Mars has unveiled plans to launch a GBP5m (US$7.4m) summer sport campaign and ball giveaway.

The ‘Bounce into a summer of British Sport’ campaign will run across Mars’ flagship Mars Bars, Mars Multipacks, Mars Planets, Mars Mini Rolls and Mars Ice cream.

The campaign builds on previous successful sports related Mars drives, trade relations manager Bep Sandhu told journalists at the campaign’s launch in London yesterday (6 April).

“Buildig on the foundation of the ‘Believe’ campaign in 2006 and the success of the ‘Mars Balls Get Britain Playing’ in 2008, retailers should get involved to make sure they benefit from this promotion.”

According to Bep, last year’s summer marketing activity led to a 12% jump in sales across the brand’s singles, duo and multipack categories.

As part of the push, Mars has partnered with four sporting personalities from the worlds of football, rugby, tennis and cricket. Pat Cash, Darren Gough, John Barnes and Austin Healey have signed up to be “Mars’ sports ambassadors” and will feature in marketing and promotional activity.

The campaign will consist of TV advertising, along with Mars’ continued partnership with The Sun and Talksport radio. The company will also be giving away 200,000 balls – 100,000 through an on-pack competition, 50,000 through grass roots organisations and 50,000 to trade.

A dedicated website has been created and the campaign will also feature content on Facebook and YouTube.

The campaign is scheduled to kick off on 1 May and will run for six weeks.