How do you compete with the likes of Microsoft and Google when you are a challenger brand embarking on your first major sponsorship? This was the prospect facing B2B data tech specialist NTT, as it kicked off its sponsorship of global cycling event, the Tour de France.

 

Having built success organically until this point, NTT was struggling to differentiate itself by its value proposition alone in a highly competitive market. Aware that it was unable to outspend its rivals on digital marketing, NTT knew it needed a creative approach if it wanted to make its mark.

 

Becoming official technology partner of the Tour de France felt like the perfect fit. This was because fans of the competition closely mirrored the brand’s target audience of corporate tech decision-makers, whose favoured hobbies include performance cycling.

 

Crucially, NTT was keen to give the sponsorship a human touch, meaning a simple badging exercise was not going to cut it. The company also firmly believed that cycling was crying out for a digital makeover. While fans at tennis tournaments and football matches get data-driven insights, cycling remained reliant on TV broadcasters to satisfy its multi-billion-strong global fan base.

 

Based on this analysis, NTT and its agency Golin devised a campaign intended to boost the company’s reputation, build a network of engaged brand ambassadors and expand its client experience centre programme to engage more B2B customers.