Marketing campaigns across countries - the sporting model

Maeve Taylor

Marketing campaigns are strategized towards a target market, often meaning a campaign is tailored to a specific country and its culture. So, what happens when a brand’s campaign requires it to have a cross-regional approach and be suitable for a variety of countries? These countries will undoubtedly have different cultures, interests and languages. So the approach must find a common interest that transcends these differences. One simple answer is… sporting events.

As Rugby Union's Six Nations starts this weekend, let’s look at how large multinational organisations jump on this sporting bandwagon to aid their campaigns.

Some companies will decide to focus their campaign on a specific sports team, such as IBM’s support for England Rugby. If you’re targeting a wider audience though, a sporting event is the perfect example of cross-region unity for campaigns. The company doesn’t have to think about creating an interest which applies to all regions – the common interest is already there… rugby!  

You don’t even have to think of a topic for the campaign. Base it around rugby, that’s what they’re here for, that’s what they’re interested in; this will instantly engage everyone with the brand.

The Six Nations competition brings together England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy. Now, we know these countries have many differences – a multitude of languages, a variety of cultures, and a diversity of interests. So how are large companies using this platform to their advantage?

Let’s take the lead sponsor of the event, NatWest. The bank has taken over as the title sponsor for the current year meaning the event is now known as the ‘NatWest Six Nations’; its name is included in every piece of branding for the event. This results in a massive amount of exposure across all media, most notably TV.

NatWest announced it would be sponsoring the event as it would provide them with a platform to engage and build affinity with their customers. David Wheldon, NatWest's CMO, stated "The Six Nations also has a strong European reach where we also serve our customers through our NatWest brand." This shows that its marketing strategy is to use the sporting event to engage a European audience with its brand.

Another brand that is looking to use this platform for marketing purposes is Les Grands Chais de France. The company understands that this campaign, and unity of countries, would give its brand ‘prime-time exposure’ across its diverse markets. Although a French-based brand, the company sell across Europe, so this opportunity gives it exposure to its target market. The company's campaign would not just be played during French games, but all games throughout the competition.

We know that companies often have campaigns working across regions too and this can often create a problem for marketers. Questions such as: ‘How do you approach a campaign to keep everyone interested and ensure all regions perform equally? often arise during discussions. I hope this article helps to highlight that finding a common interest is a solution to generating stimulation for a campaign.

However, if you’re not sure where to get started, TBT has years of experience working globally! We can save you the stress and use our extensive experience to generate interest in your campaign and deliver leads you will be proud of. Contact us today at [email protected].

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