London Marathon marketing winners

I wonder what the level of spontaneous recall there would be to the question, “Name three London Marathon sponsors.” I think I may have got two. With a little prompting I would have got three.

There is an impressive history of stable sponsorship for the London Marathon. The current sponsors, Virgin Money, have been in the seat for 5 years. Their predecessor, Flora, for an impressive 14 years.

London Marathon sponsors by year

  • 1981 – 1983 Gillette
  • 1984 – 1988 Mars
  • 1989 – 1992 ADT
  • 1993 – 1995 NutraSweet
  • 1996 – 2009 Flora
  • 2010 – 2014 Virgin

It is fascinating to see how the money invested from the headline sponsors has increased. 1981 was £75,000 for Gillette. Today Virgin Money are spending over £3m per year.

London Marathon marketing winners âI think that the Virgin Money investment is good value. Look at the screen-time of the event, and the packages on the news about the race. This alone is great coverage.

But the really valuable brand benefit for Virgin Media is the countless images and videos of individual runners that are taken every year. These are shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and treasured by people for years.

The sponsorship is essential for the event but it is also a sound investment for the sponsoring brand.

Increasing declines on the BBC

Increasing declines on the BBC âI know it was first thing in the day but I did struggle to understand this rather odd sentence:

The research, based on official statistics, shows that this decline is continuing and perhaps increasing.

So it is declining and increasing. Mmm, helpful.

Perhaps if the degree courses had a component of English grammar the increasing decline could be reversed and move forward, back to where it was Increasing declines on the BBC â

Labour’s transformative nonsense

For just 1p politicians could buy Sir Ernest Gowers book The Complete Plain Words. If they then read and learned from this fine work they may not come out with so much rubbish.

Labour is being urged not to “play it safe” in its election manifesto and secure a mandate for “transformative” change by pursuing bold policies.

via BBC News – Miliband urged not to ‘play it safe’ in 2015 manifesto.

Transformative change…what nonsense.

Red Lion Foods donates £100,000 to Help for Heroes

A few years ago a friend, Andrew Gidden, decided to distribute food to help less fortunate people. This was not a food bank idea. Andrew’s simple ideas was to get people choosing his new food brand, Red Lion Foods, and then giving all the residual profits to armed forces.

The charities Red Lions Foods help include: ABF The Soldiers Charity, BFBS British Forces Broadcasting Service, Fishing for Forces, Force Select Foundation, Help for Heroes, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, SSAFA, Support our Soldiers, Tickets for Troops.

The products in the Red Lion Foods range are things most of us buy like cooked meats, sausages, bacon, sauces, tinned foods, sandwiches, confectionery and tea. So the idea is elegantly simple: we carry on buying the things we usually buy, just switching to a new brand, and money goes to charity.

“It’ll never work,” said some. Andrew is continuing to prove them wrong by contributing a further £161,000 to charity this month including £100,000 to Help for Heroes. That makes it £1.3m to date. Well done Andrew and all the supporters of Red Lion Foods.

Follow @RedLionFoods

Strategy without tactics

Strategy without tactics â

Thank you to Rachael Simpson at Marketing Native for the reminder about the Sun Tzu, The Art of War, reminder about the difference between strategy and tactics.

Read Rachael’s blog post about 5 key elements of a strong marketing strategy.

Branding boo boo from BetFair

Branding boo boo from BetFair âCheltenham Festival, one of the fun sporting events of the year. Hundreds of millions of pounds of bets are laid. This event attracts the biggest and best companies from the betting world; they are all seeking to acquire customers…and they are prepared to invest.

The usual on course betting options were there from the independent bookies to the Tote. A lot of advertising was visible for betting apps as well. As a punter the choices were plenty, the challenge was picking a winner.

Betfair were spending money to promote their business. I think they got it wrong. They had teams of girls handing out bright yellow, Betfair branded, scarves. They gave out thousands of them. The trouble is they were cheap and nasty. Consequently, even before race goers got into Cheltenham Racecourse, people were stepping over discarded Betfair scarves on the path, in the gutter and in the road. Some tidier race goers had put theirs in bins, the untidier ones had stuck them in hedges. What message does that give about the brand?