Easynet in talks over rally sponsorship deal

Easynet, the network and hosting technology company, is to ramp up its sponsorship activity and is in talks with the World Rally Championship to become an official sponsor of the event.

An announcement is expected to be made on Friday at the opening of the World Rally Championship in Portugal. Easynet refused to comment on the deal as Marketing Week went to press.

The BSkyB-owned technology brand is looking to boost its profile and has been on the hunt for a sponsorship tie-up that would echo its international reach. Although the company is owned by BSkyB, which bought the business in 2005 for £211m, and has its roots in the UK, Easynet has offices in eight countries across Europe and has recently moved into the Asian market, opening an office in China.

The Easynet brand is already a sponsor of the British Olympics Association after signing a three-year deal in 2004. However, the technology provider is keen to boost its profile and associations with sport and last year it called a pitch on its sports sponsorship business, although it handed the account to incumbent Karen Earl Sponsorship.

In motor sports, Formula One is the most popular motor sport globally, but its dominance is being challenged by the World Rally Championship and the popular Nascar race events in the US.

Since Easynet was snapped up by BSkyB last year, the company has expanded its operations significantly and has changed its marketing strategy. Last year, it appointed a number of new agencies including McCann Ericsson as strategic creative agency. Easynet’s marketing is headed by European marketing communications director Julian Laister.

Over the past six months the company has repositioned the brand and McCann was tasked with a rolling out a “brand refresh”.

Easynet customers in-clude Tchibo, Dior, Zeneus Pharma, Oil & Vinegar, TM Lewin, Ford and Phones 4U.

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