Castrol keen on building its brand image as an ardent sports fan

Mohammed Samir, Marketing Head of Castrol Middle East, says the brand is creating its own grassroots events supporting local teams from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. (SUPPLIED)

Spending a six-digit dollar figure in communication budget per year, Castrol lubricants has been keen on reinforcing its brand image as a supporter of sports.

The brand has been increasing its focus on support of top football events because of their high visibility and dominant male audience which is mostly interested in its products. Mohammed Samir, Marketing Head of Castrol Middle East, said the brand is creating its own grassroots events supporting local teams from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

What is the global policy of Castrol for promoting sports?

Castrol is involved in sports where we can play an active role in improving the performance of the competing teams or enhancing the viewing pleasure for the spectator with insights and analysis. Historically, we have had a long heritage and affiliation with motorsports, from Formula One to World Rallying, Touring Cars and SuperBikes. However, in the past three years, the company has moved into football on global and local levels.

What's your global budget for promoting sports events and how much of that do you spend in the region?

Globally, we invest in large-scale sporting events. We have signed a prestigious six-year deal as a Fifa World Cup sponsor until 2014. Locally, we've focused on creating our own grassroots events, such as Castrol Goal. This is a five-aside tournament held in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The final is being held on Saturday at Dubai Sports City, with the winning team securing a trip to watch the World Cup finals.

What is the return Castrol expects on its investment in sports?

Measuring a specific level of ROI is very challenging, but we are confident the payback of our high profile sporting affiliations for the Castrol brand is substantial. This strategy has played a significant role over the past four decades in growing the brand to its leading position.

Football and motorsports attract the highest global audience for any sport, which means our brand has excellent reach and visibility with our key decision makers, who are predominantly male. The 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany had a total cumulative television audience of 26.29 billion, with the final alone attracting a global audience of 715.1 million.

Is there any particular sport that Castrol intends to promote?

We're very much still involved in motorsports and growing our activities within football. In 2008, we launched the Castrol Index, the world's first truly objective player and team analysis system, based on the actual performance of every football player across Europe's top five leagues.

How much does Castrol spend on communication?

We're running print, TV and digital advertising campaigns to support our major product launches this year – Castrol Edge and Castrol Magnatec. I cannot disclose exact figures but it will be a six-figure dollar amount.

Castrol supports sport events only or does it sponsor personalities also?

We do both. Besides the World Cup sponsorships, we have Cristiano Ronaldo and Arsene Wenger as brand ambassadors for the Castrol Index and Castrol Rankings. In the Mideast, we have Mohammed Al Deayee, a legend in Arab football arena. In motorsports, we sponsor many teams, such as the Castrol Edge Holden team which recently raced in the Australian V8 Supercar event at Yas Marina circuit. Locally Castrol Edge has also been a proud sponsor of Desert Challenge racers Team Saluki for the past five years.


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