sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2011 06:01 PM
In the months leading up to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand that kicked off on Sept. 9 and finishes up this Sunday with a final match between the host country and France, the organizers did everything imaginable to be extra doubly sure that there wouldn’t be one itty bitty ounce of ambush marketing that took place at the festivities. Event organizers went so far to protect sponsors of the event, it felt like other types of security might be falling by the wayside.
Other than a few brochures handed out in the “clean zone” around one arena by scantily clad gals from a strip bar in Wellington, so far, so good. No crazy ambushes like the 36 orange-clad women one Dutch brewery sent to a World Cup game in South Africa to get the brand’s name into the minds of millions without spending the millions that Budweiser did to sponsor the event. Or even peaceful ones like the free hot-chocolate truck at the Vancouver Winter Olympics run by a rival credit-card company to event sponsor Visa.
At least Rugby World Cup sponsor Heineken must be happy because it just announced that it was going to throw more cash in and extend its sponsorship to the 2015 RWC in England.
That means the brewer will have spent more than €100 million ($138 million) since the 1995 tourney, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Heineken also sponsors the UEFA Champion's League, which it's promoting with a "Legendary Football" campaign for the 2011/12 season.
Hans-Erik Tuijt, Heineken's global brand activation manager, says that it will be helpful when the World Cup is back in the Western Hemisphere in 2015 because that “will have a greater effect for beer sales and television viewership of the event,” the Free Press reports.