The incredible success of Leicester City this season will have hundreds of brands desperate to associate themselves with this now world famous institution and create a brand synergy. Companies that engage well with the community enjoy a higher market position. One way to burnish the corporate identity is to associate the brand with charities, football clubs or local organisations. It can be very useful in managing the image of the company as perceived by the target market.
A good example of this is Walkers Crisps with Gary Lineker. The broadcaster and ex England striker shares a heritage with the snack company, which adds to the mutual association between brand and celebrity.
As well as having Lineker in their adverts for over 20 years, Walkers have aligned themselves with Premier League champions Leicester City variously through shirt sponsorship, banner advertising and stadium naming. Lineker remains one of very few Leicester City players to have scored for England, and he is certainly one of the city’s most famous exports. Walkers too is famous as being from Leicester, and this is helped its association with one of Britain’s best known personalities. This three-way link between Walkers, Leicester City and Gary Lineker is a good example of brand synergy. Each of them is strongly associated with one another, and they share values and heritage in a way that produces a result larger than the sum of its parts.
Smaller firms without such huge marketing budgets can also benefit by associating themselves with their local or favourite football club. Supporting a club costs nothing, but having a corporate presence on site at the football stadium solidifies this connection.
The NX Group have had a presence in Leicester’s King Power Stadium for several years through an executive box. It provides an enhanced matchday experience for the company’s directors and invited guests, as well as cementing the association between company and club.
Leicester City have just won the Premier League, and the story of this amazing achievement is making waves across the world. What does this also say about companies from Leicester?