Costa Coffee is about to embark on its first ever sponsorship campaign to raise awareness of its Costa Express vending brand, and it’s doing so by tapping straight into the public consciousness—by backing gold medallist Ed Clancy’s cycling team Rapha Condor Sharp.
The brand intends to capitalise on the success of Team GB’s cyclists after the mammoth medal haul at the Olympics. It’s a great time for companies to get in on the sporting action (could this be one of the “legacies” we’ve been hearing about?) and with cycling enjoying a huge wave of popularity it’s a great move for the brand—its logo will appear on Rapha Condor Sharp’s clothing and bikes when the Tour of Britain takes place, whilst Costa Express coffee will be on offer throughout.
The reason for the move into sponsorship territory? Well, despite the fact that Costa’s core brand enjoys an awareness of around 96%, its recently-launched vending business languishes at just 20%. Costa acquired Coffee Nation in 2011 before launching Costa Express in May of the same year and admits that it has some challenges to face in boosting the profile of vending machine coffee, but the chain is hoping that this level of sponsorship will help achieve that increase in awareness and customer interest—they want people to know that the coffee provided at their vending machines is of the same high quality as coffee from a traditional Costa store, and this kind of marketing activity could be a great way to get the message out there.
And it’s a message they want to build on over the next few years. The chain is in the process of rebranding all Coffee Nation sites to Express and has some 1,500 self-serve coffee bars dotted throughout the UK, and they’re expecting to double that number in the next five years. It’ll be interesting to see the level of impact their sponsorship has when the Tour of Britain comes around and time will tell how successful it will be, but it can’t be denied that it’s a great move for a brand when the UK is going sports and cycling crazy.