Sarah Warby and Jat Sahota

Marketing director Sarah Warby and ex sponsorship head Jat Sahota

When Sainsbury’s announced its sponsorship of the 2012 Paralympics in May 2010, it raised a few eyebrows. Seen by many as the poor cousin of the Olympics, it seemed like Sainsbury’s would have its work cut out to raise the profile of the event and make the British public fall in love with it.

However, the supermarket got its 150,000 store staff fully behind the event, pairing Paralympians with stores and giving all colleagues the chance to try their luck at an Paralympic sport.

It also got 2.4 million schoolchildren to participate in a Paralympic sport and ran a ‘Here’s to Extraordinary’ communications campaign to get customers excited about the event. Jts efforts paid off. Almost 40 million people tuned in to watch the Paralympics, with Sainsbury’s brand empathy hitting record highs, and the retailer finishing 2012 as the third-most recognised Olympic sponsor - ahead of all domestic sponsors.


The Grocer Gold Awards 2013 - Grocer of the Year