The insurance firm is coordinating Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to give sponsorships with the New Zealand and USA national rugby teams more international exposure in the build up to next year’s tournament in England.
Through digital, it plans to turn the safety issues around the sport into an engagement platform for customers to share their opinions as well as showcase the brand’s values.
This is shown through the company’s Safety Awards with New Zealand Rugby, a crowdsourcing initiative spanning Europe, North America, Australasia, South America, Asia and Africa, that invites all rugby players from schools and clubs to submit videos and photographs showcasing how they are improving safety in the sport.
Six clubs, one from each market, will be awarded $5,000 (£3,000) to help implement the safety procedures at their club. All six will then go head-to-head to win an additional $20,000 (£12,000) worth of safety or training equipment.
The user-generated content is hosted on an online portal for participants to share and source safety initiatives that can then be adopted at clubs globally, AIG adds. Future efforts will expand the crowdsourcing mechanic with the business also targeting C-suite executives through LinkedIn to expand the scale of the activity.
A videographer has also been seconded to the New Zealand team to produce regular behind-the-scenes footage.
The rugby charge, developed in partnership with sponsorship agency Octagon, aims to pick up from where the company’s £14m-a-year deal sponsorship deal with Manchester United left off in raising the global profile of the brand, particularly for its consumer business. AIG opted out of the kit deal in 2009 in the wake of a restructure caused by its $182bn (£111bn) bailout from the US government.
The business has been steadily rebuilding operations in the years since, overhauling its sponsorship strategy to identify properties that offer local touch points and global exposure. It accelerated the plan last year with the appointment of its first global head of sponsorship Daniel Glantz, who is shaping more engagement-led plans around the company’s front-of-shirt jersey properties.
AIG wants upcoming efforts to lift brand recognition for its consumer businesses such as car, home, travel and life insurance. It reshuffled the business earlier this month to bring all consumer-facing divisions under one executive team for the first time.
Glantz adds: “We’ve generally been more sensitive [with marketing] having gone through the [economic] recovery and are proud of the turnaround of the brand in that period.
“With the Rugby World Cup on the horizon and sport’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics, the sport will give us local touchpoints with global visibility to be more outward facing when it comes to clients, consumers and our staff. People don’t always see what we’re doing and we’ve invested a lot in digital content distribution to be more tactical and responsive in the way we reach people.