Friday, 18 March 2011

Brand sponsorship - a good live brand experience?

Having seen the best football team in the history of the world give the best football team in England a lesson on how to play, I felt I needed to voice my opinion on a brand awareness sponsorship deal announced late last year by Barcelona football club.

It was mentioned that FCBarcelona will for the first time have a sponsor named on their shirt, ending 111 years of history. Their association with Unicef will remain, however the prominent name for next year will be The Qatar Foundation, a non profit organisation based in Qatar, home of the 2022 World Cup.

If you have a lot of money and are thinking of igniting your brand with a brand experience on the world stage can you think of a better way than spending £25 million a year on shirt sponsorship?

The biggest splash so far has been the PR around the deal. The Qatar Foundation are not on the shirt yet, however the brand awareness has risen enormously, and unfortunately not all the publicity is positive. The Mail Online reported that allegedly the Qatar Foundation has given money to a cleric who advocates terrorism, wife beating and anti semitism.

Not all publicity is good publicity when it comes to brand experiences and brand awareness.A successful 'Brand Experience' is not necessarily the one that captures the headlines it is the one that touches positively the people to whom it is targeted.

FC Barcelona sells around 1.2 million shirts a year, over 5 years that's 6 million shirts. If we say that at least 5 people not wearing a shirt will see someone wearing a shirt, the cost per person to the Qatar Foundation for that brand marketing is only £4.13 per person. That's not bad business. I wonder what they intend to do with this new awareness?

By Peter Lindsay