In April, German discount supermarket chain Aldi signed a four-year agreement with the British Olympic Association (BOA) for the Official Supermarket rights to the British Olympic team, covering the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang – the biggest sponsorship deal in the brand’s history.
- Key sports: Olympic sports
- Key markets: UK
- What’s important: Brand perception; communicate brand relevance to the consumer; demonstrate support for customers, 25,000 staff, UK suppliers and Team GB
- Decision-making: Adam Zavalis, Aldi UK marketing director, reporting to senior management.
Adam Zavalis, Aldi UK marketing director, said the partnership with Team GB was timed to coincide with the brand’s 25th year in the UK.
“We are always looking for exciting opportunities to engage our customers and UK shoppers more generally, and our partnership with Team GB is a brilliant platform to further enhance our current brand perception,” Zavalis told Sports Sponsorship Insider.
The brand’s central sponsorship objective is to communicate Aldi’s relevance to British customers in its anniversary year, he said. Aldi believes that UK consumers’ perception of the brand is already strong and positive.
Zavalis said: “A fundamental part of our success has been based on a strong understanding of UK shoppers. Our UK-based buying team’s core brief is to source products that meet the needs and desires of UK consumers and the buying team always prioritise working with British suppliers whenever possible.”
Aldi claims there is strong brand fit between the brand and rights-holder.
Zavalis said: “At Aldi we're always looking for the marginal gains which will allow us to pass on great savings to our customers by searching for the most efficient processes in everything we do. We strive to achieve this without ever compromising on quality via our multi-award winning range of products. We believe this is a strong fit with Team GB's values."
The brand has no plans to sponsor any other sports properties at this time.
Aldi’s activation assets are based on three programmes around elite athletes, schools and live event coverage:
- Aldi will help Olympic athletes by providing a food allowance for athletes on the road to Rio, a campaign which will be promoted in the media.
- Aldi will support the BOA’s Get Set programmes, which takes place in 25,000 UK schools. Aldi will provide students with education and advice around nutrition and what to east
- Inspired by the success of live sites during London 2012, Aldi will have a branding and activation presence around seven to nine Team GB live sites across the UK, which will show live coverage and Olympic-related content during Games-time.
Aldi has been the fastest-growing retailer in the UK since July 2011 according to the brand research agency Kantar.
The supermarket a reached a record 5.3-per-cent market share in March. Aldi overtook rival supermarket brand Waitrose to become the UK's sixth largest grocery retailer for the first time in April.
Aldi was also the most talked-about brand in 2014 according to YouGov’s Buzz Index, and was the subject of the most recalled commercials according to Adwatch, which charts the UK’s best-recalled TV commercials on a weekly basis.
Aldi’s most recent television, print and social media campaigns were created by advertising agency McCann Manchester, public relations agencies Weber Shandwick and Clarion Communications.