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The Best of the Best in Sport’s Golden Year

by Matt Peden Matt Peden


  • Posted on Monday 26th November, 2012

What a year for sport!

2012 will always be remembered as one of the greatest years in British sporting history. Mo Farah winning a double gold in the Olympic Stadium, Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Brit to win the Tour De France and arguably the greatest Ryder Cup of all time are just a few of my personal favourites. Not forgetting our very own local Olympian brother’s winning Gold and Bronze in the Triathlon. But did sponsors take advantage of this year of golden moments?

Here is Hatch Sport’s run down of the top 5 sponsor/PR stunts of the year in the sports industry:


1)    Paddy Power Pants

In Euro 2012, Paddy Power paid Denmark Striker, Nicklas Bendtner to show off his pair of PP Pants if he scored during the tournament. Amazingly, he did score and revealed all, much to the delight of Paddy Power’s PR team and to the dismay of UEFA, who subsequently fined Bendtner £80k for the prank (much less than what he was paid to do the stunt, we must add!)

Paddy Power has always been a brand to follow when it comes to quirky sponsorships and PR stunts. Their Ryder Cup messages in the sky were also fantastic, but in terms of brand presence, sheer comedy and awareness, this stunt just tipped the golf scribbles.

Also, unknown to Bendtner was the Danish FA are actually sponsored by rival firm Ladbrokes…Whoops!


2)    Vauxhall

When Vauxhall replaced Nationwide in 2010 as sponsor of the England team, many industry professionals including myself felt that the always lucrative deal was not as effective as it used to be. Domestic football has taken over and for me, the real deals were outside of International football.

However, Vauxhall have proved that the success on the pitch is not vital to the success of a sponsorship. Their activation has been a constant stream of activity, including media interviews, competitions and impressively a fully integrated social media campaign.  They really have set the benchmark for all other sponsors in 2012…


3)    Aurasma

We are lucky enough to work with the team at Spurs with Thomas Cook Sport, and their official sponsors Aurasma created an impressive activation campaign of their augmented reality shirts after launching in 2011. They used their assets impressively to engage with Spurs fans and the brand has become a household name in the sports industry (especially with their involvement of cricket). If you haven’t downloaded the app, we suggest you take a look. The future of sharing content…


4)    Betfair

I was asked around two weeks ago, what brand would I most like to work with? My response was Betfair. Over recent years, they have done the most proactive and outrageous stunts in the industry. The Tevez shirt swop is still my all time favourite PR stunt.

This year before London 2012 kicked off, they sponsored Team GB Beach Volleyball in a, er, innovative way. I’ll be frank, QR codes on their backsides! The Olympics were very difficult for both sponsors and non-sponsors to secure media coverage, due to numerous restrictions. So Betfair cut right through that, targeting an unknown sport that was bound to be a success in London. Any picture taken with a smartphone would enable the use of the QR code that would link back to the Betfair website.

A few risqué pics and blanket media coverage. Easy this PR stuff!


5)    PSV

This is the most recent campaign out of the five, but something we thought was genius. PSV’s shirt sponsor, online credit company Freo, put the club up for loan for a week.

Fans were offered to borrow everything from the club, including the team bus, the UEFA Cup, club captain Mark van Bommell via a virtual PSV stadium. The players advertised the campaign on a match day wearing “For Hire” on their shirts, encouraging fans to go online and register their details.

A great way of utilising contractual rights and although we don’t know how successful this was, it achieved coverage in the UK, which is rare for a small(ish) Dutch side.


Any others you want mentioning… please feel free to comment, Tweet us or shout at us!

Image: Mirror Online