VAAV’s Top 10 all time influential Sponsorships

We often get asked for inspiring examples of truly great sponsorship and we do have lots of favourites.  Some sponsorships were so good that they had a lasting effect on our industry so we got our heads together at the office and came up with a list.  You may not agree with all of them and we may have missed a few, but we hope it will stimulate some discussion.  Any additions to the list are welcome.  Enjoy!

1. Nike/Michael Jordan (1984)
The ultimate celebrity endorsement that put a previously struggling brand to the top of the pile.

2. Coca Cola/FIFA World Cup (1978)
After Nally and Dassler put the first recognised package programme together, Coca-Cola continually delivers as a lead sponsor in the world’s biggest sport.

3. Rolex/Arnold Palmer (1960’s)
The famous handshake between IMG founder Mark McCormack and the world’s most popular golfer, Arnold Palmer, led to this groundbreaking endorsement deal in the 1960s thats still alive today.

4. VW/Pink Floyd & Rolling Stones Tours (1994/95)
Probably the first real sponsorship of popular music by a brand that led the way to global music sponsorships and putting the fans first. Who wouldn’t want to sit on stage with the Stones on the Andy Warhol “tongue” sofa?

5. TNT/United Nations World Food Programme (2000)
Widely regarded as the first social sponsorship programme in an era of growing CSR. Delivering food to third world countries and disaster zones is a major logistical operation. TNT is a logistics company. Brand in Action!

6. Wrigley/Wrigley Field (1926)
While naming rights go right back to Times Square in 1904, this must have been the first ever stadium sponsorship? Owner of Wrigley Chewing Gum, William Wrigley Jr, buys the Chicago Cubs Baseball team and promptly renames the stadium in 1926.

7. Crédit Lyonnais/Tour de France (1987)
Claimed by the French bank since 1987, the famous yellow jersey is one of the most visible and iconic emblems in world sport. For many years the bank also gave a cuddly toy Lion to each stage winner.

8. Any Red Bull “Spownership”
Red Bull have pioneered the sponsor owned approach from the their Formula 1 team to the Felix Baumgartner jump, leading to brands around the world questioning whether to create their own sponsorships rather than buy off the shelf from a rights holder.

9. Lloyds Bank/London Olympics (2012)
Voted by the European Sponsorship Association as the best sponsorship in the last 20 years, this 360° partnership saw the very best of corporate association with the famous 5 rings. Every business unit got something from the association and it helped form a team spirit in a bank that had just gone through some very hard times.

10. Emirates/Arsenal (2006)
Widely regarded as the blueprint for modern day stadium sponsorship, the partnership has firmly established Emirates and destination Middle-East as a major player in sport.

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