Aldi named as sponsor of British Olympic team

Emma Woollacott
The launch of the sponsorship deal
The launch of the sponsorship deal

The official backer of Britain's team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has been named - as German discount chain Aldi.

Working with the British Olympic Association (BOA), Aldi will help fund initiatives including Get Set, the BOA's youth engagement programme, and Home-Grown Heroes, aimed at connecting athletes with their local community.

"Aldi's financial support will contribute hugely to the team's success in Rio," says Bill Sweeney, CO of the BOA.

"They are also a great transformational brand to partner with: we know from recent brand research that Team GB is now the most popular sporting team in the country and represents 'everyday people doing extraordinary things'. For that reason we feel that Aldi is a great fit and we looking forward to working with them."

The deal's believed to be worth between £6 and £10 million - the most Aldi's ever spent on advertising or sponsorship.

Aldi joins Nissan, Deloitte and DFS in partnering with the BOA. Like the first two of these, it is, of course, a foreign firm - and doesn't even have any stores in Brazil, where the Olympics are to be held.

But when asked by the Mirror why a German retailer was sponsoring a British team, UK and Ireland chief executive Matthew Barnes explained: "Aldi UK is a UK business and this year we celebrate our landmark 25th anniversary in the UK. A fundamental part of our success has been based on a strong understanding of UK shoppers."

Just like rival discounter Lidl, Aldi has been trying to emphasise its British credentials, publicising the fact that it now sources half of its products from the UK. It's all part of the company's efforts to attract middle-class shoppers, by also focusing on healthy and high-quality food.

It now has 560 stores in the UK, and plans to increase this to 1,000 over the next seven years. It's also making its stores bigger - new stores will measure 19,000 square feet - allowing it to offer a wider range of products. Figures from Kantar Worldpanel show the company's market share is rising, and now stands at 4.8%.

"Aldi is a great and growing British employer championing British produce and suppliers," says Lord Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association. "Their support is a huge boost in our efforts to get the nation inspired in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."


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