Capital One: ‘Football vital to restoring brand power in UK’

Capital One is to use its sponsorship of the League Cup to take on rivals Mastercard and Visa in the credit card sector with a raft of digital marketing promotions around the tournament, after admitting its brand lacked “power” in the UK.

Capital One Cup

The financial firm was officially unveiled as the title sponsor of the tournament earlier today (1 June) after signing a four-year deal with the Football League.

It ends an eight-month process for the Football League, which all but ended its 14-year association with Carling last September, to find a brand that could match its international ambitions for the cup.

Capital One will use the sponsorship principally in the UK and US, however, with ticket promotions on social media platforms and mobile campaigns for its customers.

Michael Woodburn, chief marketing officer at Capital One, says it will boost the tournament’s profile in the US, particularly among its Hispanic American customers, by launching targeted promotions.

He adds: “In the UK we’re really focused on the credit card space and have spotted an opportunity to be innovative and build brand power, which we don’t have at all.

“We didn’t want to be a shirt sponsor because you can’t leverage this type of deal across multiple touchpoints in the way you can with a sponsorship deal. We needed something that could translate into positive experiences for fans.”

Capital One is also planning marketing activity with the Football League’s broadcast partners such as Sky to further boost brand awareness.

Woodburn adds: “The ultimate success is if we end up renewing the deal in four years time. We see this is a long-term play, a strategy that we can really drive growth in the UK.”

The value of the deal is undisclosed, but it is thought to improve on the previous £20m three-year deal Molson Coors had agreed in 2009.


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