Disneyland sponsors New Year on ITV in bid to boost visitor numbers

Disneyland Resort Paris (DLRP) is battling to entice customers back to the theme park with television sponsorship and a new advertising message, following a disastrous year.

The company will sponsor all ITV1 programming for three days – New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and January 2 – in a package estimated to be worth at least &£500,000. The deal excludes existing long-term sponsorships.

The sponsorship deal, brokered by Vizeum, introduces the new strapline “Need Magic? It’s closer than you think.” The idents and break bumpers have been created by the main Walt Disney Parks & Resorts agency Leo Burnett, which has also developed a TV campaign that kicks off on January 3.

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts sponsored two days of ITV New Year programming to launch Walt Disney Studios in 2001 (MW November 29, 2001).

Euro Disney, the operating company for DLRP, reported visitor numbers were down by 700,000 (5.3 per cent), to 12.4 million for the year to November. Financial losses rose by 69.2 per cent to e56m (&£39.3m). The company blames the weak economic climate, strikes in France and the flat travel and tourism market brought on by the war in the Gulf.

Walt Disney owns 39.1 per cent of Euro Disney and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia owns 16.1 per cent.

Roy Disney, the last of the Disney family to sit on the Walt Disney board, resigned last week after an acrimonious row with chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner (MW last week).

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