Tag Archives: Olympics

The main event

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As we approach what promises to be another ‘Summer of Sport’, retailers should remember that John Lewis saw revenues increase 8.6 per cent in the quarter including the 2012 Olympics, thanks both to its own sponsorship of the event and increased sales of third-party brand products who were also sponsors.

Whether large or small, all retailers have an opportunity to use a major sporting event to drive shoppers into store and convert them into customers. Be creative.

Here, I would like to suggest five steps to ensure your store is ready to get the most from this year’s sporting festivities.

Prepare

  • Find out who the sponsors are and which of your product categories will be seeing a potential boost, helping you to prepare by prioritising your planning to focus around the key categories.
  • Although there will be a lot of above-the-line (ATL) campaigns running during the summer, 44 per cent of consumers are not convinced by ATL alone, preferring instead to buy tech and CE products they have seen advertised, in store.
  • Brainstorm ideas to think of innovative ways to engage shoppers, and potential in-store events. Engage your staff with this, as they will likely have some great ideas from their time already spent with customers.
  • Think about asking brands for extra staff in preparation for the busy summer period – will you need more people to run your in-store events and create the customer experience you desire?
  • It seems obvious, but make sure you have enough stock of your main items. None of the events you plan will mean anything without the right stock.
  • Get ahead of the game – rather than waiting for the events to begin, make sure you’re prepared in terms of p-o-s etc. If needed, ask for support from your suppliers who will be running promotions of their own.
  • Use your event sponsor brands logos in your local advertising as an eye-catching link to your promotions and in-store experience.

Train

  • Make sure your staff are knowledgeable on your key product ranges, which may see a boost around the event. With 87 per cent of shoppers commonly asking for assistance in-store, and 36 per cent regularly influenced by advice offered by a staff member, your promotions and product demonstrations will only be effective if your staff can confidently speak to customers about the products and how they meet their needs.
  • Just as you’ll be using demonstration models to engage with shoppers, let your staff have a play with the products, allowing them to understand the unique features and selling points first-hand.
  • Make sure your staff are trained to support all customers coming into your store, regardless of their interest in the sporting events. The last thing you want is for a non-sports fan to be put off by the football-centric sales pitch of your staff. A general approach with good product knowledge will assist sales across all demographics, and aim to sell through the range to match budgets and needs.

Set targets

  • Work out what return of investment you want and set your sales priorities accordingly. Putting on a variety of events and promotions is a great way to engage with shoppers, but most importantly it needs to make financial sense before committing any funds.
  • Make sure your staff know what target they should be aiming for. Without cooperation between the sales office and the shopfloor, you’re not going to see the results you’re aiming for. It’s a team effort.
  • An incentive for increasing sales may help to motivate staff. Perhaps a sales league or a prize for most attachment sales will encourage your staff to join in with the promotions. It’s not just about exciting your customers – get your staff involved to build team spirit and make your store a fun and engaging environment for consumers. Ask brands to support your incentives.

Promote

  • Make window displays and p-o-s visible and branded to reflect any brand ATL campaigns. Brands increase their use of outside advertisement around large sporting events. For example, it increased by 25 per cent during the Olympics in 2012, according to Media Week. This is especially the case for sponsors of large events, so use the brand recall created by these adverts to your advantage, especially if a large outdoor ad space is in sight of your store.
  • Vary the offers you’re running across a sporting event. If there’s an important stage of the competition, such as Super Saturday at the Olympics or a Home Nation match, tailor your promotions and p-o-s to reflect this, rather than just having a generic message. Some variety will help keep your promotions fresh and will continue to entice customers into your store.
  • Get involved on social media. Virtually all the big brands will be getting involved with the official hashtags and messages. Join in online to further engage with customers away from the shopfloor, quoting brand tweets with your store details and promotions. During the 2012 Uefa tournament, 61 per cent of all the social media engagement over the group stage was with the top three sponsors, including the mobile network Orange.This is a huge following that you can tap into. Likewise, although not a sponsor of the 2014 World Cup, Nike was still able to reach more consumers through its social media offerings than the official sponsor Adidas – mainly because of Nike’s smart strategy of jumping on the back of the official hashtags with their own clever campaigns. You can do the same, tweeting and using Facebook to join in with the official social media campaigns.

Customer experience

  • Create engaging demonstration areas to inspire the consumer and allow them to interact with your products. Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of consumers like to shop in-store because it allows them to experience the product before buying – a service they cannot get online. This first-hand product experience allows consumers to imagine it in their home and converts them from interest shoppers into buyers.
  • Make your store part of the wider experience – make the customer a part of the action by involving them as much as possible, whether through demonstrations or competitions and the like. Having some relevant p-o-s isn’t enough to excite shoppers, but building on their excitement by creating an engaging shopping experience will complete the customer journey through from above-the-line adverts to the shopfloor.
  • Ensure that any demo units are fully working. Shoppers need to see how devices work to know if they’re right for them, so ensure they are web-enabled and linked to other products to provide a truly complete demo. With 70 per cent of consumers saying a demonstration could tempt them to spend up to a third more. This could mean the difference between an entry-level and higher-price-point sale.

