SPEAKERS from three globally known brands have been talking about the value of sponsoring huge sporting tournaments such as the Premier League and the Olympic games.

The 10th Annual Mike Warne Marketing Communications Lecture, organised by students at Bournemouth University, heard from top sponsorship executives from Barclays, Sainsbury’s and Panasonic.

Gaele Lalahy, head of brand and communications at Panasonic UK, led the company’s strategy for London 2012.

“London 2012 was the first social games so it was a good opportunity to really move the brand from a cold tech brand to be really inspirational, add spark to the brand and colours to the brand and really engage with the audience,” she said.

“We are intrinsically part of making the games happen. We provide televisions, the big screens, all the broadcasting equipment to the Olympic committee, the security cameras, the audio equipment, the imaging products, so that is really making the games happen from a technology viewpoint.

"And we’ve been involved in the games for 25 years so it’s not something that suddenly we’re trying to ride on the back of.

“At each games we’ve really tried to push innovation forward. London was all about 3D, Rio is all about 4K and we’re already working on Tokyo in 2020 to launch the first 8K broadcasting. So at every game we’ll really try and push the boundary.”

She told how she had been a gymnast with the ambition of taking part in the Olympics.

“Despite not achieving it as a gymnast, I always said to myself I would have do it one day and through my career choice, through my education choices, I ended up there in the end achieving my dream,” she said.

Peter Ward, sponsorship manager at Sainsbury’s, said its involvement with the Paralympic Games and Sport Relief was linked to its brand values.

“We really believe passionately about making a difference to help charity and communities,” he said.

“Since our partnership began with Comic Relief we’ve donated over £97million so really the message is that our sponsorships are there to drive what our brand is about.”

Bournemouth University vice-chancellor John Vinney said the quality of speakers at the event reflected the university’s reputation as well as the “tenacity and skills and guile of our students".

Steve Woolley, head of external affairs at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), which supports the students organising the event, said: “We’re the world’s largest marketing professional body and we do try and have a wide reach across all business disciplines and bring them together because marketing is a fundamental driver for business growth. Understanding your customers, knowing what they want is absolutely fundamental.”

Becky Eastwood, who chaired the organising committee, said the event was a celebration of a decade of Mike Warne lectures.

She said the students’ contacts in the workplace had helped win high profile speakers. “We’ve just come back from our year in industry and a lot of the contracts we had were from that placement so it was just perfect to do this,” she added.

Simon Pride, chair of the CIM in Dorset, praised the “cracking” choice of subject and the collaboration with Arts University Bournemouth graphic design students.

“I’ve just been bowled over by the BU students, their professionalism and ambition to put on a really strong event,” he said.

* Barclays boss praises AFC Bournemouth over diversity: page 36.