ITV lands Weetabix and Mars sponsorship deals

ITV has secured more than 1m in sponsorship for its autumn schedule through deals with Weetabix and Mars.

Gladiators, which is scheduled to run from September 5 for 15 weeks, is to be sponsored by Ready Brek, the cereal brand owned by Weetabix. The break bumpers will use the strapline: “Gladiators is sponsored by Ready Brek – together they are packed with energy.”

Ready Brek will be the series’ third sponsor. The first deal was with Kellogg brand Frosties and the second Del Monte Fruit Burst.

The Ready Brek deal was handled by Laser, which negotiated on behalf of ITV Sponsorship and Drum PHD – the Weetabix agency that developed the creative work for the latest campaign.

Laser commercial controller Martin Lowde says: “The deals reinforce the view that broadcast sponsorship is increasingly being recognised as a highly effective marketing tool.”

Meanwhile, Mars Confection-ery’s Snickers brand is to sponsor On The Ball – ITV’s new football magazine. The programme is scheduled to run at 1pm on Saturdays from September 5.

The deal was negotiated by TSMS, again with Drum PHD, which this time represented Mars.

TSMS director of sponsorship Tim Brady says: “It is particularly pleasing that sport is attracting brands which wish to target the elusive youth market. We are already seeing strong interest in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.”

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