Non-Olympic sponsors make hay as ad blackout period ends

Virgin Media ad: starring Olympics double gold champion Usain Bolt
Virgin Media ad: starring Olympics double gold champion Usain Bolt

Aviva and other non-Olympic sponsors are running advertising in today's newspapers featuring Olympic athletes as they seek to take advantage of the end of the advertising blackout period.

Brands including UK Athletics main sponsor Aviva, Volvo and Virgin Media have taken out Olympics-related advertising to capitalise on today’s ending of the blackout period, which prevented non-sponsors from using Olympic athletes in adverts during the games.

Aviva is running a high-profile campaign in papers including the Independent, The Telegraph, The Sun and The Guardian, which stars Olympic athletes including Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah.

The tagline states "we gave them our backing. They gave it their all" and draws attention to the fact it has been the main sponsor of British Athletes for over the last 12 years.

Aviva’s campaign comes after Marketing revealed Aviva and UK Athletics are set to part ways from their £8m a-year sponsorship deal, as the sports governing body moves to a multi-brand sponsorship model.

The creative from the Aviva campaign directs readers to the brand’s Facebook page, where it is running a competition to win a day with Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis.

The Volvo campaign, running in the Daily Mail, Times and Guardian, draws attention to the car brand’s sponsorship of British sailors including Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie and silver medallists Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills.

Creative includes the different Volvos the sailors drive and states: "Team Volvo sailors, champions, legends on and off the water. Performance matters. With the drive to achieve your ultimate goal, your Volvo is designed around you."

Virgin Media is jumping on the bandwagon by making use of its partnership with legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who became the first sprinter to win the gold medal in the 100m and 200m in consecutive Olympics.

The creative by Bartle Bogle Hegarty features Bolt doing his trademark celebration and references Virgin founder Richard Branson by pronouncing: "Richard’s been busy doing the double (That’s doubling broadband speeds)".

Separately, Paralympic sponsor Sainsbury’s has launched a press campaign to support the launch of its Paralympic television campaign starring David Beckham.

The press activity stars Paralympians Jon-Allen Butterworth, Jonnie Peacock and David Weir and prominently displays the campaign’s ‘here’s to extraordinary’ strapline.

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