Blog: Dean BestSainsbury's athletics sponsorship continues

Dean Best | 15 April 2013

Sainsbury's move to sponsor the 2012 Paralympic Games looked to be one of the more astute recent pieces of marketing - and the UK retailer is set to continue its association with athletics.

The company today (15 April) announced it would sponsor the Sainsbury's Summer Series - three events in June and July that include a meet at the Olympic Park to mark the anniversary of last year's Games.

"As the first ever sole-sponsor of the Paralympics, Sainsbury's saw first-hand the power of sport to bring people and communities together," chief executive Justin King said. "We said at the time that we saw our involvement as much more than a one-off sponsorship – we wanted to be part of the movement, and to play our part in ensuring a lasting legacy building on the momentum created last summer."

King listed Sainsbury's initiatives - including its Active Kids programme, which for the last nine years has looked to "engage local communities in the positive benefits of physical activity". Last year, the retailer launched an Active Kids for All scheme for disable children.

The list underlines Sainsbury's commitment to promoting sport and exercise. However, its sponsorship of the 2012 Paralympics - which saw it become the first-ever sponsor to focus squarely on the event - also, according to industry watchers, benefited the business.

After Sainsbury's announced its half-year results back in November, numbers that included the period of the Paralympics, Neil Saunders, MD at retail analysts Conlumino, said the sponsorship appeared to have provided a "nice boost" to sales. He added: "Sainsbury's deserves credit for having the foresight to sponsor the Paralympics and to turn it into a successful commercial opportunity from both a financial and brand-enhancing standpoint."

Only those at Sainsbury's HQ will know the exact effect the sponsorship had on sales - but, as well as underlining the retailer's support for athletics, the deal announced today suggests King and his team realise the business benefit such agreements bring to the grocer.


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