Castrol marketing director Vijay Solanki says the brand’s sponsorship of UEFA Euro 2008 is the first major step in a strategy to reposition the product as a lifestyle brand.
The BP-owned brand ann-ounced the deal to become global sponsor of Euro 2008 last month.
Solanki says BP/Castrol has been working on a brand repositioning for some time internally and now the strategy is being rolled out. Solanki says Castrol’s brand heritage is important and that it remains committed to motor sport, but stresses Euro 2008 is the beginning of a broader brand strategy. He says that is why the brand sought to sponsor a sporting tournament as opposed to a football team.
“In car marketing in the past the relationship was with the engine, but now it is with the car itself – the idea of getting away and travelling with families. In-car DVD players are evidence that consumer perceptions of cars have changed. At Castrol we recognised that shift and have sought to move the brand into a lifestyle positioning,” he says.
He says that football was a natural fit as it allows Castrol to target a mass-market audience that overlaps heavily with the brand’s 45 million customers. He says that because football is a common language, and a sport that often makes it from the back to the front page of the newspapers, it is perfect to communicate to several audiences, including women.
The company operates in over 55 countries and was bought by BP in 2000.