Motogp: the ideal theatre for Cinzano

MotoGP is a youthful, vibrant, spectacular and most especially authentic sport. Cinzano sought to bring its modern yet traditional brand to the attention of a younger market and MotoGP was the ideal.

The audience demographics for MotoGP “fit like a glove” to the values prescribed for Cinzano: youth, self-confidence, authenticity, irreverence, passion and coolness.

Jean Jacques Dubau, Deputy Group Marketing Officer of the Campari Group, explains Cinzano’s involvement in MotoGP:

“We have four international brands – Campari, Cynar, Cinzano and SKYY – and Cinzano had the best fit with MotoGP.

“The decision to sponsor MotoGP was made after we took over Cinzano in 1999. The objective of the MotoGP sponsorship was to add ‘visibility’ and to confirm Cinzano’s global status.

“Cinzano’s key brand value is its authenticity. With motor sports in particular there is a strong value of authenticity, of being true to oneself. This is more evident in MotoGP than in other sports.”

MotoGP is a world wide sport. There are 16 races in five continents that bring the racing festival to the doorstep of millions of fans. The international nature of MotoGP is again reinforced with riders from over 21 different countries being involved.

MotoGP is covered world wide by major TV stations. More than 205 countries are covered and 165 of those receive a live signal. The average TV audience per Grand Prix is 372 million viewers. With the addition of world wide television coverage MotoGP becomes truly global racing.

Motorcycle racing provides excellent viewing. Unique among motor sports, the clear visibility of the riders adds a distinctly human dimension – part of its authenticity, while the frequent overtaking manoeuvres pack the screen with action.

In general young adults are more interested in MotoGP than F1, with almost ¾ of them under the age of 35. This age group along with a large male following are demographics that suit Cinzano’s international marketing focus perfectly.

The initial involvement was for three years, which started in 2000 at the Mugello Italian GP, which was the first of four events that season to run under the Cinzano title sponsorship. The others were in Great Britain, Germany and Brazil - all key markets for Cinzano.

Cinzano continues with title sponsorship of selected GPs, and has reinforced its strong presence at a total of 14 MotoGPs so far. Title sponsorship this year includes circuit and podium signage rights at each race and naming rights for four races – the Italian, British, Brazilian and Australian GPs.

Cinzano has enjoyed a positive and constructive partnership developed through the years with the MotoGP rights holder Dorna. Cinzano has also felt the direct benefits of its association with MotoGP in the drive to target a younger legal drinking age market.

Cinzano’s policy in motor sports has always been to sponsor events rather than teams or individual riders. As seen when Campari sponsored the Italian Formula One Grand Prix from 1997 to 2001. The partnership between Campari and F1 ended in 2001 when Campari’s focus shifted towards a more youth orientated market.

“When we chose MotoGP we had the conviction that it was going to grow as a sport - and along with Cinzano it is growing” concludes Jean Jacques Dubau.

MotoGP has proved a perfect choice for Cinzano.

The company encourages responsible drinking and avoids associating drinking with driving and speed. It is for this reason that they do not supply Cinzano at the race tracks.

The Cinzano brand is strongly linked to Italian personality and style as well as heritage and tradition. As traditional as when it was devised in the 18th century, but as modern now as it was then, Cinzano and its variants link changing times with unchanging tastes.

The Cinzano brand is divided into two main categories: the vermouth range and the sparkling wines. It is distributed in over 100 countries and is ranked among the top 100 international wine and spirits brands. Cinzano is ranked as the second vermouth and Asti Spumanti in the world.

Vermouth represents Cinzano’s traditional core business. There are four classic variations that can be enjoyed alone, with soda, lemon or as a cocktail ingredient that adds subtlety and depth. The classic flavours are Cinzano Rosso, Cinzano Bianco, Cinzano Extra Dry and Cinzano Rosé as well as the fruit flavoured Cinzano Limetto and Cinzano Orancio.

The range of Cinzano sparkling wines, both sweet and dry, includes: Asti, Gran Cinzano, Brachetto, Pinot-Chardonnay, Pinot Chardonnay Cuveé Selezione, Bon Sec, Prosecco and Prosecco Cuveé Selezione.

