BA Stars In Next Phase Of 2012 Great Britons Initiative


British Airways, official airline of the London Olympics and Paralympics, has launched a new phase of its Great Britons sponsorship initiative with a new media campaign. The new work sees the airline feature its 2012 ambassadors in paid for media for the first time.


The launch coincides with the next phase of the Great Britons programme launched back in 2009 – a bursary-based scheme which offers to nurture and support talent (not restricted to Olympic sports) by offering free BA flights.


This new aspect of the ongoing scheme sees the airline offer a series of career revolutionising collaboration opportunities with brand ambassadors Heston Blumenthal (cooking), Richard E Grant (acting) and Tracey Emin (art). Each will offer up to five mentoring sessions to each of the winners. The three spaces will link up on a creative project with the airline in the run up to the London 2012 Games.


This three-month UK print (from May) and online (from August) campaign is running under the tagline ‘We can help your talent fly’. It actively invites aspiring chefs, scriptwriters and artists to apply at www.ba.com/greatbritons.


The next phase of this campaign will feature BA backed athletes such as Paralympian Shelly Woods, sailor Ben Ainslie and gymnast Louis Smith. It will include executions using the copy line “They will fly”.


British Airways’ head of brands, Abigail Comber, says: “With just over a year to go until the London 2012 Games it’s a great time to start communicating some of the great opportunities we’re offering, as well as show our commitment to British sporting talent. We are very passionate about helping British talent take off and this campaign allows us to celebrate both the sporting and cultural side of the London 2012 Games.”


The creative development was lead by BBH, digital activation was managed by BEING and media space secured by Zenith Optimedia. The sponsorship strategy is led by IMG Consulting.




BA was one of the first brands to activate around its Olympic rights. Its Great Britons campaign has been running in a rather under the radar manner across digital media since its high profile launch back in 2009. The brand has given away free flights to numerous winners to help them develop their talents across sports, arts and culture and in doing so has built up high levels of brand equity amongst the participants.


Now, with a year to go, BA is moving in to a new stage with higher profile traditional activity supporting the next phase of its work which builds nicely on previous activity. It seems sensible to move up a gear with high profile celebs who has media pulling power.


Exactly how they match effectively with BA and its brand values and services remains to be seen. Will we see a new plane livery from Emin’s protégés, a new onboard menu from Blumenthal’s trainee chefs and perhaps even a new safety video from Grant’s charges?







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