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POSITIONING LORDS GIN WITH GOLF GAME

By NBF News

Golf anywhere in the world has the reputation of being an elitist game. No wonder Grand Oak Ltd and its premium gin brand – Lords Dry Gin, in a bid to create an experience around the brand,  facilitated two Nigerian Golfers to be part of the recently concluded Ryder Cup which held in the Twenty Ten course at the Celtic Manor Resort, South Wales England, United Kingdom.

The decision to cue into the Ryder Cup, according to the owners of the brand is in line with the property's reputation as one of the World's great sporting events. It aligns with our marketing objective to reinforce the positioning of the brand as a premium gin comparable to any international brand, says Bolaji Alalade, Group Product Manager, Grand Oak Limited.

The Ryder Cup is a golf trophy with a rich history. The competition began following an exhibition match in 1926 between a team comprising American professionals against a similar one drawn from the British PGA on the East course.  It is awarded biennially in an event called the Ryder Cup Matches.

'The cup has a lot of prestige among golfers just as the game itself, while the Lords Gin is equally a prestigious brand of Nigerian origin which can hold its head among similar brands in any part of the world. This is the more reason we are engaging the brand in international sports by  sponsoring loyal consumers to watch the international golf tourney and as well as an English Premier League match' added Fatai Odesile, Marketing Director, Grand Oak.

And indeed, Lords Dry Gin, clearly a gin for distinguished ladies and gentlemen, used the Ryder Cup opportunity to sponsor two golfers to witness the 2010 Ryder cup.

The mechanism for the consumers promo tagged 'Lords Gin Ryder Cup promo' was excitingly  designed to reward consumers in a buy and win promo with the focus  being golf clubs in Lagos, Asaba, Port Harcourt and Calabar courses across Nigeria as the pioneer participating clubs for the maiden edition of the new property.

The brand used available club tournament windows such as the clubs' monthly medals to activate the event. Few qualified for the promo, three at each level, while four top winners emerged overall.

Samuel Nwanko, Deputy General Manager, Information Systems & Telecommunications, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd and Park Cheul, Technical Director,  Penusnina Nig Ltd. are two of the first place winners who won the star prizes of composite London trips  with all expenses paid.  Apart from the flight tickets, the winners also enjoyed three nights at the Hilton Hotel Paddington, London and an officially allocated admission ticket to the 2010 Ryder Cup and luxury transfer from Newport Station to the Celtic Manor Resort to watch the Ryder Cup. The duo also watched the Chelsea vs. Arsenal match at the Stamford Bridge live both as official guests on the bill of Lords Gin.

But for visa logistics, Wing Commander (rtd) Peter Iweze and Umoh Imoh of James Ibori Golf Club and Calabar Golf Club respectively would also have enjoyed the full Leisure package.

According to Mr. Nwanko who  plays  golf as a leisure sport and  member of Port Harcourt Golf Club 1928 and Air Assault Golf Club Port Harcourt,  watching the Ryder cup live and mingling with professional  golfers around the world as facilitated by the Lords Gin provides him a very exciting and memorable event and an unforgettable experience created by the Lords Gin brand. It's a bonding experience that can last a life time.

In addition, after watching the professionals live and close at the Ryder is good         for my golf, my club by extension.  Among other things, gains from the learning inherent in such tournaments and exposure will help boost the game if such promo continues because the process that produced the winner encourages healthy competition and sportsmanship'.

Apart from reinforcing it's a wonderful idea by the brand owners which is well appreciated by the consumers of the brand, the beneficiaries of the trip confirmed that the Lords Dry Gin Ryder Cup initiative will surely have a developmental effect on the sport in Nigeria and urges the brand to keep up the spirit of social service cum consumer reward scheme that builds and engender loyalty.

• Lekan Babatunde is an Executive Director MM2 Marketing Magazine.


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