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Martyn Sadler

Rugby League told to play to its strengths ... but World Cup still waiting for sponsors

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Red Bull- they love high speed high skill sport with a varied portfolio of sponsorships, two F1 teams, air racing, ice hockey, soccer, motorbike trickjumping, cliffdiving, ice racing all spring to mind.

Their product being a high energy drink would be a natural fit, and for what they might regard as a small investment they would get increased brand exposure in both the English and French speaking worlds. Unfortunately when I visited Salzburg and went past their HQ I cannot recall seeing a set of rugby posts anywhere nearby, so they probably have close to zero knowledge of the sport, but potentially a very good match if they ever did discover the game.

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I was thinking more of how much more red bull would they expect to sell. That is why they are involved in sport...not because they like it but because through that exposure they sell more stuff.   Red Bill Racing have an income of £400 million a year and employ over 600 people. They don't move an inch without justifying every penny spent. 

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Red Bull - increase brand exposure for a relatively low amount of money among a group of consumers who are traditionally very loyal to the brands that associate with they're sport. They're a brand that like to align themselves with high intensity, high adrenaline, fun sports. RL would be a good fit. Red Bull are currently showing an interest in RU.

 

Subway - Association with a sport and players that from the outside looking in are reasonably wholeseome (not all obviously), rooted in their communities, and good role models. Healthy and fit.

 

Nando's - Same as above, plus they get shed loads of free advertising as every player seems to eat there! so makes sense to build on that.

 

Coco Vita - A new health orientated drink whose target market would no doubt be your typical RL consumer. Young, active and loyal. Increased exposure to a new consumer base would lead to increase in sales and awareness.

 

There's a few to be going on with..

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While its great to have partners such as hertz and Merritt please don't think they are pumping thousands into the sport, it's likely to be a free hotel rooms and free cars for duration of World Cup rather than any monetary value

Again we need this and not knocking this but we also need a naming rights sponsor

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While its great to have partners such as hertz and Merritt please don't think they are pumping thousands into the sport, it's likely to be a free hotel rooms and free cars for duration of World Cup rather than any monetary value

Again we need this and not knocking this but we also need a naming rights sponsor

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While its great to have partners such as hertz and Merritt please don't think they are pumping thousands into the sport, it's likely to be a free hotel rooms and free cars for duration of World Cup rather than any monetary value

Again we need this and not knocking this but we also need a naming rights sponsor

Whilst I wouldn't turn it down if someone was offering a shedload of cash, I am quite comfortable with there being no main sponsor  and it just being RLWC2013

Edited by Johnoco

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Understand what you are saying but what a major sponsor brings is money

This World Cup will hopefully not make a loss, it might even make a small profit

If we had someone putting money in we could make it more successfull, we could promote more outside existing RL , we would also have to make less for the comp to end in profit

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Understand what you are saying but what a major sponsor brings is money

This World Cup will hopefully not make a loss, it might even make a small profit

If we had someone putting money in we could make it more successfull, we could promote more outside existing RL , we would also have to make less for the comp to end in profit

Haven't they already said that with the number of tickets sold we're already in profit?

 

Not paying for transport and hotels also saves a huge chunk of costs

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 JUst playing with figure to see how it might work. How much does Red Bull get for a can of Red Bull sold through distribution and shops. 50 p? 35p after everyone has taken a cut? Allowing for promo give away at games, say an average of 30 p

 

Say Red Bull were to sponsor the RLWC by say £1, 000,000 and Red Bull were looking for  just guessing here, a 50% return, i.e spend a million, get a million and a half back through increase sales. over a year. If it were my money I'd want a better return than that.

 

Even so, on that basis, they'e be looking to sell approx 3 million extra cans just because of the Rugby World Cup. Possible? If 10% of attendees and 10% of viewers each bought an extra ten cans a year, that would amount to maybe a half a million extra cans and on that basis  it wouldn't stack up.

 

This is all guess work of course but someone somewhere must be doing these sums accurately.  :sarcastic:

Edited by JohnM

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The days of making money from sponsoring an event/sport are long gone.. sponsorships are all about partnering with another brand/sport/event for an increase in exposure of your own brand, pushing its own ethos to consumers or trying to gain kudos from the association.

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but why? As part of the marketing mix.  maybe, but I don't think that say Aviva or RBS do it for such an ephemeral thing as "awareness".   I'd love to see the business case that the marketing folks at Jaguar Land Rover used to get approval for their sponsorship spend. No metrics at all? No measurable objective? 