For more please visit: http://ertonline.co.uk/opinion/the-main-event/

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Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how

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This year we can get set for a summer of sport. The Uefa Euro 2016 is up next in June; then it’s the Olympics in Rio in August, punctuated by the annual tournaments such as Wimbledon. So, it’s understandable why so many fans are streaming content via a variety of devices in the home and on the go.

However, sport is not necessarily for all. With the launch of Sky Q, the opportunity for all members of the family to watch what they want, where they want, is an appealing prospect to many. Sky customers already watch 20 per cent of programmes on connected devices – Sky Q and its ‘fluid viewing’ will no doubt appeal to this group and begin to penetrate slowly the 11 million Sky subscribers in the UK.

For those not looking for a contract, there’s always the opportunity that a smart TV – in particular, a Freeview Play-enabled model – offers consumers. Viewing times for Rio 2016 will be unsociable and not necessarily feasible viewing for a wide audience, but catching up over breakfast via an app is an ideal way to keep up to date.

Fans want to see rather than read about those amazing feats that make a major sporting event, such as the Olympics, the spectacle it is, with an estimated 24.2m viewers in the UK and 3.6 billion globally. In 2012, there were 5,600 hours of footage, which aired globally, cross-platform and amassed the equivalent of 801m hours of watched media.

Similarly, the Euro 2012 tournament amassed an average global audience of 150m viewers per match, with 14.2m Brits watching the final.

It’s a fact that 47 per cent of broadband households have a smart TV in the UK and 93 per cent of smart TV owners connect their TVs to the internet (up from 78 per cent in 2013). Furthermore, 37 per cent of TV viewing time on smart TVs is spent watching on-demand content that is only going to grow, as by 2018 it is estimated that 87 per cent of all TVs sold will be smart. Streaming is now the norm and no longer a special feature.

On February 16, BBC Three, the first BBC digital channel, became an online-only channel, provoking a mixed reaction from fans. But is this surprising, when BBC iPlayer saw a 32 per cent year-on-year increase in users using a connected TV to access the service between December 21 and December 31 last year? This is a trend that is set to increase in popularity, making access to iPlayer no longer a luxury, but a necessity through the household TV.

For those avoiding the temptation of making a smart TV purchase or looking to update on a meagre budget, you can do so with a streaming device, such as Google Chromecast, allowing you to stream from your PC, Chromebook or tablet. This allows users to subscribe to Netflix, which now has almost five million recorded subscribers as of December 2015 and cast those box sets, movies, whatever directly to your TV without degrading the quality of picture or sound.

Other devices include the Amazon Fire TV stick and Now TV, with the option to pay for content, as almost 1.7 million people do already in the UK on both platforms. With 4K streaming available from Netflix and BT Sport averaging an extra £4 premium per month to standard HD streaming, competition is becoming fierce, with Amazon and YouTube streaming 4K content at no extra cost.

To some it may seem that content is currently limited, but it is expected to increase, as both studios and platforms commit to a broader 4K offering as an industry standard across streaming services and 4K Blu-ray in 2016.

It is estimated that in 2016 the global share of 4K TVs sold will be 23 per cent, up 35 per cent in the UK as Britons look to future-proof their viewing technology.

With 46 per cent of Brits streaming music, TV or video at least once a week, and online video accounting for 50 per cent of all mobile traffic, it’s no wonder that the popularity of streaming devices is also on the increase.

A UK study released in January identified that seven- to 16-year-olds spend an average of three hours online every day and 2.1 hours of that is watching TV, with 60 per cent watching TV using a device (phone, tablet, or laptop). Of those surveyed, 38 per cent stated that they did most of their viewing on demand.

For retail, there is a huge opportunity to upgrade customers who perhaps have relegated the old LCD to the play room and are looking to go bigger and smarter.

Streaming content is a growth industry and having the freedom to watch when you want is standard, not a luxury. Give customers what they want or haven’t realised they could achieve. Link in-store demos to wi-fi-enabled tablets or similar to bring the concept to life in-situ to complete the customer journey and boost sales.

Read more at: http://ertonline.co.uk/opinion/lets-go-surfin-now-everybodys-learning-how/

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Sport sponsorship: the good, the bad and the politics

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Sponsoring major sporting events on an international playing field can bring rewards to brands. It’s any marketer’s dream and brings boundless opportunities for brands. There is return, beyond the cache of being associated with such high profile events. After all, there is the index-linked effect on sales, which can’t be ignored, as well as the value of a brand’s stock and overall stature in today’s economic climate.

You only have to tot up the figures to see how lucrative this market is. Adidas claims that the London 2012 Olympics boosted its sales, while Kantar reports that from 2004 through 2013, the Super Bowl game has generated $2 billion of network advertising sales from more than 130 marketers.

However, while sponsorship can give brands a chance to promote themselves on a global stage, as well as enter new markets, they must be prepared for the politics too. The 2008 Beijing Olympics saw sponsors targeted for their association with the event, with protesters putting pressure on them over China’s human rights record. There was also much scrutiny spotlighted on the London 2012 over brands that were not aligned with the Olympic values. Heineken and Cadbury, McDonalds and Coca-Cola bore the brunt of the negativity in light of not being wholly associated with good health. When people took to the streets in Rio over the Brazilian Governments preparations for the 2014 World Cup, the media turned to the sponsors for their response.

