Sponsorship and Sports – The ING Example: Running & Formula One

Sponsoring is one of the ways to build and fortalice a brand. And sport is always a good target. But sport it not the only target. Sponsorship at ING consists of three main programmes: sports, art and culture, and community development. states the ING sponsor policy. (http://www.ing.com/group/showdoc.jsp? menopt=spr&docid=074368_EN&lang=EN)Running has been ING’s main target for sponsoring sports events; because it is a sport of universal appeal, practiced by and accessible to millions of people across the globe … One of the largest events in our programme is the ING New York City Marathon.Running is one of the healthiest sports there is, healthy in many senses: it is a sport that can be practiced indoors, in nature, on the street (New York) and nearly everybody can join and it doesn’t require any fuel.Only recently, ING added a new sport to its sponsorship portfolio and that is Formula One, by sponsoring the Renault F1. Renault has been looking for a new sponsor as the tobacco sponsors (Mild Seven) are banned from the (F1 and therefore television) stage. There is also uncertainty about Telefonica; the Spanish Telecom company that could leave Renault F1 sponsorship after Fernando Alonso (from Spain) switches from Renault to the McLaren team).
ING is a company that is both a (investment) bank and an insurer.According to ING, …ING has selected Formula 1 as a strong platform from which to build global brand awareness … The opportunities this agreement provides include virtually year-round global exposure. Grand Prix races take place in 17 countries, of which ING is active in 15. Formula One attracts 850 million television viewers per year. In difference with running, Formula One (sponsorship) is a lot more risky. Not only for what happened to Ayrton Senna. But Formula One is a more controversial sport than Running, maybe not as controversial as Bull fighting, but there are people who are against it.As ING is a Bank as well as an Insurer, I would say that running would fit better with the insurer’s image, the Formula One more with the (investment) bank image.© 2006 Hans Bool

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