Brands getting desparate?
August 20, 2010 3:08 AM   Subscribe

In London, Barclays Bank has sponsored the public cycle hire scheme. Any other recent examples of a big brand sponsoring something seemingly unrelated?

If you think about it, you can make a case for Barclays Bank in this case thus being aligned with ease/efficiency/openness whatever, but it's not an obvious connection - like, say, Adidas sponsoring football.
Any other examples (from anywhere around the world)?
posted by Marzipan to Society & Culture (17 answers total)
rizla sponsers team suzuki
posted by gadha at 3:23 AM on August 20, 2010

Any case of corporate sponsorship when the sponsor isn't involved in the field? e.g. every shirt sponsor in the Premier League? Almost every Formula 1 sponsor (especially during the days of tobacco advertising)?
posted by djgh at 3:26 AM on August 20, 2010

This is really broad and I can think of hundreds of examples, unless I am misunderstanding your question. For example, there was the well-known AIG sponsorships. In fact, lots of companies unrelated to sports regularly sponsor teams, stadiums, events etc.
posted by vacapinta at 3:29 AM on August 20, 2010

Quick-Step flooring has a bicycle racing team.
posted by rhizome at 3:30 AM on August 20, 2010

Um, this applies to virtually every single piece of corporate sponsorship, certainly in sports and the arts.
posted by ninebelow at 3:39 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd say that this lateral kind of sponsorship is more common than the kind with an "obvious connection."

At the Tate Modern, the major installations in the Turbine Hall are sponsored by Unilever. And I see their Gaugin exhibition is sponsored by Merrill Lynch. The Orange Prize for Fiction is sponsored by Orange, the mobile phone & broadband company. The Man Booker prize is sponsored by Man, the investment management business, although of course before that, it was sponsored by Booker, the cash-and-carry people.

There are only a few industries with a direct connection to a mass-attention field. If you're a window manufacturing company, what are you going to sponsor - a window installtion competition? No, you're going to try and sponsor a football team, or arts prize, or charitable construction, or something people are going to be looking at.
posted by jetsam at 3:43 AM on August 20, 2010

Basically Everything and The Olympics.
posted by public at 3:49 AM on August 20, 2010

Barclays also sponsors the English Premiership.
posted by essexjan at 3:51 AM on August 20, 2010

Quick-Step flooring has a bicycle racing team.

Everything that's not a bike, wheel, tire or component manufacturer and bike racing. Saxo Bank? US Postal Service? Discovery Channel? Sun Guard Data Systems? BMC Software? Agritubel (makes dairy processing machinery)? Radio Shack? Rabobank? Liquigas?
posted by fixedgear at 4:29 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Emirates Stadium.
posted by mdonley at 4:50 AM on August 20, 2010

Almost every major stadium, field, and arena in the US.
posted by amro at 4:53 AM on August 20, 2010

I'm not sure what you're referring to, but this sounds like it falls under the general rubric of marketing.

There doesn't necessarily have to be a connection between the thing being marketed and the event/organization at which/for which the thing is marketed.

To be more specific: Citibank sponsors the stadium at which the Mets play baseball in NYC; it doesn't follow that banking has anything in particular to do with baseball.
posted by dfriedman at 5:22 AM on August 20, 2010

There are likely reasons that the client has bought off on, based on exactly what you're thinking - "ease" or something similar. Sometimes the connection is something that is something as nebulous as "brand values" that the product and thing they're sponsoring have in common.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 5:35 AM on August 20, 2010

Costa Coffee prize (formerly the Whitbread Prize). McCain Stadium in Hull. Santander sponsoring an F1 team. Walkers and Cadbury sponsorships. There are tons of the things, so I'm not sure why you are asking - are you wondering whether the sponsored team banks with the sponsored bank and so forth?
posted by mippy at 6:31 AM on August 20, 2010

BMW and Oracle sponsoring an America's Cup sailing team.
posted by anti social order at 7:03 AM on August 20, 2010

Many companies sponsor entirely unrelated television shows with their advertising. In this case, Barclays is paying for thousands of bikes that are marked with their logo to ride around the city and raise awareness of their brand to locals and tourists. Seems like pretty normal marketing to me.
posted by parudox at 7:33 AM on August 20, 2010

Nthing the "everything" theory.

Godaddy sponsors NASCAR and the World Series of Poker for crying out loud.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:37 AM on August 20, 2010

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