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How the National Lottery will ride the Olympic success of Team GB

Team GB

Camelot – which runs the National Lottery – is planning to host a national Sports Day and launched above-the-line campaign following the success of the British Olympic team in Rio.

Most brands sponsoring the Olympics would love to be able to say that they are one of the main reasons an athlete has achieved a gold media. Most don’t, and have to settle for paying inordinate for rights that are increasingly be flouted by fleet-footed ambush marketers. But the National Lottery has been intrinsically tied to almost every moment of success for Team GB, with medal-winning athletes in their droves making sure that the world knows the company helped them to the podium.

The evidence of National Lottery’s impact on UK sport is clear when you consider that at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 - the last games before National Lottery funding was introduced – Team GB took home one gold medal and came 36th in the medal table. ,

To date (17 August – four days before the closing ceremony) Team GB is sitting second in the overall medal rankings, with 19 gold medals and 50 overall.

The funding sees 25 per cent of the National Lottery's ticket sales spent on good causes with 20 per cent of that going to sport.

This year, 1,300 British competitors have been supported by the National Lottery with elite athletes in sports such as swimming, rowing and track and field athletics receiving the lion’s share of the grants. Medal-winning athletes are eligible up to £28,000 from the National Lottery.

But to the average Lotto player this was a little known fact and so making sure that players were aware of their role in playing the lottery both in the lead up to and long after the Games has been the preserve of the marketing team at Camelot.

In the lead up to Rio, the job was about making sure Lottery players understood that the money they spent on their tickets went, in part, to funding British athletes.

During Rio, the company recognised that it needed to be “fundamental to how people consumed the Olympics,” explained Adam Chataway, Camelot marketing manager.

This saw it take out a raft of digital out of home billboards which it has updated each morning to keep people informed about medallists or the media tally.

On social media, Chataway claimed that it’s “the most talked about brand on Twitter” when it comes to the Olympics thanks to the messages with a personalised message from top British athletes whenever the hashtag #IAmTeamGB is used.

It has resulted in a combined reach of over 1.5 billion to date.

But what happens with Rio draws to a close? While sales of its online games are soaring, sales of draw-based games tickets ( like Lotto, EuroMillions, Thunderball and Lotto HotPicks) are falling and so Camelot needs to do all it can to remind people that buying a ticket means supporting an athlete.

“In the four years that are between the games where our athletes aren’t top of mind our involvement isn’t top of mind either,” said Chataway.

“We’ve got a great opportunity to remind the public of the role they play every time the buy a ticket that they are part of the success. It’s a great story to tell and one that we’re very proud of.”

The first post-Olympics activity to kick off will be a special Lotto draw. For each gold medal Team GB brings home there will be an £1m prize, £100,000 prize for every silver medal won and £50,000 for every bronze medal. So, as it stands, 19 extra people will become millionaires.

“It’s a tangible way to celebrate the contribution [of the National Lottery],” added Chataway.

It has also partnered with ITV to create an I Am Team GB sports day which will take place on the first Saturday after the Olympics. It will see team GB athletes go back their local communities and encourage people to get active across some 2,000 events.

And finally, an ‘I Am ParalympicsGB’ campaign will be launched to celebrate the British publics’ contribution to the Paralympic team.

While Chataway said it is too soon to talk about brand tracking metrics and the success of its marketing efforts, he explained that it has undoubtedly stood out from the sponsorship noise as its historic link as a funding partner quite simply gives it a credibly story which it doesn’t have to work too hard to tell.

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