Major sporting events such as the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games always dominate the media, and each throws up a wealth of sponsorship opportunities for brands across the world. Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonalds and Sony are just a few of the companies that have benefited from the global exposure that the partnerships have bought.
With all the excitement over, we thought we’d take a look at how some of the key sponsors used experiential marketing activations to elevate their brands.
1. Virgin Media: Commonwealth Games
Virgin Media used its partnership with Usain Bolt to launch its interactive ‘Race Bolt’ activation at the Commonwealth Games. Participants were given the opportunity to race against the world’s fastest man over 30 meters, on a professional athletics track. Usain was on hand in virtual form, on a 40m x 3m interactive LED screen.
It was a unique, interactive experience, designed to bring the thrill of the race to the public. And it had the desired result. The popularity of Race Bolt was unprecedented. Huge crowds turned up to take part, with children as young as two lined up to run the track. Local councilors, celebrities, athletes and even Bolt's mum had a go.
2. Stella Artois: Wimbledon
Stella Artois launched an experiential campaign on the back of its Wimbledon sponsorship deal earlier this year. Central to the campaign was a mini tennis court in Waterloo Station; passersby were invited to step on court and answer a series of questions posed by an umpire. If they correctly answered all the questions, they were put on a train to Wimbledon, to watch a match.
To compliment the ‘on-court’ action, Stella used the digital screen in the terminal to post brand messages, encourage fans to tweet using the hashtag #herestoperfection and send updates on Wimbledon matches. For Stella, this was an opportunity to partner with an event that shared their passion for elevating the brand experience.
3. Budweiser: World Cup 2014
Budweiser was the official beer of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. During the tournament, they unveiled an experiential marketing initiative to support their wider ‘Rise As One’ FIFA World Cup™ campaign, aiming to engage football fans and encourage them to share their passion for the game.
Budweiser rolled out its ‘Bud Challenger’ initiative in Tesco’s stores across the UK, in the lead up to the World Cup. Customers were challenged to climb in a circular wind machine to collect as many branded balls in the allotted time as possible. The number of balls collected determined the level of prize awarded. Official FIFA World Cup branded gifts, from merchandise to a 60” TV’s were given away exclusively through the activity, as Budweiser looked to reward its loyal shoppers.