Brands should engage, not badge-slap at Commonwealth Games

Nick Wright, head of creative at Havas Sports & Entertainment, has responded to Generate's MD Rupert Pratt's comments that 'obvious' brands are missing from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games' top sponsorship tier.

Nick Wright responds to Commonwealth Games sponsorship comments
Nick Wright responds to Commonwealth Games sponsorship comments

Speaking to Marketing Week magazine, Pratt said: "London 2012 raised the profile of sport and sponsorship and theoretically that should have just rolled into Glasgow’s commercial plans. That momentum failed to materialise and its made all the more obvious by some obvious categories missing from the top tier [sponsorship] roster.

"It’s really suffered from a marketing and profile perspective and the perception of something that’s happening in Scotland and not commercially for the rest of the UK, something that will change once the games have begun."

However Wright disagreed, commenting that sponsorship opportunites should be about quality not quantity, as brands should think carefully about how activations at a sporting event will engage their audience.

In an interview with Event, he said: "I was confused by the comments that there were no big names in the sponsorship roster, as I think there are lots of big brands appearing there.

"The Commonwealth Games should be considered by brands as part of their sponsorship mix, however they shouldn’t just jump on the bandwagon without any thought about how it will form part of an overall mix of content.

"‘Badge-slapping will get you exposure for a set amount of time, but won’t necessarily get you engagement."

He also highlighted that the Commonwealth Games’ apparent competition for sponsorship with this summer’s Fifa World Cup is non-existent, as the two events target different audiences.

"Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Adidas all ran big event campaigns for Brazil 2014, however for me, the Commonwealth Games attracts more household names. It has a different audience and feel – athletics competitions are not as polarising as football."

Sponsors of the Games include Ford, SSE, Virgin Media, BP and Emirates.

Comment below to let us know what you think. 

For more in-depth and print-only features, showcases and interviews with world-leading brands, don't miss the next issue of Event magazine by subscribing here.

Follow @dollydeighton