Parent company P&G’s global Olympic sponsorship might be all about mums, but Gillette’s brand manager Jared Regan says its ‘Great Start’ campaign aims to involve ‘tracksuit dads’.
Launched with just a couple of month’s to go before the start of London 2012, Great Start is essentially a UK coaching initiative. It aims to inspire the next generation of coaches by encouraging people to get involved. The overall objective is to inspire and support coaches at all levels of sport.
Gillette has launched the scheme as part of parent company Procter & Gamble’s IOC TOP global Olympic Games sponsorship deal.
To launch the campaign, Gillette brand ambassadors cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and swimmer Liam Tannock met before the media to highlight the role coaches have played in their respective careers.
50m backstroke world champion Tancock, 26, is Team GB’s top male swimming star and at the launch he made it clear that the coaching he received as an eight-year-old forms the backbone of his London 2012 challenge.
“The stuff I was taught when I was eight I still put into practice today – it helped me get to the [100m] Olympic final in Beijing [in 2008],” he said.
‘For example, a great start in swimming is very important: I was taught to dry my hands before getting in, in order to get a better grip on the bar. Little things like that. Growing up I had a great coach called John Randall until the age of 18. From then to now I’ve had Ben Titley. I learned some great things about life from my coaches: they help me prepare for competition and get my body and mind ready. Great coaches make great athletes, in all sports. Because of that I’m involved in a campaign that aims to get young guys into coaching, with scholarships available.’
The mechanic behind the initiative sees the men’s shaving brand partner with coaching organisation Sports Coach UK by offering grants to existing and new coaches. The work hopes to encourage thousands of people across the country to either take coaching courses or participate in volunteering activities and Gillette will provide grants to further their coaching careers.
Applications are made through the brand’s Facebook page.
Coinciding with the campaign launch, Gillette has published a report into coaching. This includes articles on grassroots coaching, the impact of the London Olympics on grassroots sports participation and the future of sports facilities in the UK.
‘Through the Great Start campaign and the London 2012 Olympic Games, Gillette’s ambassadors are uniquely positioned to encourage people to support their own communities and give something back through coaching, and we’re delighted to have their support,’ comments Gillette brand manager Jared Regan.
Speaking about the campaign, Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and The Olympics said: ‘Only by increasing the number and range of people involved in sport will we begin to deliver the sporting habit for life that was so much a part of our London 2012 Olympic Games Sporting Legacy.’
As a part of the campaign a limited edition range of products will go on sale in the UK from Spring to Winter 2012.
Using the ‘Great Start’ tagline, related advertising activity for these products is already rolling our across the country – such as the Chris Hoy fronted Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide range.
The umbrella P&G ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign continues to roll out globally across its brand range. See previous case studies ‘Being A Mum Is The Hardest/Best Job In The World’, ‘Mother’s Day Thank You’, ‘Nearest & Dearest’ and ‘London Capital Clean Up’,
This one of P&G’s first brand campaigns to launch in the UK within the company’s 10-year IOC partnership.
Indeed, the Great Start campaign dovetails neatly with related activity from parent company P&G, which announced at the start of 2012 that it would use money generated from the sales of Pampers, Gillette and Pantene to fund a $5m (£3.3m) investment in youth sport initiatives around the world.
While it isn’t a gender-specific initiative, this work also ensure that early on in its 10-year Olympic sponsorship, which is focused on thanking / targeting ‘mum’s, the FMCG packaged goods giant is neither excluding men not being condescending towards them..