Warc, 23 July 2014
GLASGOW: As athletes and sports fans gather in Glasgow ahead of the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, brands have been warned that they may come to regret their muted approach to the sporting event.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Rupert Pratt, managing director of sports sponsorship agency Generate, said the London 2012 Olympic Games raised the profile of sport and that should have been rolled into commercial plans for the Glasgow games.
He said the momentum failed to materialise and that a number of big name and "obvious" categories are now missing from the 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," he said.
Nigel Currie, director of sports marketing at BrandRapport, agreed that marketers may have missed the boat by not building on the commercial legacy of London 2012.
"It feels like the sponsorship industry has missed a trick not exploiting the commercial legacy London 2012 offered," he said. "Brands should have looked at London 2012, Glasgow 2014 and the World Championships in 2017 and used it as a five-year programme to grow their stature in the eyes of the British public."
However, some major brands have been making preparations for the tournament, which will feature 71 participating nations competing in 17 sports.
US automaker Ford, for example, is launching its "Play Your Part" campaign across social, print and outdoor to promote its environmentally friendly cars.
And SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy) hopes its "#GoGlasgow" social campaign will reinvigorate its brand image among consumers.
Meanwhile, Twitter, which is not an official sponsor, has launched its @Scotland platform to promote Scotland's culture and national image via the reporting of cultural events, The Drum reported.
It comes as a new survey of 1,000 UK shoppers from Leeds-based retail agency Savvy Marketing found 40% want supermarkets to provide offers on food and drink products during the event.
Over two-thirds (36%) want to see event-related competitions being run, Retail Times reported, while 35% want the chance to win tickets to see the Commonwealth Games live.
Shoppers in North East England are most interested in the event (66%), followed by Yorkshire and Humberside (58%) while, perhaps surprisingly, only half of shoppers in Scotland are interested, the survey found.
Data sourced from Marketing Week, The Drum, Retail Times; additional content by Warc