Gulf Air is poised to put its global marketing business out to pitch. The Bahrain-based airline has previously used Middle East agency Fortune Promoseven in the region but is seeking a global network to lead a major rebrand.
Gulf Air chief executive Björn Näf, speaking exclusively to Marketing Week, says: “We are putting a strategy together for a new Gulf Air and we need someone who can communicate that on a tactical level.”
The contract will be put out to tender and approved by the Bahraini government, which owns Gulf Air. It is also seeking a marketing director to lead the rebrand.
It is thought an agency network with strong links in London, the Middle and Far East and India will be sought as those markets are of key significance to Gulf Air.
Last week, the company signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Queens Park Rangers Football Club (MW July 3).
Gulf Air manager of sponsorship, alliances and events Jon Barrett says: “In the past we have been very traditional in our marketing approach. The QPR deal signifies a shift away from that. We’re looking for opportunities in sponsorship, product placement, brand extensions and experiential marketing.”
It is unclear what the spend for the campaign will be but a Gulf Air spokesman says Näf aims to “significantly increase” the airline’s marketing budget.
As part of its revamp, Gulf Air has appointed interior and product design company James Park Associates to work on cabin interiors for a new fleet of aircraft and provide other work related to rebranding.