Costa backs cycling in first sponsorship

Costa is making its maiden move into sponsorship by backing Team GB Gold medalist Ed Clancy’s cycling team Rapha Condor Sharp in a bid to capitalise on the popularity of British cycling after recent medal successes.

Ed Clancy

The sponsorship is to raise awareness of its Costa Express coffee vending brand. It will see the Costa Express logo appearing on the team’s clothing and bikes during the Tour of Britain. Costa Express will also be available during the Tour at the VIP Breakfasts and at the finish line for cyclists and fans.

It will be hoping that the sponsorship activity will help boost awareness of the fledgling vending brand, which launched in May 2011. The coffee chain’s core brand has awareness of around 96%, the company says, while its recently launched vending business has just 20%.

Caroline Harris, marketing director at Costa Enterprise division, says that education and awareness are the main challenges for the Express brand and work is neccessary to make sure that consumers know that the coffee from its vending machines is the same quality as they would get in a Costa store and that it uses the same Costa roasted beans and fresh milk.

Costa acquired vending business Coffee Nation in 2011. It is in the process of rebranding all sites to Express and has more than 1,500 self-serve coffee bars across the UK. It plans to operate 3,000 in the next five years.

The Tour of Britain is the UK equivalent of Tour de France, which was won by fellow Team GB cyclist and Gold medalist Bradley Wiggins in July.

Clancy won gold and bronze medals at the London 2012 Games.

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