An Exclusive Interview with F1 Marketing Boss on Sponsorship Activation

CMO

We interviewed Mark Gallagher, F1 Marketing boss, credited for building Jordan into one of Formula One’s most successful teams, on the art & science behind great activation. Below are some of the highlights

“WHAT IS THE ART & SCIENCE BEHIND GREAT SPONSORSHIP ACTIVATION?”

Understanding your customers such that you can create campaigns which will inform, inspire and invite them to engage with your brand. 

It is important to distill the key ingredients from the activity and develop an authentic match between the sponsored programme and the attributes or values you most want to associate with the brand.   It is extremely important that the values and attributes you want to promote are clearly identified at the start of developing an activation plan, because all too often activation can start to follow generic templates for sponsored activities and develop into a series of ‘events’, ‘happenings’ or ‘stunts’ which do not fit within the overall brand and sponsorship strategy.

“WHICH OF YOUR ACTIVATION CAMPAIGNS HAVE BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AND WHY?”

As the rights holder at Jordan Grand Prix in Formula One we worked closely with MasterCard International to activate their sponsorship by enabling banks in key markets to utilise the sponsorship by accessing a turn-key activation ‘tool kit’. 

I worked directly with the sponsor to provide the assets which could be best used on a tactical basis.  The objective was to create events for both corporate guests and cardholders world-wide which would create memorable experiences as part of MasterCard’s ‘Priceless’ global advertising campaign. 

Working with their global advertising agency and sponsorship agency we married the Formula One sponsorship very successfully with their international brand strategy, adding real value to their campaigns and providing them with a measurable uplift in business in key markets.

“WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR THOSE TASKED WITH CREATING INNOVATIVE AND CONTENT RICH ACTIVATION PROGRAMMES?”

Never follow the leader. 

Across the sponsorship landscape consumers and customers are being bombarded by brands, events and a degree of ‘clutter’ which can ultimately be confusing.  It is therefore important to be very clear about what you will and will not do. 

To have clear messages which are going to be communicated in a direct, authentic and credible manner.  To generate content which is going to have the right impact, by which I mean memorable, inspiring and even life enhancing.  This is the great thing about sponsorship – it gives brands and rights holders the opportunity to work together in a way which creates storylines which cut to the very core of what people are passionate about in their lives. 


“WHAT WILL PARTICANTS GAIN FROM ATTENDING YOUR MASTERCLASS?”

I will be describing how important it is to be clear about the brand values and attributes which are key to the sponsor, and marrying them to an activity which offers the best opportunity to create compelling content, storylines and experiences which will add real, measurable value.  

The rights holder will have a range of assets available, and I will be giving examples of how these assets can best be exploited.  I will discuss how a sponsor and rights holder can work together in creatively, combining assets in new ways, and even cross fertilising with other programmes.  

Both at Jordan and Red Bull Racing we sought to make the most of what was available, delivering really innovative programmes to engage with and excite consumers directly.  The key to both was that we suspended traditional thinking and explored the art of what is possible; the great thing about sponsorship activation is that the sky is the limit. 

It is not about the dollars being spent, it is about your willingness and desire to invent, create and execute.

Want to get exclusive insights from Mark himself? Mark will be running his ‘Art & science behind great activation’ masterclasses on the following dates:

Sydney –12 September 2017

Melbourne – 13 September 2017

Each Masterclass is limited to 40 participants.

Book your place today and benefit from early booking offers and team discounts.

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