Ford tugs on parental heartstrings, draws attention to its sport support

Sports sponsorships are pretty big business in New Zealand, with an IMR report from 2013 estimating the value of 257 different sponsorship deals at NZ$182 million. Not surprisingly, rugby is the biggest drawcard in this country, with “Adidas paying in the region of US$25 million per year and AIG, the shirt sponsor, US$12.4 million” for their All Blacks deals. Ford has been the team’s vehicle sponsor for many years, and it also backs cricket and hockey, so, to try and win a few more hearts and minds, it’s released a new ad thanking Kiwi parents and supporters—and showing that it’s ‘the driving force behind New Zealand sport’. 

Along similar lines to P&G’s Olympic tearjerker Thank You, Mom (and ANZ’s recent campaign to support the supporters for the Commonwealth Games), the spot by JWT focuses on parents’ sacrifices to get their kids on the field—and potentially help them reach higher honours. And while it’s fairly earnest, it’s full of scenes parents will be able to relate to. 

According to the IMR report, Australian Rules Football is the biggest recipient of corporate backing across the region with US$136 million spent by sponsors annually. Rugby union is second on US$105 million, followed by rugby league (US$90 million) and motorsport (US$77 million). Soccer, cricket and tennis took the next three slots.

In New Zealand, the small population has curtailed the commercial potential of most sports, with the exception of rugby, which accounts for 63 percent of all sponsorship spend as a result of the huge All Blacks deals. The report found the major challenges in the country are for small rights holders to increase their commercial expertise to attract and retain higher value sponsors.

The financial services sector accounted for 24.5 percent of deal value in New Zealand followed by sports clothing (24 percent) and the car industry on seven percent.

The report also showed Australia had the highest proportion of alcohol sponsorship spend of any major economy. 

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