The Virgin London Marathon


marathon sponsors - a tube poster


This poster caught my eye as I was in London last week. I’m blogging about it, so in terms of a name check for Virgin, I guess it’s job done.  But in terms of a sponsorship that adds value to the brand, I’m not convinced.

I could see the value to Flora. Flora = healthy option works as an association.

Virgin Active (health clubs)  would have worked. Even just Virgin as an all round ‘good egg’ brand. But Virgin Money? Unless the point is’ healthier savings’? In which case, the poster did nothing to articulate that.

I’m not making the right association and wonder what message I’m missing, what values they display. It may be obvious to them, but if it’s lost on me, it will be lost on others. It’s a great opportunity for them, but not as well executed as it could be.

That said, kudos to them for sponsoring – it’s a fantastic event that would disappear without the funding. And it’s not often we have a warm, cuddly feeling about our banking institutions just now. So maybe that’s the point?


1 Comment

  • By Dogsbody, April 11, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    From a non PR viewpoint I don’t think it’s any more than brand awareness. Banking is not the first things people think of when they think for the Virgin brand.

    While I have no experience of Virgin Money I do deal a lot with Virgin Money Giving which I admit I am a fan of.

    I assume they are treating the London Marathon in the same way as Virgin Money Giving. Treat it as a non-profit, yes it won’t make money but it won’t cost us any money either and will get our brand in front of a lot more eyes than if we paid for that sort of advertising.

    Now who wants to sponsor a marathon on skates!? 😉

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