Sometimes, massive sporting events are criticised for a lack of personality and a polished corporate sheen. And the Yorkshire organisers of this year’s Grand Départ (of the Tour de France) have come in for some criticism, notably at the pricing for the opening ceremony. But what does the tour mean for brand Yorkshire and her economy?
It looks likely that Welcome to Yorkshire will deliver on their promise to host the ‘Grandest of Grand Départs’. Communities around the county – and beyond – are getting into the spirit of the occasion and villages have marked the event in their own unique, and often quirky style. What the tourism agency have done, is create a self-fulfilling prophecy of marketing, passing the baton onto to communities, who have taken it and run.
Just look at the number of yellow painted bikes on the route – every village, every pub and every household want to show their support. This is a great example that often the simplest (and less expensive) techniques can have the biggest effect. Even the region’s newspaper, The Yorkshire Post, have teamed up with Yorkshire Air Ambulance to turn Yorkshire yellow on July 3rd.
Local councils have also played their part, and businesses, large and small have used the event (and purported television audience of billions) to promote their own brand. There have been some interesting exercises in getting around intellectual property rights of the Tour’s organisers who, like the Olympics, fervently defend the value of their brand.
Businesses have got around this potential pitfall in a number of, often-ingenious ways. It seems to be the year of the parody, with several of them even mocking up their own guide to the tour. Production values are high in some cases, with some even using the latest ‘heli-cam’ technology. One lower-budget affair, for a local campsite, has even achieved more YouTube hits that the official Yorkshire Tour video. Here are a few of our favourites.
And one of our own clients, 24 Seven, are looking forward to welcoming The Tour too. Their new brand identity, designed and implemented by Propaganda, will be on display for all to see as the pro peloton leave the City on Saturday morning, passing their offices within the first few miles. Keep an eye out on the telly!