The red and blue Cinzano logo, recognised all over the world, reflects Cinzano’s commitment to authenticity and timeless values. It was introduced in 1925 when the Cinzano vermouths were already well over 150 years old. The red sector symbolises passion, pride and radiance; the blue represents nobility, tradition and the depth of the Mediterranean Sea. The diagonal slash represents the upward path of the company. True values are timeless and Cinzano is the proof.

The key marketing position today is to give the Cinzano heritage a modern accent. Cinzano’s involvement with MotoGP over the past four seasons is a perfect example, as this sponsorship is part of Cinzano’s global marketing plan to communicate with its young consumers of legal drinking age.

The way to combine tradition and modernity is to emphasise the integrity and authenticity of the product as well as the pleasure in drinking it.

Authenticity to Cinzano means charisma; modernity; unpredictability; coolness; internationality and casualness. Authenticity, played in a modern key, has been the core theme of Cinzano’s recent international campaign – “Be Original. Be Yourself”.

The key brand value of authenticity suits Cinzano because consumers consider Cinzano to be real, sincere and not just a victim of passing fashion. Research shows that drinkers of Cinzano demonstrate a remarkable brand loyalty of more than 90 percent.

Authenticity is also the reason why Cinzano became involved with MotoGP, as it is a sport in which this aspect is inherent.

Remember the brand promise: When you drink Cinzano, the real you comes through.

The name vermouth is derived from “wormwood” – a family of plants (including absinthe) that had been combined mainly with wine for medicinal purposes since Roman times.

Modern vermouth dates back to the 1700s, when it was devised to improve the palatability of poorer wines in the Savoy region.

Cinzano’s history began in Turin in 1757, when two brothers took the vermouth concept a stage further. Working in a back room of the family herbal shop, where Giovanni Cinzano had already built a reputation with brandies and liqueurs, Giovanni Giacomo and Carlo Stefano Cinzano devised a new “Vermouth Rosso” (red vermouth).

This vermouth exploited the rich supply of aromatic plants from the Italian Alps in a recipe combining 35 ingredients (including marjoram, thyme and musk yarrow) that remains a secret to this day.

Far from being a way of making bad wine better, this “vermouth of Turin” proved so popular with the city’s bourgeoisie that it formed the foundation of a dynasty. Among those enjoying the sophisticated taste of the amber red aromatised wine was the legendarily and incurable romantic Casanova.

The popularity of Cinzano Rosso spread and two more variations were devised – the white Bianco, with herbal flavourings including artemisia (wormwood), cinnamon, cloves, citrus and gentian, and Extra Dry. Exports began in the 1890s, to countries including Argentina, Brazil and the USA. Now after 250 years, Cinzano’s range of vermouths has long been recognised internationally.

The other side of the Cinzano business started a century later when Francesco Cinzano II began producing sparkling wines at Santa Vittoria d’Alba. It was another family enterprise that thrived and for over almost 150 years now Cinzano has been a leading producer of sparkling wines.

Changes followed in the 20th century when between 1985 and 1992 Cinzano was gradually absorbed by the IDV Group (now Diageo), and later in 1999 when it was purchased by the Campari Group. Since then Campari has given the long-standing brand a fresh impetus.

The Campari group started as a small family firm with a unique product – the cherry red aromatic aperitif created by Gaspare Campari in 1860.

The famous drink is now at the heart of a world wide business covering a broad range of beverages, from spirits and wines to soft drinks. The Campari Group today dominates the market in Italy and Brazil and has a strong presence in the USA, Germany and Switzerland. The group operates in more than 190 countries and is the sixth-largest beverage company in the world.

The sophisticated bittersweet aperitif began life in Novara in the back shop of Gaspare Campari, who soon afterwards moved to Milan and founded the plant at Sesto San Giovanni in 1904. The growing popularity of the refreshing red spirit meant that by 1923 the drink was being exported in increasing quantities, and soon afterwards production began in France, Switzerland and Brazil. 1932 also saw Davide Campari (the son of Gaspare Campari) develop and launch CampariSoda, a single dose mixture of Campari and soda water, with the bottle designed by futurist artist Fortunato Depero. The expansion of Campari was unstoppable and by the beginning of the 1960s it was being distributed in more than 80 different countries.

