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Brands jump on Leicester bandwagon

News, 04 May 2016

LONDON: Within hours of Leicester City being crowned as Premier League champions, brands were launching products to celebrate the team's 5,000-1 success and running tactical ads that took a swipe at rivals.

Local snack brand Walkers was off the mark early, with a range of "Salt & Victory" crisps featuring a picture of the team and replacing its own Walkers logo with the word "Winners".

Captain Morgan, the spirit brand, has capitalised on its name coinciding with that of the Leicester City skipper: a limited-edition Captain Morgan Rum has labels with Wes Morgan dressed in the traditional buccaneer outfit in the team's colours.

And Asda, the supermarket chain, has also got in on the act, the Mirror reported, with the "Vardy Cardy" – a tribute to striker Jamie Vardy – from George, its Leicestershire-based clothing label.

Others played on the fact that the Leicester City squad cost around one tenth of that assembled by Manchester United.

Campaign noted print ads from watch brand Sekona, the club's "official timing partner", advising readers to "beware of expensive imitations", while Virgin Media highlighted its cost relative to rival broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport with the line: "Leicester. Proof the best football isn't the most expensive".

That sentiment has also played into the marketing of the Premier League itself as it seeks to fill two remaining sponsorship slots for next season as the exclusive title sponsorship that Barclays Bank has held for several years comes to an end.

Marketers are being encouraged to buy into the league's brand rather than seeing it as a media buy, The Drum observed, and the underdog's achievement can only help that process.

"Leicester's win – and also the success of teams like Spurs and West Ham, who also exceeded pre-season expectations – has created a halo around the Premier League itself," explained Antony Marcou, chief executive of Sports Revolution.

"In the past, with the usual big teams winning every season, the halo was around the brands of the big clubs. It suits the league for success to be shared more evenly – not only does it make it more exciting for fans and sponsors, but it also means the biggest clubs don't carry all the power."

Data sourced from Campaign, The Drum, Mirror; additional content by Warc staff