Monday, 26 April 2010

No one washes a rental car

photo by Julian Mason

Yesterday's London Marathon was sponsored for the first time by Virgin Money, who took over from Flora. Clearly it was a great opportunity for the brand to align itself with this much loved sporting occasion but I can't help feeling that next year they should do a bit more to add value and show they care about the race.

John Dodd's post about technology layering on interestingness seems pertinent. Surely the official Virgin Marathon website should at least enable you to track runners. This is something Adidas do via facebook but it isn't mentioned on the Virgin site. This year's PGA Masters website
set the benchmark for a site becoming the epicentre of a fan engagement with a sporting event. Of course the PGA own the Masters whilst Virgin sponsor the marathon. I saw a great quote the other day, "ownership is important - no one washes a rental car."

This seems to sum up the pitfalls of sponsorship. The best sponsors overcome this by thinking hard about how they can be useful / interesting / fun / valued.