Jaguar accelerates content charge to exploit Tour de France buzz

Jaguar is launching a film of Tour de France champion Chris Froome becoming the first person to cycle through the Eurotunnel in a bid to use its sponsorship of Team Sky to capitalise on the the nationwide support for the race’s opening stint across Britain.

Video: Team Sky and Jaguar present “Cycling under the Sea”

The car maker is launching the two-minute film today (7 July) to chime with the final day of the race across Britain and ahead of the main phase tomorrow (8 July). It filmed the stunt prior to the event’s opening and has been steadily building up to the reveal through teasers and behind-the-scenes content promoting the “#KeepPushing” hashtag.

The film, produced by content agency Inc, follows the Team Sky rider completing the “world first” cycle from the Eurotunnel Terminal in Folkestone to Calais in France in a time of approximately 55 minutes. Shot using a combination of special electric camera rigs and an “eyeball cam’, the film sees Froome reach speeds of up to 65km per hour as he travels down the service tunnel between the two tracks.

It builds on the car marque’s ongoing ties with Team Sky, which has seen it sponsor the team’s back-to-back Tour de France victories in 2012 and 2013. The automaker is banking on the team’s status as defending champions this year to raise awareness for its Jaguar XF Sportbrake luxury estate cars, which appear in the film and also support the cyclists with supplies during the race.

The content push is Jaguar’s latest attempt to integrate its sponsorships and cars with stories that put the brand at the heart of memorable achievements. Last year, it filmed an expedition into the Article Circle, dubbed the “Coldest Place on Earth”, which was carried out using its Jaguar XJ all-wheel drive cars. Additional films are planned for later in the year.

James Barclay, gobal sponsorship and partnerships manager at jaguar, says: “We’ve got more content planned throughout the rest of the tour because this represents a great opportunity for us to align with something that they’re interested in and actually participate in too.

“It’s a great opportunity for the brand to showcase the role it plays in aiding the team. Cycling is the only sport outside of motorsport where the car plays such a  key role in the team. Without the cars, they can’t transport the bikes, the coaches or the food and fluids. We can use content to showcase that credible link to cycling in an engaging way.”

Jaguar is not the only one hoping to stretch the halo-effect of the Tour de France around its own brand. Sky has unveiled a giant jersey – as large as two tennis courts – at a race point in Leeds to highlight its contribution to cycling and rally support for its competitors. Elsewhere, satellite-navigation manufacturer Garmin is screening localised content on Amscreen boards across the UK. Garmin is encouraging people to capture moments of the races and join in the conversation by screening their content.

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