Claire Jeromson - Head of Sponsorship, LV= Share PDF Print E-mail
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ClaireJeromson1

Claire Jeromson is the Head of Sponsorship for LV=, who sponsor Harlequins rugby club , the LV= Rugby Cup competition and the Cricket County Championship.

Since leaving university in 1996, Claire has held positions in various marketing roles, mainly in Financial Services.

Claire became the Senior Marketing Assistant for Scottish Widows in 1999, before moving to HBoS a year later to become their Marketing Manager.

In 2003 Claire moved to RBS where she held various positions before taking the Marketing Manager, Sponsorship role.

She joined LV= in 2011 and has been their Head of Sponsorship & Creative Services ever since.

By Steve Moorhouse

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

There are a lot of challenges in a job like this. The biggest one is making sure that what we do is right for the business, whether that is through our activation plans or other aspects and make sure it is going to drive behaviour in the people we are trying to engage with. We like to do really innovative campaigns but it is making sure they help us achieve our objectives or do what we want to do. I think that is the biggest challenge for any Head of Sponsorship.

LV= recently signed on for a further four years to title sponsor the rugby cup. How has the partnership developed since first signing?

We sponsored the LV= Cup for four years now and it has been a really interesting and productive time for both us and the Rugby Football Union (RFU). What we are trying to do is make the tournament work for us as a sponsor but also help it find its feet in the rugby calendar. When it is played it’s in a window that is jam packed with high-profile international games so it can be really tough to make people know what you are doing. But that is also the unique selling point because a lot of the first team players are with England and Wales so that gives the younger guys and the ones who are not always in the team the chance to stand up and show what they can do. We found that it is now at a place where it has established itself as a tournament where you can win silverware but you can also earn your stripes and increase your profile. We are all really proud of what we have managed to achieve in a relatively short amount of time.

What is your ROI in the cup and what made LV= decide to title sponsor the cup competition?

We are still a growing brand and we have gone through a lot of changes over the years, so the primary focus is to really get the brand out there, by showing that we are helping and supporting different projects. It is something we felt we could make a difference in whilst pushing the brand name out there and it gives us an opportunity to sponsor and partner with a tournament in quite a unique way. We can actually focus on its development credentials and that made it really attractive to us.

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What sort of activation programmes have you launched for the LV= Cup and what is your personal favourite?

My favourite has to be the one I am most proud of and that is the Breakthrough Player Award that we launched last year. It seems to have captured people’s imaginations because it profiles some of the best young players we have in England and Wales.. The reason the players get picked is based on their performances in the LV= Cup which is based on Opta stats and then the fans get their chance to say ‘we think this player is the best.’ We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the clubs, the players and the fans. It has been really interesting to watch it grow. 

Sticking with rugby you also sponsor Harlequins who are consistently at the top of the league and playing in the Heineken Cup. How do you think the partnership has worked and specifically how many people do you think you’ve reached because of the deal?

The Quins relationship has worked very well because it gives us strong branding and the opportunity to have business to business hospitality as well as the engagement of their fans. The staff at Quins are very proactive in trying to think of things and getting us involved. Because we work closer to them than the club’s in the LV= Cup, they can offer great insight into the local community.

The number of people we have reached is harder to estimate because Harlequins are one of these clubs that have got a massive fan base, not just in the UK. They are an international brand. What I would say is that we are very happy that it has allowed us to connect with significant numbers.

Before you joined LV=, Harlequins had the ‘bloodgate’ scandal involving Tom Williams and fake injuries. Although before your time, LV= was the sponsor then so how did it affect the company and do you know what actions were taken by you as a sponsor?

As you said I was not with the company at the time, but having spoken to people who were, the feeling was that it was an issue for the club to deal with and we hoped we could move on quickly from it and allow them to do what they are there to do, which is to play rugby. We felt we supported that through our sponsorship. We stuck with them because sponsorship tends to offer us good opportunities for brands and the business to business hospitality that we wanted. We felt that it was still a commercially viable thing to do.

If an incident happened now that involved one of your partners that was beyond acceptable behaviour how would LV= react?

It is a tough question. Without knowing the incident it is hard to know whether it would be a viable option staying with a partner. Sponsorships are partnerships, so we would evaluate the situation with our partner and then we would take it from there and see what happens.

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Comments  

 
+3 #1 Fiona Green 2013-07-01 16:21
It's great to get first-hand insight from a sponsor - particularly one prepared to talk so openly. LV= operates in a tough sector - financial services have to be serious but they have a desire to lose the "grey" positioning they have. Sport is perfect for achieving this.
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