Supercheap turns Bathurst tent into a content cornerstone and highest-grossing store

Retailers are missing out on a direct line to customers through sponsorships with the sector accounting for just 3% of the $880m sponsorship pie.

Supercheap's David Bauer has seen Bathurst sponsorship grow into something bigger.

Supercheap’s David Bauer has seen Bathurst sponsorship grow into something bigger

Matt Newell, executive strategy director at The General Store, which has worked closely with Supercheap Auto to build its flagship Bathurst sponsorship, said that sponsorship was a huge, wasted opportunity for the sector, likening many retailer’s approach to running a TV ad showing nothing but the logo.

And Supercheap’s general manager of customer, communication and engagement, David Bauer, said the retail chain had turned the event into a host for a “tent” that has become the company’s most successful store.

Speaking at the Mumbrella Retail Marketing Summit, Newell said in order to capitalise on the opportunity of sponsorships retailers to look beyond logos and hospitality suites.

“It’s interesting to me how little our marketers are trained around techniques on sponsorship and I think that leads to the sort of executions we see around sponsorship which are usually quite basic executions consisting largely of logos on barrier signs.” Newell said.

“This a great technique that retailers don’t seen to use.”

Bauer said that rather than just appending its name to the event, Supercheap had gone a step further and harnessed its brand values to Bathurst and then managed to extend the impact of its investment throughout the year.

At its core was the decision to set up a portable Supercheap store on the mountain to service the 40,000 fans who camp over the course of the race week – a decision which grew to generate revenues over the week five-times greater than the brand’s biggest permanent store.

A golf buggy converted into a portable store to drive around the mountain to service people unwilling to leave their campsites generated $30,000 in sales.

Bauer said the power of the sponsorship was extended through the creation of a VIP club which gives members faster access to the circuit through VIP gates and allowed them to skip long queues for buses around the venue by offering them access to an exclusive Supercheap bus.

The brand also extended the value of its investment through YouTube, creating a content series featuring former Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert as well as a number of celebrities and influencers who helped to promote the brand beyond its core.

“We had this sponsorship property and what we wanted to do was actually use that to drive new customers,” Bauer said.

“We broadcast that on the two networks (Ten and Foxtel), but here’s the thing we did a little bit differently. Working with Google and YouTube, we actually reached out to some YouTube content creators and we saw there was enormous power in reaching their audiences, the non-traditional Supercheap customers.”

Influencers included people known for make-up tutorials, cooking, comedy and music.”

“By engaging these people and getting them to participate in our content generation piece, they then took that away and used their own channels to talk to their own audiences, thereby increasing the number of people exposed to Supercheap Auto’s event but also reaching new people.”

The 22-minute long version of the content was the number one ranked YouTube video in Australia in the Automotive category last year.


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