Sine Qua Non reviews AeroSuperBatics sponsorship success stories
As the well-documented and globally-felt economic downturn looks certain to bring this first decade of the new Millennium to an end with a whimper, companies only have to look to the skies for a way in which their marketing or advertising spend could get 2010 off to a flying start – literally.
AeroSuperBatics (ASB) is perhaps not a name that conjurs up immediate recollection, but they are actually a hidden gem of a sponsorship opportunity, and hold the key to a lucrative family audience.
As the world’s only wing-walking team, ASB has been wowing the crowds at air shows country-wide for over two decades, reaching an estimated 6 million spectators each year. They are more requested on the air show circuit than even those most British of men in their flying machines, the Red Arrows, and they appear at over an astonishing 100 shows in the UK alone with increasing demand to take their performances into Europe.
So profitable is title sponsorship of ASB that heavyweight FMCG brands Cadbury’s and St. Ivel enjoyed unprecedented spells as title sponsor with Cadbury’s using their Crunchie brand for nine years from 1990-1999 and St. Ivel using it as a springboard to launch their Utterly Butterly brand at the end of the Nineties, eventually ending the partnership in 2006 after eight years. French skincare giants Guinot were quick to take over and are currently in the final year of a three-year deal which will conclude at the end of 2009. ASB is now looking for a new, mutually suitable title sponsor with which to start the new decade.
The numbers alone do the sales pitch: an estimated ROI of nearly 500% on editorial coverage alone, a 90 million audience through target media coverage with a return of almost £5m last year, plus those 6 million air show attendees covering the entire ABC spectrum.
The Cadbury’s Crunchie Example
Everyone over a certain age remembers the ‘Get that Friday Feeling’ and ‘Thank Crunchie it’s Friday’ slogans. Cadbury’s sponsorship of ASB was an integral part of that brand initiative. Cadbury’s saw in wing-walking similar brand values to their positioning of Crunchie, something that ‘gives you a Friday feeling each day’. Through ‘Cadbury’s Flying Circus’ they gave Crunchies away at air shows, linked the sponsorship with on-pack promotions, and integrated the ASB plane into their animated TV ads. But the TV activation went much further with programme tie-ins such as Record Breakers, Gladiators, You Bet and The Big Breakfast.
The St. Ivel Utterly Butterly Example
Blue and yellow – it was an utterly distinctive livery and an utterly successful campaign. St. Ivel used ASB as a platform to launch their new Utterly Butterly brand in 1999. After its initial success, the sponsorship was extended as a way of positioning Utterly Butterly as a fun, eccentric and British brand. From sampling at air shows, they also installed a merchandise unit at 20 big air shows, as well as displays at leading UK supermarket chains, in addition to on-pack promotions and dynamic competitions. TV activation extended across big audience shows such as Emmerdale, GMTV and Big Brother with truly widespread press coverage. They increased their initial media return from £2.3m in the early years to a whopping £4.4m in 2005. In this time volume sales of Utterly Butterly increased by 40% and penetration levels by 30%.
The Guinot Example
ASB’s newest brand came about very quickly and it was their speed in snapping up the sponsorship that has led to nearly £10m in media return over two years. Using wing-walking to raise brand awareness, Guinot have utilised the sponsorship with in-salon promotions, on-show sampling and a salon competition to become a wing-walker. The sponsorship reaches a natural conclusion at the end of 2009 but in just two years, the Guinot-sponsored team has appeared on News at Ten, ITV’s Adrenaline Junkies, BBC’s Blue Peter with Zoe Salmon, All Star Family Fortunes, Robbie Coltrane’s B Road Britain, as well as numerous daily and weekly publications.
Paul Fraiser, Marketing Director of Dairy Crest said of the Utterly Butterly sponsorship: “The unique, exciting and adventurous nature of wing walking provided an exclusive opportunity for us to develop the fun personality of the Utterly Butterly brand. In 2005 the branded team generated coverage with a comparative media value of £4.4 million.”
With that in mind, AeroSuperBatics is the sort of rare opportunity that should have Marketing Directors quickly dusting off their chequebooks, even in times of downturn. When everyone is trying to make their marketing spend go further, it is time to put into practice some of that blue sky thinking. Looking at the figures, there has never been a better time to take to the skies.
Sine Qua Non International is a technology marketing company specialising in supporting technology companies who are looking to make the most of their marketing investments.
Sine Qua Non creates opportunities. Whether for a brand looking to develop revenues and relationships or a rights holder looking for exposure or vice versa, Sine Qua Non can help by providing outstanding experiences with exceptional returns.
From strategy to activation and implementation, Sine Qua Non creates and manages brand connection for our clients in a range of sports and other sponsorship areas which create equity and add value.
The company recently enhanced its growing business with the introduction of a fully integrated Public Relations and Communications arm to bolster its established sponsorship, hospitality and event capabilities.
Sine Qua Non International
Tel: +44 1491 845 426
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