Daniel Ozel of Unique Jewelry, UK distributor of Spanish watch brand Festina, has branded its sponsorship of the Tour of Britain cycling race as a success.
Festina was one of the official sponsors of the Tour of Britain, which ended yesterday in Guildford, Surrey, and as a result of which had its branding in strong positions at all eight legs of the race as well as on TV throughout ITV’s coverage of the event.
Festina watches were also gifted to winning cyclists. Cycling superstar Mark Cavendish won the final race of the tour yesterday in Guildford but it was Plymouth’s Jon Tiernan-Locke who won the overall trophy, making him the first Brit to win the race since its inception in 2004.
As part of its sponsorship deal Festina had a tent set up at each leg of the race where it could promote its watches. Ozel said that the presence really helped cycling fans to connect with the brand.
He said: “Many of them had heard of Festina [because Festina is a long-term sponsor of the Tour De France] but did not know that it was a watch brand. From our point of view the Tour of Britain was a great success, with live coverage on TV and in general big media coverage. But also the huge spectator numbers. Further, we had a promotion stand and team at all eight stages, which helped a lot to raise the brand awareness with the public. And the comments and feedback of the public were great and people were very positively surprised by quality and great value for money of the watches."
Ozel also said that the brand used the events as a networking tool to build its contacts book in the world of cycling. Ozel said: "An other interesting aspect was also the networking opportunity with cyclist and other people involved in this industry. We were approached by a number of cyclist themselves and teams to discuss marketing possibilities and there might be further potential for us."
The company’s sponsorship also allowed it to entertain guests, with the final Guildford stage of the race being attended by retailers Joshua James and Rococo.
A clever marketing trick employed by the brand was to create 8,000 blow-up balloon-style Festina-branded tubes. Ozel said that the team gave out thousands of the tubes which could be seen being waved by the crowds all along the race course.
Ozel said: We distributed around 8000 of these Festina balloon sticks over all 8 stages. But in yesterdays stage in Guildford it was the most with around 1500 of them. Everyone young and old wanted to have them and they have been very popular. A lot of people came to our promotion stand and asked for them. They were really great from a marketing perspective, because it’s a nice give away which people take with them home and which reminds them about the race and of course Festina. But the sticks were also very visible in TV and media coverage and created also a nice and loud atmosphere at the finish line.