Team B&T is taking on the 2013 Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge. From tonight, we’ll be bringing you a live blog from the event, covering the highs and lows of the five-day adventure race, and looking at the inside story on the significant branding and sponsorship around the event.
Getting your name against something as newsworthy and tough as the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge is big business for any brand.
Swisse has been naming rights partner on the event since 2011, closely tying itself to the tough challenge the grueling race poses and proving its products against the race’s powerful background.
Dean Norbiato, partnerships manager at Swisse, says: “From an awareness point of view, linking ourselves to an event like this is perfect. The idea of an adventure race and people pushing themselves to their limits being linked to our products being the best that can help you achieve that is fantastic – it’s a great natural fit for Swisse.”
Mark Webber is one of Swisse’s 19 ambassadors, alongside the likes of Nicole Kidman, Timomatic, Lleyton Hewitt, James O’Connor and Geoff Huegill.
“Sponsoring the Tasmania challenge has been great in terms of reinforcing our alignment with Mark Webber,” says Norbiato. “It’s all about championing a healthy and happy ambassador.
“We have been quoted as having quite an old school approach to marketing, by championing an ambassador and advertising that through the line. It works really well for us. And this event is unique, as we can leverage our ambassador – it wouldn’t be in line with our strategy to sponsor an Ironman event, for example.”
ABOVE: Jarad Kohlar, Mark Webber and James Pretto at last year's Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge
As well as the naming rights, Swisse can take advantage of the same opportunities as other event sponsors, which include logo and content integration into the 90-minute documentary that is made, the chance to run activations and samples at the event for competitors and spectators, creating an ad campaign associated with the challenge, on-course signage, logo placement on all promotional materials and the event website, and the chance to enter a team.
Norbiato says the sponsorship has also been good for employee engagement at Swisse. “It’s been a fantastic experience and one of the main drivers of that has been the staff engagement – people really strive to get on the Swisse team.”
This year, Swisse is entering an Enthusiast Team comprising employees Leigh Small, Amanda Boddie and William McWherter.
The brand is also entering an elite team, Team Swisse Active, of Jarad Kohlar and James Pretto. The pair won the challenge in 2012, so are back to defend their title.
Team B&T, consisting of B&T features editor Lucy Clark and her racing partner Dom Collie, will be joining a host of other teams to take on the challenge, which gets underway today. The race runs over five days, over 350 kilometres, across the western Tasmania wilderness. It will feature kayaking, mountain biking, trekking and running – all self-navigated.
Tune in each day to find out how they fare – and for interviews with other racers and event sponsors.