Now, it’s Sochi where some sponsors have found themselves having to handle difficult political questions over human rights and the government’s controversial law banning so-called gay ‘propaganda’. These are brands that simply signed up to sponsor one of the biggest events in the world, and presumably support the ethics of the Olympics movement. When McDonald’s started using #CheersToSochi on Twitter to cheer on athletes, protestors hijacked the hashtag.

Now when you search for the hashtag you’ll see reams of fiery messages directed at sponsors. Commentators have used the same McDonald’s branded Twitter feed to attack Visa, Procter & Gamble and other long-time Olympic sponsors that have issued statements backing a non-discriminatory games — but stopped short of condemning Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” laws. AT&T, a Team USA sponsor but not a global Olympics backer, has been the only brand with official Olympic ties to publicly condemn Russia’s laws.

Many brands take a ‘politics-neutral’ approach, avoiding taking sides on controversial or political issues. Silence can often be golden if a brand doesn’t have anything relevant to say or the credibility to say it. However, when they’re involved in massive sponsorships, it becomes very difficult for brands to maintain this position. And when they don’t respond they’re deemed as complicit anyhow. Or they could be like Google and change their Doodle to the colours of the rainbow.  

But regardless of whether a brand decides to jump headfirst into the political ring or stay well clear, if they do so they must be prepared for the consequences.  The reality is that we need these global brands to support the global events they sponsor. They serve to inspire us, our children, our nations and create a bubble where for several weeks of the year, the world unites around one event together in the name of sport. We should never ignore the issues but for the sake of the athletes, perhaps put the politics to one side and get on with the games and applaud human endeavour made possible with the support of brand sponsorship.

By Dan Todaro, MD, Gekko

Read the full article at http://www.utalkmarketing.com/Pages/Article.aspx?ArticleID=23636&Title=Sport_sponsorship:_the_good,_the_bad_and_the_politics

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2014 Is the Year of Sport

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the year of sport that will be 2014. It’s any marketer’s dream and brings boundless opportunities for brands, whether officially or unofficially linked to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. It will be the year of sporting endeavour, which some may argue can only be made possible with the support of partners, sponsors and suppliers; but is there a return beyond the cache of being associated with the event? I’d argue a lot. After all, there is the index-linked effect on sales, which can’t be ignored, as well as the value of a brand’s stock and overall stature in today’s economic climate. The blue chips of this world are index-linked to our livelihoods, through the people they employ and effect on the local economy, regardless of whether we are consumers of their products or not. We simply cannot escape the loop.

P&G, Visa, Longines, Omega, Toshiba, Panasonic, VW, Emirates, Ford, Sony, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are just some of the great and good that make these events possible. London 2012 secured 80% of its £700m target from sponsors and Sochi 2014 is predicted to have raised the same amount from sponsors. These sporting events really do light up the eyes of brands who know the positive effect a global event can have on their brand equity, recall and awareness.

Those who argue that Coca-Cola or McDonald’s shouldn’t take part in such gigs have every right to expose the ironic discrepancy in dubious health benefits of their products against a landscape of sport and genuine health. However, as demonstrated by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight with James Quincey, President of Coca-Cola Europe, this argument is weak. Most nations would certainly fight against a Nanny State where consumer lifestyle choices are controlled. I agree we shouldn’t glamorise smoking and alcohol above-the-line, but when it comes to what we eat, who has the right to tell us to stop?

Like it or not, these brands are the ones with the resources to prop up good causes and keep major sporting events alive through sponsorship. As consumers, we have the choice to decide for ourselves what is good for us to eat. A brand has the moral obligation of encouraging a healthy lifestyle for both mind and body, but is it acceptable for a brand to be told that it cannot be a sponsor because of its relevance to the event in question? Without the exposure which sponsorship allows these brands to develop, thousands of employees worldwide face the risk of losing their jobs because a dictate stated we can no longer drink sugary beverages or that sugary beverage brands cannot support good causes. The worst case scenario is that the stock market declines on the back of poor trading statements and share prices fall to affect the economy. Brands are vital to general wellbeing in our economy and societies, which finishes with our consumption.

Let’s remember what makes a brand great. It is how we, the consumers, perceive it. You may not like every brand, but there will always be others that do. Every brand has the right to be philanthropic and give back no matter how evil you may consider them to be. The reality is that we need these global brands as much as the global events they sponsor which serve to inspire us, our children, our nations and create a bubble where for several weeks of the year, the world unites around one event. I still have fond memories of the electricity running through the UK during the Olympics last year. It was infectious and generated a unique sense of national pride in all, facilitated perhaps in part by these brands supporting and creating a buzz through ATL. You have the choice to buy or not to buy – that is your democratic right – but let’s allow those brands who want to spend their invaluable money on these events to do just that. Through our choices, we control the consequences.

Read the full article at http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2013/12/19/2014-year-sport/

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