GM hires agency for World Cup sponsorship

General Motors Europe has hired The Marketing Store to co-ordinate its 3.5m sponsorship of World Cup 1998.

The appointment is a reflection of the growing concern among sponsors about maximising the marketing opportunities offered by sports events.

Recent research highlighted that most Euro 96 sponsors did not see any general increase in brand awareness from their total 3.5m worth of sponsorship (MW February 28).

The agency handled a sales promotion campaign for GM during Euro 96 and will now act as “a surrogate marketing department”, according to managing director Alistair Mitchell. Working from GM’s Zurich headquarters, the agency will be responsible for co-ordinating merchandising contracts, pan-European advertising to support the sponsorship, corporate identity, and for hiring a sales promotion agency.

“Euro 96 was successful but we identified areas where we could have made more of the sponsorship,” says GM manager of marketing operations David McGeorge. “We needed to co-ordinate the disciplines better,” he adds.

Mitchell says: “It is easy to sign up to a sports sponsorship by pulling out a cheque book. The exploitation and marketing of the sponsorship is more complex. It wants an agency to advise and co-ordinate that role across 21 markets.”

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