US marketing publication Mediaweek reports that Discovery Networks are about to launch a major advertising campaign to highlight its sponsorship of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, and in particular, Lance Armstrong.
With the significant additional investment required by the top cycling teams to join the UCI ProTour, sponsors want to see a corresponding increase in awareness of their products and brands. As a major television network, Discovery Networks already has an excellent range of media vehicles to enable marketing execs to do just that.
Beginning this Sunday, the campaign "Chasing #7" sees Armstrong line up with Discovery stars including the Crocodile Hunter's Steve Irwin and the Teutuls (American Chopper) in a number of television commercials created by Texas-based ad agency, TM Advertising. In addition, viewers' appetites will be wetted as the Tour approaches ever closer, with a series of one-minute behind-the-scenes vignettes that show part of the training and technology involved in Discovery Channel's seventh TdF bid.
The six-time Tour winner will also appear in a prime-time TV show called 'The Science of Lance Armstrong', simulcast on The Discovery Channel and The Science Channel on June 27 at 8pm. From June 15-June 30, he will also make a number of other appearances on Fit TV, Travel Channel, Discovery Health and Discovery HD Theater.
At the time Armstrong announced his retirement before the start of the Tour of Georgia, the 33 year-old indicated his "relationship with Discovery will continue for years to come", alluding to becoming actively involved in the network's programming, as well as some form of management role within the Discovery Channel cycling team.