When rebrands go wrong

(And how to avoid the pitfalls)

Brands exploit Europe's Ryder Cup win

Luxury watchmaker Rolex and bookmaker Paddy Power are the first brands to exploit the surge in excitement around Team Europe’s dramatic comeback to win the Ryder Cup by launching tactical campaigns to support and congratulate the players.

TeamEurope

Rolex and Paddy Power are the first brands to exploit the excitement around Team Europe’s dramatic comeback to win the Ryder Cup.

The initiatives follow a dramatic fightback from the European squad that included World No.1 Rory McIlroy to win the Ryder Cup in Medinah last night (30 September) after trailing to the American players for much of the event.

Team Europe sponsor Rolex launched a print campaign today (1 October) congratulating the golfers with the strapline ‘Team Spirt at its Finest’. It also points to the return of the tournament to Europe in 2014.

Last year, the PGA ended its 17-year sponsorship with the watchmaker in favour of a deal with rivals Omega, meaning that the Ryder Cups in America and Europe have different watch manufacturers as official timekeepers.

Elsewhere, non-sponsor Paddy Power ambushed the event by using stunt pilots to write tweets sent by members of the public in the sky above the Chicago golf course. The ‘Sky Tweet’ stunt saw 40 Twitter messages from fans supporting the European golfers written in the sky over the weekend, despite reported attempts from Illinois congressman Peter Roskam to ban the campaign.

Messages included “Do it for Seve #GoEurope.”, while others reportedly read: “God wants Europe to win” and “Anyone seen Tiger?”

A spokeswoman for the Irish bookmaker says: “To mark such a triumph, we’re sure they’ll get just as excited about each receiving a pair of our extremely rare and in-demand Paddy Power lucky pants. They’ve earned them.”

Industry experts expect the victory to boost the brand value for players such as Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter who all have notable profiles and lucrative sponsorship deals in the golfing world but would not be known to casual viewers until now.

Steve Martin CEO at M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, says: “The likes of Justin Rose and Ian Poulter can expect to see their brand value rise following the victory and there will be a lot of sponsors not just corporate brands looking to tap into this. From Rose’s put, to Rory McIlroy being late to tee off and Poulter’s performance throughout the event, these are stories that will only enhance the brand value of the players and make them that much more attractive to brands.”

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