Over the next few weeks and as the Olympic Winter Games come to a close, The KMAC GROUP continues to track Olympic sponsor activations demonstrating sponsorship best practices that will help you achieve a positive return on your investment. For the past few weeks we’ve been assessing the Olympic sponsorship practices of leading global and Canadian companies, tracking their activities at all touch points to see how they use sponsorship to drive sales and identify which practices work best.
Our sixth instalment of this series will focus on a how corporation can avoid the price tag of a TOP sponsorship, but still activate a consistent campaign in key global markets through partnerships with the NOC (National Olympic Committee).
Here is a recap of sponsorship best practices we’ve covered so far:
- Sponsorship Practice #1: Deliver a simple, clear message.
- Sponsorship Practice #2: Connect with your audience emotionally
- Sponsorship Practice #3: Take an integrated, holistic approach
- Sponsorship Practice #4: Market your core strategy through sport…
- Sponsorship Practice #5: Add value to existing ideas and platforms
- Sponsorship Practice #6: Engage your audience
- Sponsorship Practice #7: Get in the game, in real-time
- Sponsorship Practice #8: Innovative strategic partnerships
- Sponsorship Practice #9: Bring the Olympic Game experience to those who can’t attend the Games.
- Sponsorship Practice #10: Building a strong, proactive PR program. Eg. Dealing with negative press and activists.
- Sponsorship Practice #11: Gather best practices; reapply the key learnings as you progress
This week we are introducing:
Sponsorship Practice #12: Partnering with a National Olympic Committee and demonstrating executional effectiveness consistently across many markets globally.
Labeling themselves as an auto company who offers premium standards and outstanding quality, BMW has found a nice parallel between themselves and the Games. After extending their Canadian Olympic sponsorship through 2016, BMW Group Canada have been taking steps to show their support for the Olympics on many different levels.
The first level of Olympic support in Canada for BMW is through Team BMW. Consisting of 6 athletes (listed below) whom represent the company’s values of peak performance and innovation, Team BMW will receive the support that is necessary for them to make it to Sochi and perform at their absolute best; just like BMWs cars.
Team BMW athletes are:
- Kaillie Humphries – Bobsleigh
- Charles Hamelin – Short Track Speed Skating
- Rosalind “Roz” Groenewoud – Halfpipe Freestyle Skiing
- Meghan Agosta-Marciano – Ice Hockey
- Mark McMorris – Snowboard Slopestyle
- Mikaël Kingsbury – Moguls
Something interesting to note is that at the time of writing (Feb 20) 5 of the 6 athletes who have already competed all won a medal (Charles Hamelin – Gold 1500m short-track, Mark McMorris – Bronze men’s slopestyle, Mikaël Kingsbury – Silver freestyle skiing men’s moguls, Kaillie Humphries – Gold Women’s 2 man bobsled, Meghan Agosta-Marciano – Gold women’s hockey)
To promote these athletes and showcase their talents, BMW created the Powering Performance ad campaign that parallels the skills of these Olympians with different BMW vehicles, including their all new i8 which is part of their new electric i series. BMW created a 60-second spot which first aired in January as well as three 15-second spots which will air throughout the course of the Olympics.
A further level of activation that BMW has taken is through social media. By pairing up with Twitter, people who tweet about the Olympics close to when a BMW ad is aired will also see a promoted tweet on their feed. Using the hashtags #TeamBMW and #PowerPerformance Canadians can show their support for the Olympics and stay updated on any news and Team BMW athletes.
Finally, BMW is getting Canadians involved with the Olympics through their Drive for Canada event. Drive for Canada is a program that took place between October 25 and November 11 where Canadians filled in an application to attend a BMW event and had the opportunity to test drive some of the new car models alongside past and present Olympians. For each test drive taken, BMW Canada donated $25 to the Canadian Olympic Team to help excel sport and funding for our elite athletes. After finding success in their 2012 Olympic sponsorship, BMW is taking this next step in activating their campaign through individual involvement and attention surrounding the Games.
After their initial involvement in the Olympic movement in 2012, BMW has increased their marketing and communications efforts in Canada by utilizing the COC (Canadian Olympic Committee) partnership. Due to the exorbitant fee of $25 million per year, along with the politics and possible issues that go along an Olympic TOP sponsorship, BMW has opted to partner at a national level. It can be very difficult to increase global brand awareness when you only support Olympics at a national level however, BMW begs to differ, activating similar programs in the United States, Greece, Spain, Great Britain, Austria, France and China. BMW has found a way to tailor their global message and make it relevant in many different countries. By customizing their program in each country through similar adaptations of social media and consumer awareness, BMWs collaborative efforts combined help create a global impact. When all of their campaign focus is geared towards one key message or product, which in this case is the BMW i8, the result can be a big success.
Will this approach by BMW become popular amongst other national partners? We’ll just have to wait and see.
For over 21 years, The KMAC GROUP has worked with some of the world’s best-known companies to help them grow their sales. Using our experience in strategic sales, key account management, sales training, project management, consumer engagement and live retail event activations, we help companies like Procter & Gamble and General Mills increase sales performance.