C4 Superhumans Retrun For Sainsbury’s Summer Series

After all those Cannes Lions Grand Prix, D&AD Black Pencils, British Arrows and Clios, Channel 4’s ad arm 4 Creative has revived its ‘Superhumans’ work from London 2012 with a new film celebrating the Anniversary Games ‘Return Of The Superhumans’


The C4 campaign sees the broadcaster partner with supermarket Sainsbury’s which sponsors both Parasport on 4 and July’s Anniversary Games.



Sainsbury’s has extended its long term alliance with the UK Paralaympic movement and it has also signed a sponsorship deal to support British Athletics most significant three 2013 events: the Grand Prix (in June at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium), the Anniversary Games (in July at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium) and the British Championships (in Jul also in Birmingham).


The Anniversary Games is likely to be easily the highest profile of the three events and will see global stars such as Usain Bolt return to London’s Olympic Stadium. As some of the world’s best athletes return as Olympic and Paralympic champions compete in the two-day IAAF Diamond League and a one-day IPC International Challenge.


British Athletics has also announced that The National Lottery will be the Event Partner for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.


The National Lottery’s support of the UK Sport World Class Performance Programme for more than 15 years has been an integral part of the success of British athletics, giving athletes access to the best coaches, facilities and support services in the world as they prepare for major championships.


Unilever has also signed up as advertising partner of the Sainsbury’s Summer Series and is rolling out athletics-related campaigns for three of its core family brands – Flora, Magnun and Persil.


The FMCG giant’s activation at the three events is tailored to each brand, with campaigns designed to drive sampling around the events. Flora work invites visitors to watch live cooking displays using its Flora Cuisine cooking liquid to make athletics themed recipes. Magnum has created a lounge-area for visitors to relax and it is also running in-stadium promotions. Persil is hosting sports events for kids take participate in alongside product sampling zones for parents.


Unilever says the Sainsbury’s Summer Series is a ‘great fit’ for promoting its ‘three family brands’ across the UK this summer.


‘Athletics has never been so popular in the UK and with many of the Sainsbury’s Summer Series events sold-out already, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our Persil, Magnum and Flora brands to engage with our consumers,’ explains Jon Goldstone, vice president of brand building for foods and refreshments at Unilever UK & Ireland.


The Summer Series title sponsorship deal sees Sainsbury’s take over from previous British Athletics primarily supporter Aviva and these three events have been bundled together by British Athletics and are titled: the Sainsbury’s Summer Series.


As part of the deal, the retailer has committed to supporting British Athletics Athletics’ Paralympic programme through to the 2016 Games in Rio and the IPC World Championships in 2017.


‘As the first ever sole-sponsor of the Paralympics, Sainsbury’s saw firsthand the power of sport to bring people and communities together,’ said Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King. ‘We said at the time that we saw our involvement as much more than a one-off sponsorship – we wanted to be part of the movement, and to play our part in ensuring a lasting legacy building on the momentum created last summer.’


‘Now with this partnership and our sponsorship of the Summer Series we’re proud to be part of Britain’s renewed love of athletes and sport for all, supporting our current crop of world class athletes as well as inspiring the sporting stars of tomorrow,’ King adds.


Since the Paralympics, Sainsbury’s has also unveiled a £1m legacy scheme to help disabled children lead healthier lives and provide coaching and facilities back-up. This sum is on top of the investment Sainsbury’s already claims that its legacy programme has already provided £2m in funding for schools, clubs and organisations.


Sainsbury’s also extended its Active Kids for All programme to support disabled children and ensure that they are included in mainstream school sports classes, and it has also backed the Sainsbury’s School Games aimed at helping children compete at school, county and national level.


Sainsbury’s is rolling out its own campaign promoting its title sponsorship of the track meets. In addition to press, outdoor and digital banners and skyscrapers, the retailer is also running online film starring Paralympic GB superstars Jonnie Peacock and David Weir to promote its sponsorship of the Sainsbury’s Summer Series.



Also in July, Sainsbury’s launched its Race To Rio kids initiative – a search for kids across the UK to complete a mile (each 1 mile is positioned as 1 of the 5,750 miles between London and Rio) in support of our Paralympians on the road to Rio 2016.


Again, Peacock and Weir appear in the teaser film for Race to Rio event.


The initiative aims to motivate children across the country to pledge their mile through the campaign’s website – http://www.sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk/occasions/racetorio/ – and for every mile completed the supermarket will donate £10 to the British Paralympic Association (up to its goal of £57,500).


The twin-objective idea is that this initiative will also serve to get kids active and support the development of the next generation of Paralympians.


As part of the scheme, kids from across the UK will get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to race in the Olympic Stadium, London.


Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive officer, says: ‘As the first ever sole-sponsor of the Paralympic Games, we saw for ourselves the power of sport to bring people and communities together, which is why I am proud to launch Race to Rio, part of our continued support of Paralympic sport. It is vital that the pride we all felt last summer translates itself into a lasting legacy, which is why we launched Active Kids for All last year and announced earlier this year our sponsorship of the Sainsbury’s Summer Series.’


Quadruple Paralympic Gold medallist David Weir, CBE, says: ‘Getting kids involved in sport and activity at a young age is really important, which is why Sainsbury’s Race to Rio is such a good idea. Doing something achievable like completing a mile could inspire the next young British athlete or just get kids to be active in a different way. Seeing the support of the British public for Paralympic sport last summer was unbelievable and I hope that schemes like Race to Rio will continue to help stoke the fire of support for ParalympicsGB all the way to Rio 2016.’




While the new Superhumans spot doesn’t quite have the impact of its predecessor, it does effectively remind viewers of the empowering images that helped set the tone for the 2012 Paralympics and provide a powerful expression of Sainsbury’s ongoing commitment to Paralympic GB and British Athletics.


According to the retail giant, it decided to expand its relations with disability sport and with athletics, due to the boost to its brand popularity with staff, partners and customers through the Paralympic Games.


The chief executive of Sainsbury’s Justin King pointed out that after the company became the sponsor of Paralympics for the first time, it was surprised greatly by the fact that sport can bring together absolutely different people.


The Sainsbury’s deal is the first alliance signed by British Athletics since it’s Aviva partnership came to an end. But while the supermarket’s partnership with the Paralympians continues to 2017, its title sponsorship of the able-bodied British Athletics organisation ends after the Anniversary Games, leaving the organising body to look for other long-term partners to fund its elite programme.


The organisation is reported to be aiming to move away from having a single major backer and adopt a strategy of building a portfolio of partners in a bid to strike more deals and maximise revenues.


The National Lottery alliance, which dovetails with the lottery’s Anniversary Run programme which finishes in the Olympic Park,



will serve to further highlight the vital role that organisation plays in the ongoing funding of British athletes, while it’s partnership with Unilever, see it bring on board a company who’s main rival, P&G, has a long term association with the IOC Olympic Games and activated through London 2012 Games via its ‘Proud Sponsor of Mums’ platform (see previous case study).


The tie-up also sees a return to sports sponsorship for Flora after it ended its 14-year deal with the London Marathon in 2007. Flora has suffered something of a slump in recent months and Unilever is seeking ways to reverse this trend and promote its health credentials.




C4 Anniversary YouTube



Sainsbury’s Summer Series



Unilever Summer Series



National Lottery Anniversary Run & Summer Series



Sainsbury Race To Rio Website



British Athletics



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