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Genius pumps ‘a good whack of its budget’ into Commonwealth Games sponsorship

By Anna Bonar+

29-Jul-2014
Last updated on 29-Jul-2014 at 14:17 GMT

"We have a digital activity going on called ‘Toast The Champions’ when people can send messages of support through social media and they get them back burned into the piece of toast,” said Mari Ann Laidlaw, marketing manager at Genius.
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Genius Foods, the UK’s leading gluten-free food producer, made a big investment into its summer campaign after being asked to be an official provider of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Normally signing a sponsorship deal with sporting mega-events is something that companies have to compete for and prepare for years. However, that was not the case for Genius, gluten-free food producer from Edinburgh.

“This is something you would go and search for, however, we sampled last year and it was so successful that the games actually came to us looking for a provider,” said Mari Ann Laidlaw, marketing manager at Genius Foods.

Despite having had an easier process than other companies Laidlaw said the Commonwealth Games had extremely strict regulations and guidelines they had to meet:

“Every single thing we designed needed to go through the Games. From the largest piece of the stand right down to the type of cutlery that we were using. Aprons, uniforms, every single little piece had to be signed off by the Games,” Laidlaw added.  

The company was present round each of the venues, the athletes village and the Glasgow Green. It was providing its bread to the athletes village as well as sampling toasts, croissants, choc chip brioche and lemon chocolate cupcakes at Glasgow Green.But, was not just the sampling that Genius prepared for the Games.

“We pulled together a fully-integrated campaign. We have a digital activity going on called ‘Toast The Champions’ when people can send messages of support through social media and they get them back burned into the piece of toast,” said Laidlaw.

Through its presence at the Commonwealth Games the company hoped to raise the brand awareness and raise the buzz around gluten-free food.

“We want people to understand that just cutting out that little bit of gluten every day in your diet can make you feel better. We want to be the brand that takes them on that journey,” Laidlaw added.

The company’s summer investments went beyond the Commonwealth Games. As part of its summer campaign Genius installed pop-up sampling cafes all around the UK.

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