Cornhill Insurance Tests
Old now, I know, but this is STILL a classic case study in how sponsorship can act as the platform from which a company can change its image, increase awareness and drive business.
Again, it was pioneering – Test matches had never been sponsored before. Many people were appalled at the prospect that they would carry a commercial prefix and so it was a brave move by Cornhill. They got away with it because they were positioned as the ‘saviours of English Test cricket’ in the face of a potential takeover of the players by Kerry Packer. Cornhill was, in reality, a small, relatively unknown insurance company. This sponsorship transformed it into one of the best-known insurance companies rivalling its much-bigger competitors. With increased name awareness came increased trust and from that trust came increased business.
The sponsorship lasted 23 years. During that time Cornhill changed the thrust of the messaging – from the name Cornhill, to Cornhill Insurance, to individual products and messaging. Cornhill’s was the first pitch logo ever seen, and the first stump logo.
Every three years Cornhill underwent a rigorous review as to whether its money could be better spent through advertising or other forms of marketing. Each time the sponsorship came out as outstandingly the best ROI. And their Independent Financial Advisors, through whom most of the company’s business was written, were fiercely in favour of its continuation.
A classic sponsorship, long-remembered and talked about.
Why? It was visionary and brave. Remember, The Dome was a white elephant. What brand in their right mind would take it on? Only one that was ahead of its competition in realising that customers come first and this project could be revolutionary in creating real brand loyalty.
A truly successful sponsorship in that we now refer to ‘The O2’ and we all know what it is, where it is and we recognise what it gives its customers.
The Flora London Marathon
Flora’s sponsorship of the London Marathon came to an end in 2009 after 14 years of breath-taking, record-breaking, headline-making marathon moments. 413,627 people ran the marathon over that time and £422million was raised for charity.
Unlike previous sponsors of The London Marathon, Flora seemed from the outset to understand the real emotive issues inherent in the race – the very personal nature of why so many people want to participate; want to raise money for their causes; want to achieve their own milestones. Flora positioned its involvement perfectly, focussing each year on different personal stories as well as different products aimed at improving health. The link with the British Heart Foundation was both relevant and clever, as was the POS work the brand undertook. Flora epitomised the phrase ‘bringing a sponsorship to life’ – a difficult accomplishment.
How many London Marathon sponsors can you name? Apart from Flora, that is.
By Karen Earl on May 3rd, 2012