Silver Spike
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CategoryA04. Best Use of Sponsorship
2nd PR/Advertising Agency:WHYBIN\TBWA GROUP Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Paul Bradbury Whybin\TBWA Sydney Chief Executive Officer
Matty Burton Whybin\TBWA Sydney Executive Creative Director
Dave Bowman Whybin\TBWA Sydney Executive Creative Director
John Mckelvey Whybin\TBWA Sydney Creative Director
Peter Galmes Whybin\TBWA Sydney Creative Director
Stephen Oliver Director
Hugh Miller D.O.P
Gerrard Needham Photographer
Bryony Marks Whybin\TBWA Sydney Account Director
Rob Lowe Eleven PR PR Director
Sydney Spagnoletti Eleven PR Senior Account Executive
Chris Mawson Whybin\TBWA Sydney Head Of Studio
Celia Nicholas Method Studios Post Production
Simon Lister Nylon Studios Sound Production

The Campaign

The range generated a huge amount of PR and awareness for M.J. Bale’s sponsorship, and a unique provenance story had been established. The campaign earned media coverage (broadcast TV, News, Press, Editorial, PR, social media) valued at over A$3.2 million $US 3.3 million. In store traffic and sales spiked to an all time high.

The Brief

The campaign’s objective was to increase awareness of the M.J. Bale brand and its sponsorship of the Australian Cricket Team. We knew we had a high quality range of men’s suits, with far above average customer conversion in store. Awareness was our key to new customers and getting stocked in more retail outlets. The goal was then to magnify M.J Bale’s share of voice – in relation to bigger spending sponsors – and establish awareness and desire. Our relatively tiny sponsorship budget meant there was no paid media at launch, PR had to be generated from the strength of the idea.


The PR Campaign was hugely successful achieving all its objectives. There was no paid for media at launch yet the campaign achieved national awareness earning media coverage (broadcast TV, news, press, editorial, PR, social media) valued at over A$3.2 million (US$3.3 Million). The PR groundswell facilitated M.J. Bale to expanded its national distribution into Australia’s largest and most prestigious retail chain, with 38 additional new outlets, nationwide. In-store traffic and sales spiked to an all-time high. 520% increase in tailored suit orders. A phenomenal 1400% return on investment. ($14 for every $1 spent). Unprompted, the Cricket Australia website, with over half a million visitors daily, promoted the campaign. The Australian Government formally recognised M.J. Bale’s efforts: the Australian Wool Board committed funding for further wool innovation. M.J Bale had achieved the largest share of voice *at campaign’s peak. All from the team’s smallest sponsorship.


Infusing our suits with victory had created a product desired by sports stars and their fans. It was the first time a sponsor of the Australian Cricket Team had ever changed its product to support the team, and the Australian media loved this unique approach. During an International Cricket Test Match, we launched the ‘Grazed on Greatness’ film. With the nation’s full media attention already on the team, they and other prominent Australians seeded it. Ties made from the wool were sent to journalists and opinion leaders along with broadcast quality assets, to share the campaign for us. On day one of the launch, the film appeared on national, prime time news in a segment running for almost two minutes. The story within the suits meant Australia’s most recognised sports stars; commentators and anyone wearing our suits became our advocates. Whether they were paid or not, they became our PR.

The Situation

In Australia, the major sponsors of the Australian Cricket Team are the nation’s biggest brands, meaning there was very low awareness for M.J. Bale, the team’s smallest sponsor. Additionally, we couldn’t be on the team’s uniforms, mainstream communications or even the pitch. As the Official Tailors to the team, M.J. Bale’s sponsorship was essentially invisible to the Australian public. We needed a PR generating campaign to create awareness and desire for the brand: an idea that captured the nation’s imagination, excited stockists and actively expanded M.J. Bale’s retail footprint.

The Strategy

Our campaign strategy was to leverage the smallest sponsorship of Australian cricket team – the Official Tailors to the team – and then revolutionise how we make our range, infusing the suits with Australian victory. We documented the entire process and created a 3-minute film ‘Grazed on Greatness,’ starring cricket superstar and Australian Team Vice Captain Shane Watson. Shane Watson and Michael Slater (cricket commentator), two highly publicized national figures, were appointed as official spokespeople. This appointment promoted and cemented the sponsorship in the minds of the media, the public and the cricketing fans. The video was seeded prior to the media launch by the team to gain ‘grassroots’ awareness. Media outlets, journalists, opinion leaders and the team themselves were also provided with broadcast quality assets needed to spread the campaign for us. *Additionally, the story within these suits meant anyone wearing our suits became our PR storytellers.