Carrefour’s Tour de France activation shows how brands should maximise their sponsorship

When sponsoring a major sporting event, brands certainly have to ask why they’re doing it.

There are few things more tragic than forking out a load of money to get your name on part of a sporting event only to let that be the end of it – fans no longer remember these things, and any glance at a study where the public are asked to name the official sponsors for events like the World Cup or the Olympic Games will prove it.

In order to stand out, effort is needed: brands are paying the money, sure, but that doesn’t mean all the effort should be on the other side.

There are always some great activations, of course, and anyone who keeps an eye on how brands leverage their sponsorships will have their own personal favourites. The best ones are always those that the a normal fan remembers, though.

This year’s Tour de France has thrown up an interesting activation example.

French supermarket Carrefour has sponsored the polkadot jersey worn by the tour’s King of the Mountains classification leader. The man who goes over the top of each mountain first gets points in the category and the leader each day wears the ‘maillot à pois’ – the polkadot jersey.

But instead of just having their logo on the jersey each day, Carrefour have pushed all their efforts into activating their sponsorship. Instead of promoting deals or whatever a supermarket’s Twitter account normally does, Carrefour France have turned their handle into a full-on Tour de France account, covering specifically the mountains classification of this year’s tour.

Multiple tweets a day, each with the hashtag #MaillotaPoisCarrefour, are posted from the account with normal tweets nowhere to be seen. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was an official Tour de France account, when in reality for the rest of the year, this is just a supermarket using Twitter to sell fruit and veg using bad photoshops and worse puns.

It’s an interesting activation, though. With their logo all over the side of the road on the climbs – the most exciting part of the race for many – and plastered on the King of the Mountains jersey, you probably won’t miss Carrefour as a sponsor, but if you’re on Twitter and following the Tour, their coverage of the classification they sponsor themselves really adds to the race – and it’s an example of a brand putting in the effort to reap maximum reward.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 716 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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