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Ralph Lauren flaunts Olympics partnership via New York Times app sponsorship

August 3, 2012


In a move to flaunt its partnership with Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics, Ralph Lauren bought out a solo sponsorship of The New York Times iPad application for the second time with content, shoppable items and player biographies.

The ad is available on the Sports, Olympics, Home & Garden, Travel, Fashion and T Magazine sections og the Times app. It will run through Aug. 12.

“Our readers represent the demographics luxury brands want to target,” said Todd Haskell, group vice president of advertising at the New York Times, New York. “Times readers are upscale, highly educated, and set the trends for fashion and luxury consumption.

“Most importantly, however, is that the New York Times drives readers into stores to purchase products, whether it is the luxury well that we run in the newspaper, the beautiful ads that are seen in each issue of T Magazine or amazing digital experiences that brands deliver on our Web site and mobile devices,” he said.

“We hear over and over again that New York Times readers respond to beautiful luxury messaging by the most important measure: buying products.”

Ralph Lauren was not able to comment before press deadline.

Golden opportunity
Ralph Lauren’s ads are tied heavily to the Olympics. Ralph Lauren designed Team USA’s Closing Ceremony parade uniforms and village wear (see story).

New York Times ad

The ads show U.S. favorites such as swimmer Ryan Lochte and soccer player Heather Mitts. They are featured on every section front and on every other article page within the app.

Users can browse the ad to go through the different sections by swiping their finger upward.

"Meet the Athletes" section

Clicking on the ads bring up content including featured articles, videos, “meet the athletes” and click-to-commerce links.

In the commerce section, consumers can create their own custom apparel based on the outfits designed for the Olympic team.

Customized apparel

There is also a pop-up splash page within the magalog that will announce new medal winners, according to the New York Times.

Timely sponsorship
Although luxury marketers such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Cartier, Chanel and Rolex have used the New York Times iPad app for advertising, no other brand has bought out a solo sponsorship like Ralph Lauren.

This is the brand’s second time doing so. The first time around was last September, when Ralph Lauren bought out the app for the entire month with content including streaming and embedded video and commerce from Ralph Lauren Magazine (see story).

Banner ad in the New York Times last September

The New York Times will not disclose how much the ad buy cost or the results of the last solo sponsorship, but “the reaction from readers was very positive,” according to Mr. Haskell.

Moreover, Ralph Lauren has not bought out an entire sponsorship for any other publication, per the brand.

“We reach a very significant portion of iPad users through our news app,” Mr. Haskell said.

“Our readers have told us that they enjoy striking creative, whether it is rich video or beautiful photography, and the iPad is the perfect platform for luxury brands to engage readers in a telling story, presented in a rich-media experience,” he said.

“Ralph Lauren returned this year to again reach our readers through this exclusive, innovative opportunity to showcase its brand.”

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York