To promote its sponsorship of the London 2012 Paralympic Games Sainsbury’s has released a David Beckham-fronted webfilm and TV ad featuring the world’s most famous footballer wearing an eye mask and being put through his blind football paces by Team GB’s David Clarke.
With both a cinema and TV release, as well as w broad online seeding, the film’s objective is to raise awareness of the Sainsbury’s 1 Million Kinds Challenge – an initiative which aims to get a million children to try a Paralympic sport, and its sponsorship of the Paralympic Games overall.
Schoolchildren are also being offered the chance to meet Beckham as part of the campaign. One lucky school or sports club will win a visit by the former Manchester United and England player as part of the nationwide campaign to celebrate the Paralympics.
Any school or group that signs up for the One Million Kids Challenge will receive a free Paralympics sports kit with everything they need to play goalball, sitting volleyball and blind football, along with a progress chart. The best results submitted will win a visit from the LA Galaxy star.
The use of Beckham to spearhead this campaign ought to maximise reach and demonstrates the brand’s genuinely serious commitment to promote Paralympic sport to the mainstream and reach its one million involvement objective.
This is a serious ad backed up by serious star power. The footage certainly evokes the skill required for the sport and aims to provoke a combined inspiration and patriotic emotion.
Sainsbury’s core asset might be the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but by creating content that combines this sponsorship with a superstar ambassador from outside the Paralympic world, they are trying to maximise its impact.
Sainsbury’s is using the power of individual Paralympic stories at the forefront of its rights activation. As Sainsbury’s Head of Sponsorship Jat Sahota explains: ‘There are amazing individual stories, but it is important not to overplay the adversity angle – they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things; they are elite athletes. There is a richness to those stories that I think the British public will respond to more than some of the Olympian stories”.
The London 2012 event marks the first time that the rights for the Paralympic Games have been carved out and sold separately to those for the Olympics (although Olympic sponsorship still includes the Paralympic Games as well). So Sainsbury’s is using this differentiated position to derive some key benefits.
Firstly, unlike Olympic venues, the London 2012 Paralympic Games’ venues and athletes can be branded. With 150 hours of Paralympic Games footage to be broadcast on the UK’s Chaannel 4 – which will deliver good brand exposure.
In addition, the Paralympic Games provide some truly emotive stories of excellence, inspiration and dedication that resonate with the consumers and, critically, are different to the Olympic stories that will be told by the other sponsors.