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SPONSORSHIP NEWS: Ricoh pulls the Pink Panther

If Accenture has a tiger in the woods, Ricoh Europe now has a pink panther in the bunker.

The office and production printing market specialist has leveraged its sponsorship of Ricoh Women’s British Open golf tournament, which began on July 30, to unveil its new brand platform.

The campaign, which is fronted by golfing icon Paula Creamer (aka the Pink Panther), unfolds Ricoh’s ‘Moving ideas forward’ platform, with the intention of communicating three key attributes; innovation, expertise and sustainability, to customers and partners.

“Our sponsorship of the Ricoh Women’s British Open is a fitting platform from which to unveil our brand vision to our customers and partners,” says Javier Diez-Aguirre, director corporate communications, Ricoh Europe.

The new approach is part of the company’s strategy to raise overall brand awareness in the region and present a consistent brand identity to the market – specifically the C-suite and senior IT executives across all European market segments.

The new platform will be unveiled through a variety of online and offline activities, including a guerilla-style media campaign, an online element and ambient advertising.

“The new Ricoh brand platform will be embedded into all our online and offline communications and underpins the company’s strategic vision to grow the brand in key markets,” says Diez-Aguirre.

Creamer, adorned in business garb – with her traditional pink flourishes – features in a series of cut-out advertisements around London and in major train stations and airports. Business commuters that spot the ads can enter a competition to win one of 15 Ricoh cameras. Posters also appeared on the side of ad trucks driving around London in the run up to the event.

“This element of the campaign was specifically targeted at the highly dense business/corporate population of the Broadgate area of the City of London, and was aimed very much at raising brand awareness amongst the business community and potential customers,” says Diez-Aguirre.

The online element involves a refreshed website, tailored adverts and a viral initiative based around golfing solutions to tricky business problems.

A new visual identity using the 'Moving ideas forward' strap-line was on show in the Ricoh Pavilion at the event itself, where the company hosted customers and partners. The pavilion also included an interactive touch screen display and golf psychologists to advise customers on improving their game, which was intended as hook to engage with customers.

Ricoh will follow this initiative with further sponsorships of sporting events, starting with the ATP Masters Series World Tour Finals taking place in London in November, and the FIS Nordic World Cup in the winter.