CAMPAIGNS: Naz is over here on arty business - Sponsorship

In May 1996, Adidas signed up undefeated WBO featherweight champion, Prince Naseem Hamed in a major sponsorship deal. In December, it asked Hill and Knowlton, to come up with a fresh idea to publicise the sponsorship to a wider lifestyle audience. H&K hit on the idea of an exhibition.

In May 1996, Adidas signed up undefeated WBO featherweight

champion, Prince Naseem Hamed in a major sponsorship deal. In December,

it asked Hill and Knowlton, to come up with a fresh idea to publicise

the sponsorship to a wider lifestyle audience. H&K hit on the idea of an

exhibition.



The Art of Boxing Exhibition was set for 13 to 18 June 1997, at the Arts

Depot in Kings Cross - the first purpose-built gym in the country.



Objectives



To promote Adidas as a contemporary brand to the target 12-24 year-old

market, by showcasing Prince Naseem in a ’style-led environment’. In

addition, it was important to create a credible exhibition of boxing

art, to show Adidas’ heritage and authenticity in sport to mainstream

consumers.



Tactics



At the end of January 1997, H&K brought curator James

Huntington-Whiteley on board. Respected within the art world, he also

worked on football exhibition ’England’s Glory’ during Euro 96.



In conjunction with Huntington-Whiteley, H&K negotiated with boxing

promoter Frank Warren to exhibit a large selection of fine art from his

personal collection. And Adidas provided exhibits such as Muhammad Ali’s

boots from its HQ in Germany. A boxing ring formed part of the entrance

and a cinema, Naseem interactive computer games and a boxercise

instructor provided other areas of interest.



One corner of the exhibition was devoted entirely to the ’Prince’, with

gloves, shorts, photography, a bronze statue and a specially

commissioned portrait, by up and coming artist Andrew Crocker.



H&K hosted an exclusive opening night preview with Prince Naseem,

celebrities such as Bob Geldof, football agent Eric ’Monster’ Hall and

specially invited members of the media.



Results



Over 1,000 people visited the exhibition and 400 celebrities and

journalists attended the opening night preview.



Negotiated by H&K in April, a three-page feature on Warren, his art

collection and the exhibition appeared in Observer Life on 15 June.



Additional press coverage ranged from the Financial Times and the Young

Telegraph to Dazed and Confused and Trace magazines.



Broadcast items included the Big Breakfast, and Sky Sports, while Virgin

Radio and Choice FM ran competitions to win tickets to the preview

night.



Verdict



The different elements of this exhibition helped gain wide ranging media

interest from the Sun to Art Review. It also successfully focused

attention on Adidas’ relationship with Prince Naseem.



At first glance, 1,000 visitors over six days to a free exhibition might

seem disappointing. However, Robin Money, head of corporate relations at

Adidas was pleased with the event. He says: ’Due to its success, we are

considering running another exhibition of this kind with our other key

symbols’.



Client: Adidas

PR Team: Hill and Knowlton

Campaign: The Art of Boxing Exhibition

Timescale: December 1996 - June 1997

Cost: pounds 75,000



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