Sponsors plan major ad drive for ‘challenger’ Paralympics

Sponsors are preparing a marketing blitz to raise the profile of the Paralympic Games and Team GB Paralympians as they look to maintain the level of excitement the Olympic Games has generated among Britons.

BP Stefanie Reid
BP Paralympic ambassador Stefanie Reid

Paralympic sponsors Lloyds, BT, BP, Cadbury and Sainsbury’s will all launch bespoke activity ahead of and during the Games, which run from 29 August to 9 September.

Lloyds TSB will be running tactical campaigns throughout to “heavily promote” the Games, according to the bank’s London 2012 lead Gordon Lott. Facebook and Twitter activity will also be “ramped up”, he adds, while a raft of Paralympic Games promotions and competitions will run from next week.

Outdoor ads will feature Paralympians including wheelchair rugby star David Anthony and wheelchair fencer Gemma Collis.

Telecommunications partner BT will switch the focus of the idents it has been running during Channel 4’s Paralympic previews to focus on the “personality” of Paralympians such as Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock, according to group marketing and brand director Suzi Williams.

Williams told Marketing Week that although it sees the Paralympics “as important” as the Olympics it does see its job as a partner and promoter as “incredibly different”.

She adds: “With the Olympics we are helping people celebrate and enjoy and connect to an event that is already well known and prestigious.

“The Paralympics is a challenger brand. Our role is to help build and shape that brand and help people connect with something that four years ago they maybe didn’t understand.”

Elsewhere, BP will run digital outdoor ads wishing brand ambassadors such as wheelchair racer Shelly Woods and long jumper and sprinter Stefanie Reid good luck.

A spokeswoman for the oil giant says it is “on standby” to run congratulatory ads if any of the athletes should win medals.

Official snacks provider Cadbury will also use social media to build support for the Paralympic athletes such as wheelchair rugby star Mandip Sehmi, wheelchair tennis hopeful Jordanne Whiley and track star Richard Whitehead.

Sainsbury’s, the only Paralympic Games-only sponsor, will next week unveil a major multimedia campaign. It will also second nearly 30 staff to work at Locog and funded a further 150 to be Games Maker volunteers during the Games.

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