glorious winners smile. Indeed, I am sure a sponsor of Usain Bolt’s has already instructed their media buying agency to pre book some space though as Bolt has comfortably more than one sponsor it may well be a lively marketplace. The same applies to our gold medal hopefuls like Rebecca Adlington, Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy who all have more than one main sponsor. All will have media days planned for the first few days after their last event but does it have to be gold to attract huge headline interest?
The answer will be a balance whereby quite a few advertisements appear, but some hastily arranged photo shoots with the athletes are conducted and sent across the wires with undue haste. As ever, planning is the key. Plus, also appreciating that they are not all going to win their respective gold medals on the same day which will give some leeway and a bit of leverage. Add to that the now crucial social media strategy and you have some quick decisions to be made.
However, sport is not predictable, upsets happen, favourites do not always win and suddenly an unexpected hero emerges on the world stage that no-one saw coming. Exactly that happened with Rebecca Adlington in Beijing who made it an even better story by winning two gold medals. Who knows what the surprise story will be this time and where it is going to come from but it could just as easily be a sad story as opposed to a happy one.
I do hope from a British bias that alot of people here in Advertising, Marketing and PR are going to put a new meaning on working 24/7 when the Olympics finally begin.
About Jamie Salmon:
Jamie Salmon is a Director of Juniper Sport, a PR & Event Management agency who represents such clients as Mercedes-Benz, Polo Ralph Lauren and Rolex on a global basis. They are also responsible for the exclusive PR of Olympic medal swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Kerri-Anne Payne and for Zara Phillips.
Mercedes-Benz retains Juniper Sport as its international PR agency specialising in golf. Also, for the past five years, Juniper Sport has worked with Ralph Lauren to maximise its sponsorship of The Wimbledon Championships through a global public relations campaign and a polished, on-brand corporate hospitality experience. In addition, Juniper Sport’s working relationship with Rolex has been extensive within its sports sponsorship programme covering Golf, Tennis, Motor Sport and Equestrian. Juniper Sport’s current role is the co-ordination of its international golf programme.
Jamie Salmon is a former rugby international for both England and New Zealand and has worked extensively in the press and broadcast media as a columnist and commentator for rugby union.