Then towards the end of the 20th century the nature of the beverage industry began to quickly change when a few large global groups began amassing portfolios of strong products and brands that covered a wide range of sectors. Well-known brands were undergoing dramatic changes in ownership in an intense period of mergers and acquisitions. Whilst at the same time, a large number of smaller companies were exploiting niche markets.

The Campari Group was faced with a crucial decision - whether to hold fast in its strong existing niche, or to join the trend towards globalisation by acquiring new brands and products, and moving into new markets. A strong cash flow meant they could not only build up a wide-ranging portfolio of brands, but also provide the marketing support needed to realise their full potential.

In 1995, the Campari Group embarked on an aggressive program of acquisitions. And over the past decade the Campari Group has expanded dramatically, from having a single brand to having a wide ranging brand portfolio. Spirits, wines and soft drinks all hold a place in a portfolio that spans the world both geographically and in terms of taste.

The expansion began in 1995 with the acquisition of Cynar, Biancosarti, Crodino, Lemonsoda, Oransoda and Crodo water from the Dutch BolsWessanen group. In 1999 the Group acquired Ouzo 12 and Cinzano. 2001 saw the acquisitions of Dreher, Old Eight, Liebfraumilch and Gregson’s, as well as the acquisition of Skyy Spirits, LLC. In 2002 the Campari Group acquired Zedda Piras, owners of the famed Sella & Mosca wines. Then during 2003 the Group acquired Riccadonna wines as well as Barbero 1891 whose brand portfolio included Aperol, Aperol Soda, Barbieri liquors, Mondoro and Enrico Serafino wines.

In 2001 the Campari Group entered the Italian Stock Exchange and in 2003 became the sixth largest player in the global beverage industry, where it remains today in 2004 (source Impact Databank 2004). With net sales of €714 million and a net profit of almost €80 million, the Campari Group is clearly one of the top global beverage companies.

The complete list of Campari brands:

Aperol Soda
Barbieri Liquors
Campari Soda
Cinzanino 3°
Old Eight
Ouzo 12
Mapo Mapo
SKYY Vodka
Zedda Piras

Campari Mixx
Cinzano 5
SKYY Sports

Chateau Lamarge
Enrico Serafino
Sella & Mosca

Crodo water
Lemonsoda, Oransoda, Pelmosoda

Cachaça 51 (Germany, Italy & Switzerland)
Clan MacGregor Whisky (Brazil)
Cutty Sark (USA)
Fernet Branca (Switzerland)
Grand Marnier (Germany, UK & Spain)
Henkell Trocken sparkling wines (Switzerland)
Grant’s & Glenfiddich Whisky (Italy & Brazil)
Jägermeister (Italy & Brazil)
Lipton Ice Tea (Italy)
Midori (Italy)
Tequila 1800, Gran Centenario (USA)
Wodka Gorbatschow (Switzerland)

The Campari Group has a strong position within the international beverage industry. Its core business is in the spirits segment followed by wines and it has an active interest in the soft drinks segment.

Clear management objectives have created a position of strength based on a well-defined strategy: acquire leading brands and consolidate presence in emerging markets. A prime example was the acquisition of Cinzano, giving the Campari Group not only the keynote vermouth but also a front-ranking name in sparkling wines. Another example was the acquisition of the US company Skyy Spirits, whose brand SKYY Vodka has won, for nine years consecutively, the “Hot Brand” award from the leading spirits industry publication Impact.

The Campari Group’s range of brands runs from international favourites that are world-wide brand names to local market leaders. This is typical in the diverse nature of the beverage industry in which the Campari group is the sixth-largest operator.

Paramount to the Group’s success is an understanding of the importance of advertising in building a strong brand image. The Campari Group’s brands all communicate unique sensations and emotions, and this makes each brand inspirational and desirable in its own individual way.

Image is a key factor for the Group as classic award winning advertising campaigns have played a crucial part over the years. The tradition of setting sky-high standards in brand imaging continues today.

The brands in the Campari Group portfolio share a dedication to consistent high quality. This dedication along with the commercial backing of established international distribution systems and a key understanding of the importance in strong identity and image is what helps make the Campari Group’s brand portfolio so successful.

Strongly linked to Italian personality, style, heritage and tradition, the Campari Group simultaneously preserves and renews its identity; it is a trend setter in an ever-changing, ever-evolving market.

Publishing date: 
25 Jul 2004
Last updated Feb 14 2013