Edited by JohnM

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What can the RLWC offer a sponsor that might make them want to be involved with the competition?

  • Awareness: Obvious one, every event offers this, just depends on whether the awareness mix offered fits with the type of market a company is chasing.
  • Direct Fiscal Return/Inventory Swap: This is how we would have secured most of our current sponsors. we need transport (Hertz), accommodation (Marriot) , ticket sale (Ticketmaster),  so it would have been given to us either at a reduced rate but would still make the associated companies a decent enough return to be worth it, or it is a case of they have given us some of their inventory in exchange for some of ours.
  • Content: Premier Sports & BBC have already signed on for this, but have we sold everything? ie. Digital rights, mobile rights? 
  • Association: What type of brand alignment does the RLWC offer? There are definitely values associated with our sport which some companies would be desperate to be associated with (ie. Courage, teamwork, inclusiveness)
  • Inventory: Not sure if this happens in the UK, but in Australia many in the food & drink sectors here will align with events as sponsors to then get the right to give away prizes, whether it be tickets, to other money can't buy experiences (coin toss, access to the change room/coaches box, etc) to help sell their products. 

 

So in short there is plenty to offer...  

 

Comparing with the 08 World Cup, the sponsors they had for that tournament were AAMI (Insurance), Fosters (Alcohol), Diaego (Alcohol), Coca-Cola (Soft Drink), Gilette, Harvey Norman, Telstra (Telecommunications + Content - Digital + Mobile Broadcaster / Website Partner), IHG (Hotel), JetStar (Flights), Channel 9 (Content - Broadcaster), Fox Sports (Content - Broadcaster), Ticketek (Ticketing), Reebok (Apparel), Government.

 

So far for 2013, they already have Government, Broadcaster, Hotel, Car Travel and Ticketing... obvious partner groups they should (and possibly already are targeting) are Alcohol (Tetley's? or Fosters? have invested in RL recently in UK), Soft Drink (Irn-Bru? Coke?), Airline (Emirates?), Apparel (ISC?).

 

The RFL should also be chasing previous International partners who have been involved in the game in the past but have dropped off due to the lack of regular big tournaments in the UK.  Ie. Cadbury, Valvoline, Lion, Guinness, Nissan, and as well those partners involved with some of the participating teams (General Motors, Coke, KFC & Fosters - Kangaroos; Malaysian Airlines - Kiwis; Vodafone - Fiji; Cable and Wireless & Coke - PNG; AXA & Puma - France; The Co-Operative - Wales)

 

Finally it would be in the tournament's interest to try and get some of their other established partners to step up for the tournament as well.  Gillette, Kingstone Press, Foxy Bingo, Brut, any of them that could fork out a bit more to come on would help. 

 

By getting a couple of the above to sign on (well of the bigger names), even if it is less than they originally want, would help encourage other partners to come on board.

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In the sector that I work in I think there could be real upsides for a business.

 

For example, say a relatively new banking organisation like Sainsbury's Bank sponsored the tournament or another RL event, they could get a fair bit out of it.

 

Firstly, awareness - whilst they have a massive brand in Sainsbury's already, many are unaware that they have a bank, so they are a medium sized company that would get some awareness out of this through BBC and Premier coverage.

 

Sales - RL fans need home insurance, car insurance, Personal Loans, Credit Cards etc. and I actually think you could target direct sales through channels such as; using the RFL mailing list for Direct mail, email campaigns, programme advertising (directly for products rather than brand), pitchside advertising, use of RLWC website plus other RFL sites.

 

Loyalty - as they work with a rewards partner (Nectar) they are pretty big on loyalty, you will see it mentioned on pretty much every bit of PR - well sport sponsorship is a great way of helping to build this with potential customers.

 

Comps/partnerships - they could reward their existing customers with discounted tickets or even giving their sponsors allocation to loyal customers they have - they could even limit this to people who live near grounds. On the flip side, the RFL could sell tickets to SB customers at a discount.

 

I think a company like this could invest a couple of hundred thousand pounds and get a hell of a lot out of it. Even if the direct sales didn;t materialise, it would be a relatively low marketing cost.

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Presumably someone is suggesting all this to these type of companies?

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Presumably someone is suggesting all this to these type of companies?

You'd like to think so mate, although it is difficult to approach everyone. I'm sure my company hasn't been approached (not the company mentioned above I should add) but if I'm honest I'm not sure who would make the first move on this kind of thing, as usually we have our agencies proposing this kind of thing.

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