CAMPAIGNS: Edelman and Microsoft aid 2002 Games - Sponsorship Launch

Client: Microsoft

PR Team: Edelman

Campaign: Commonwealth Games sponsorship launch

Timescale: 1- 3 April

Budget: Undisclosed

Microsoft decided to sponsor the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games to

showcase existing software and technology solutions, and to further

penetrate the UK market by illustrating its commitment to the


As Microsoft's corporate PR agency, Edelman needed to ensure that the

key messages were clearly conveyed and that media coverage was a broad

as possible. August.One Communications was brought on board to target

the technology media.


To position Microsoft as a committed partner in UK plc. To associate

Microsoft with the themes of the Commonwealth Games 'Spirit of

Friendship' slogan, i.e. excellence, diversity and inclusion.

Strategy and Plan

Press reports about the Commonwealth Games have traditionally been

blighted with funding issues, so it was crucial that Edelman were able

to turn this around and gain positive coverage.

A strategic media relations programme was drawn up prior to the

announcement, in which Edelman liased with all other stakeholders

including M2002 and the Cabinet Office to ensure the messages were

consistent throughout.

Britain's Commonwealth and Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise

Lewis endorsed the announcement giving the sponsorship campaign the edge

it needed to appeal to sports media.

Edelman also provided Microsoft with media training and background

briefings ensuring synergy between core values of the company and the

games was firmly established.

A press conference was held at the Commonwealth Institute in London on

the day of the announcement, which was attended by Microsoft

spokespersons, M2002 and Denise Lewis, who expressed her excitement that

Microsoft were supporting the Games.

Lewis also carried an iPAC - Microsoft's pocket PC - as an example of

how this technology will be used to publish games results and

information direct to the internet. Microsoft spokespeople followed up

with one-to-one interviews.

Edelman also created a bank of high impact images. Denise Lewis was

photographed among all the flags from different Commonwealth countries

lending a human-interest angle to the story. Several picture desks,

including The Scotsman, that did not attend the event ran these


Measurement and Evaluation

Six national print media and five film crews, including the BBC, Sky

News, Granada and Reuters attended the event.

Positive coverage was received across the board with key messages coming

through loud and clear; from The Guardian 'Manchester gets Microsoft

boost' to BBC Sport's 'Microsoft signs up for Manchester', and the

Manchester Evening News' 'Microsoft's hi-tech boost for 2002 Games'.

Coverage spanned all sectors of the media from national and broadcast to

regional and online media with a total number of media hits in the

region of 35.


The announcement of Microsoft's sponsorship of the Games has contributed

to its reputation as a good corporate citizen in the UK.

But the campaign has also challenged perceptions of Microsoft as a

US-focused global company by showing Microsoft actively involved in UK


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in