Sunday, 4 July 2010

Experiential through the ages - pt2 - Tour de France

photo by Joe Shlabotnik

The second post in an occasional series of historical examples of experiential marketing from before the expression existed.

Legs have been shaved and the incredibly grueling 108th Tour de France 2010 is underway.

Le Tour was invented by a French newspaper to promote itself. This wasn't sponsorship, it was the Red Bull / Nike strategy of owning your own event, of creating live one-off events that can't be copied and produce valuable content that they could exclusively write about and use to make themselves famous.

The sports paper behind the Tour was L'Auto which needed to up its circulation and crush its better selling rival Le Velo. The idea for the Tour came from the 26 year old Chief Cycling Correspondent. The strategy proved to be a huge success, L'Auto's circulation boomed and L'Velo went bust. L'Auto still exists today as L'Equipe.

This is a good reminder that using live events to drive other media is nothing new.