By Patrick Avenell
This weekend marks the beginning of one sports marketing juggernaut and the close of another, with the Tour de France kickstarting on Saturday evening and Euro2012 finishing late Sunday night.
The 2012 Tour de France is 99th edition of the world’s premier road cycling race. Australia’s Cadel Evans is the defending champion and will once again be leading American team BMC Racing in the event.
Due to HTC withdrawing its sponsorship from HTC-Highroad, there is only one team with technology sponsors, though it is a double threat, with Sharp joining veteran sponsor Garmin to form Garmin-Sharp. That team will be lead by Canadian Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal, with American Tyler Farrer on sprint duty.
Among all the once-a-year media buys for bicycle manufacturers and retailers, expect to see some TVCs for Sharp and Garmin during SBS’s marathon coverage of the race over the next three weeks.
And Sharp’s participation in the Tour de France dovetails gloriously with the end of Euro2012, for which it has been the official AV partner and a blanket advertiser on cable TV broadcaster Setanta Sports.
Sharp has used this sponsorship to launch its new “spectacularge” and “viewmongus” 70-, 80- and 90-inch LCD Quattron TVs. Just as 'fantastic' is too small a word to describe Euro2012, “big is too small a word for the new Sharp TVs”, according to the advertisements.
Euro2012 has also been sponsored by Canon, though this Japanese company did very little, bordering on nothing, to promote this association in Australia.
The 2012 Tour de France begins with a prologue through Liege, in Belgium, on Saturday 30 June 2012. SBS will show every stage live on its main channel (SBSONE), and in HD on its digital channel (SBSHD), through to the ride into the Champs Elysees on 22 July 2012. Coverage will begin at 10PM (AEST).
The final of Euro2012 between Spain and Italy will be played in Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday night (Monday morning) at 4:45AM (AEST). Setanta Sports will be showing the match live in sub-SD, while SBS ONE will broadcast the match in SD and SBSHD will be showing it in HD.
Tour de France
Yellow Jersey: Cadel Evans (Australia – BMC)
Green Jersey: Mark Renshaw (Australia – Rabobank)
Polka Dot Jersey: Samuel Sanchez (Spain - Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Team: RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (Luxembourg)