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BRANDING NEWS: Easynet steers rally sponsorship

Easynet is looking to leverage the popularity of motorsport amongst IT decision makers through a three year sponsorship deal for the World Rally Championships (WRC).

The deal makes Easynet the "official networking and hosting company of the WRC", and leverages the supplier's technology to deliver infrastructure for the championship, such as its website. This in turn will allow Easynet to develop a hospitality and event programme around the WRC, which runs from January to November.

Julian Laister, European communications director for Easynet, comments, "This deal gives us great scope to deliver a real, differentiated ‘Easynet Experience' to our international target, and we're delighted to be a part of this dynamic sport." Such activity will range from trips to visit the various global rallys, which makes up the championship - including such diverse locations as Monte Carlo, Findland and Ireland - as well as domestic activity with a motorsport theme.

Easynet will also benefit from brand exposure via trackside banners, on selected participating vehicles and on the website, which it is hosting.

Laister says the link with rallying was identified through market research, following the conclusion of a sponsorship deal with the British Olympic Association. "We are targeting IT and business decision makers in 250-plus employee, multi-site companies, increasingly on a global level. They are mostly male, and motorsport is very popular," he explains. "A key part of the package was to allow us to demonstrate our capabilities."

The deal was arranged in conjunction with Karen Earl Sponsorship, with details of its financial value kept strictly confidential.

The sponsorship's value for employee branding, motivation and retention is cited as an additional key benefit. Easynet has 1000 staff across Europe. The deal was announced to staff in March, and will be promoted to the IT community at the Barcelona IT Expo in May.


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