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Best Partnership of the Year by SportBusiness Award – FC Barcelona and Beko

For the past 11 years the annual Globe Soccer Awards have recognised exceptional talent in world football with many of the game’s biggest stars travelling to Dubai to receive their honours.

Now SportBusiness has joined forces with Globe Soccer to create a business-focused Award for the first time.

The award for Best Partnership of the Year by SportBusiness is designed to reflect the role of both parties in creating successful sponsorships, with the award presented to both the winning clubs and brands. It recognises deal-making, innovation, creativity and best practice in partnerships against key criteria. These are: Length of partnership and its enduring appeal; examples of creativity in activation to engage with key audiences; results against stated objectives.

Over the next few weeks we will take a detailed look at each nomination. Today we focus on FC Barcelona’s partnership with Beko.

Duration

Global home appliance brand Beko has been a sponsor of FC Barcelona since 2014, first as a Global Premium Partner with branding right on the sleeve of the team’s shirt for all domestic fixtures, as well as on the back of the training kit. In 2018, it upgraded to become a Main Global Partner and Exclusive Training Partner in a deal from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

Activation

Beko positions itself as a challenger brand, offering affordable solutions to young families across a wide spread of global markets.

The primary objective of the Barcelona sponsorship is raising worldwide awareness of Beko. The challenge for the brand was to leverage the global marketing opportunity to differentiate Beko from traditionally uninspiring white goods sports marketing activations.

The heart of the Beko campaigns involved the participation of Barcelona stars.

In the 2015-16 season, Beko launched the ‘Official Partner of Play’ campaign in which animated representations of Barcelona players, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar Jr., Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué, appeared in advertising, in-store, at point-of-sale, in-stadia, in real-time social media activity, on digital channels and in the media.

The brand rationale was that Beko supported people’s busy lives by providing faster, more efficient home appliances in order to release more time to ‘play’.

In 2018, together with Barcelona, the FCB Foundation and Unicef, Beko committed to helping tackle childhood obesity by inspiring kids to eat just like their heroes – the Barcelona players – in a campaign called ‘Eat Like A Pro’. An additional goal was to work with consumers to generate €1m for Unicef’s child food programmes.

The campaign was launched in May 2018 with a film featuring club players Messi, Piqué, Suárez, Marc-André ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitić and Samuel, who joined a family in a kitchen. The players inspire a young boy to eat the same healthy meal as them.

The video included a straightforward call-to-action: post your support for the campaign on social media and for every use of the campaign’s #EatLikeAPro hashtag (across Twitter and Instagram) the brand would donate €1 to Unicef’s food education programmes. By October 2018, the Beko initiative had helped improve the lives of more than 600,000 children through Unicef donations.

Another strand of the launch phase took place during the El Clásico against Real Madrid on May 6, 2018 when the Beko logo on the Barcelona sleeve was replaced with #EatLikeAPro to further raise awareness of the initiative.

Results

Over the period of the Eat Like A Pro campaign, Beko reached 167 countries and 406 cities and had an approximate reach of 741 million, delivering a ‘huge’ lift in brand awareness, engagement and return on investment.

Other metrics were as follows:

  • Beko brand awareness rose 25-per-cent year-on-year (IPSOS Global)
  • Beko x FC Barcelona sponsorship awareness rose 25-per-cent year-on-year (IPSOS Global)
  • Beko brand power rose 18-per-cent year-on-year (IPSOS Global)
  • Beko ‘Brand for Me’ Image rose 40-per-cent year-on-year (IPSOS Global)
  • Sales uplift of 10 per cent in Europe year-on-year (GFK Arcelik Performance Report January 2017 – April 2017 versus January 2018)

The full list of nominees is:

A panel of specialist SportBusiness writers and analysts as well as independent industry experts drew up the list of nominees using source information, including data drawn from SportBusiness Soccer, the recently-launched sponsorship strategy tool built around the most comprehensive database of soccer-based sponsorship deals, durations and values ever assembled.

The final three contenders to be selected from the shortlist and announced in early December. ahead of the glittering Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai on December 29.

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