Citroën founder André Citroën knew how to market his cars. In 1925, he rented the Eiffel Tower, then lit the Parisian landmark with 250,000 bulbs arranged to display ‘Citroën’. It stayed on the tower until 1934, and remains, to this day, one of his brilliant marketing moves. Many years later, the French company continues to seek out ways to publicize the brand, which will be shooting a video at the NYC Bastille Day Event this July as part of its 100th Anniversary Celebration. Lately, Citroën have also been promoting the company by securing sponsorship deals with established brands. By doing this, it raises Citroën’s global profile, as it reaches a wider, more diverse audience. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the French car manufacturer’s most lucrative sponsorship deals.
It’s no surprise that Citroën partnered with football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). A Forbes chart of the most valuable football clubs in the world lists PSG in 11th place, with a valuation just north of $1 billion. Not to mention, PSG are French, like Citroën. This partnership started in 2011, with an initial 3-year deal. Both sides renewed the partnership in 2014, again for 3-years. Meaning, the French car manufacturer was PSG’s main sponsor when they won half of their Ligue 1 titles (2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16).
From 2011 to 2017, Citroën was partners with two of the richest football clubs in the world in the form of PSG and Arsenal. Like PSG, Arsenal have a global brand and are successful in their own right.
Sportskeeda reports that the Citroën-Arsenal partnership began way back in 2008 during the height of the so-called Wenger years. As the longest-serving manager in Premier League history, Ladbrokes outlines how Arsène Wenger was in charge of the club for over 20 years and won the Premier League three times with Arsenal. Their partnership with Citroën lasted until 2017, which means that the renowned car maker was one of Arsenal’s sponsors during the second half of the Wenger years; a 10-year stretch that includes three FA Cups titles (2014, 2015, and 2017).
Discovery Network UK
Back in 2013, Citroën sponsored 235 hours’ worth of programming for Discovery Networks UK. The one-year deal was for the Citroën Nemo, Berlingo, Dispatch, and Relay vans, all of which figured prominently in various Discovery documentaries during that year. The deal also included a fully integrated co-branded microsite, three promotional competitions, visibility across the network’s social media platforms, and promotion in Discovery’s newsletters.
German Handball Bundesliga
Handball is huge in Germany, and Hans-Dieter Vaupel hails it as a “truly German” sport. Vaupel is the president of the Western German Handball Federation, and he is bullish about the sport’s bright future. Citroën shares that same positive view, striking a 2-year deal with the German Handball Bundesliga (GHB) in 2017. The partnership began in January of last year and will give Citroën extensive exposure across the league’s social media platforms, in-game exposure through LED advertising, and spots in Bundesliga publications and on television programs.
Another 2-year deal that officially started in January 2018 was the one Citroën signed with Channel 4 for ‘First Dates’. The show is one of Channel 4’s best shows, with 2 million people tuning in and became the broadcaster’s most-watched 10 pm show in 2017. Citroën UK marketing director Souad Wrixen hails the show as embodying the brand’s “Be Different, Feel Good” attitude, and notes that it will be a natural fit for the car manufacturer’s products.
Seeking sponsorship deals nowadays has become very popular, as it helps to reach a bigger, more diverse audience of potential consumers. It is a practice that leverages collective credibility, with both the sponsor and the sponsored exuding a reputation of success and credibility. Citroën have long been successful in the car industry, known as one of the world’s best. Their sponsorship deals with Arsenal, PSG, GHB, Channel 4, and Discovery — each one a reputable brand — are confirmation of Citroën’s lofty standing in their industry.