The organising committee for the Commonwealth Games national team, the tournament’s equivalent to TeamGB, is prepping a strategy that will use online, PR and experiential promotions to promote the journey its athletes will go on in the run up to the tournament. Sponsors including Southern Electric and Virgin Media will tap into the activity with their own campaigns in an attempt to capitalise on the expected buzz around the event following last year’s London 2012 Games.
This will be supported by an ECRM drive to recruit fans it can target with offers in the run up to the event, alongside the roll pout of the team’s first merchandise programme.
The marketing drive is to launch next April when the official kit, provided by Kukri, is unveiled. It will mark the first time the organisation’s “We Are England” brand has been actively promoted since the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The brand was created to help “humanise” the Commonwealth England movement following a major overhaul of the organisation’s commercial model in the aftermath of the Delhi games.
Adam Paker chief executive of Commonwealth Games England, told Marketing Week the upcoming activity is geared around uncovering additional revenue streams as it attempts to be less reliant on public funding. As a result of the limited funds, the organisation is “finding smarting ways to work within” its budget and be more collaborative with both its athletes and commercial partners, he adds.
Paker adds: “Previously we’ve been very much propped up by public funding through Sport England. But its important to reduce our dependance on public funding and create our own revenue streams. Having a more self-sufficient commercial model with our own partners is key to building long-term value around the team.”
The Commonwealth Games has traditionally struggled to match the global commercial appeal of the Olympic Games. Next year’s event, however, could be the “biggest yet” according to Paker, as a direct result of the “Olympic bounce” and the possibility of big names such as Usain Bolt competing for the first time. It has generated “unprecedented” levels of interest from fans in the UK and sponsors looking to exploit the growing brand value of stars such Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah, adds Paker.
Three out of eight sponsorship slots are still up for the taking. Organisers are on the look-out for retail and financial sponsors, deals they expect to conclude by early next year.
Glasgow 2014, the organising committee for the event, has already launched activity around the event with partners such as Scottish and Southern Electric in an attempt to generate buzz around Scotland. The efforts to date have failed to lift awareness for sponsors, however, as the majority of Scots could not name an official sponsor (73%) or an official supporters (79%) of the event, according to a YouGov study. The survey of of 1,297 adults also revealed Scottish brands were mis-identified as official partners of the event, with a quarter (25%) believing Royal Bank of Scotland is a sponsor, and 15% thinking Scottish Power is an official sponsor.
Paker attributed the lack of awareness to sponsors still planning their campaigns and drew parallels to a similar situation around the Games, where “some people thought Nike were one of the main sponsors”.