When Team Sky was looking on course to provide the first British winner of the Tour de France this year, they called Signs Express (Manchester) to help celebrate this momentous occasion.
Providing a wide range of car graphics and signage for the riders and team support vehicles, Signs Express (Manchester) has travelled across Europe during the road cycling season for the past 3 years to be on call for the leading cycling team and as the pinnacle in the road racing calendar, the Tour De France 2012 represented a unique opportunity.
The 20 stage Tour de France is viewed by millions across the World and with the last stage of the 2,000 mile journey on route to Paris and Team Sky in the driving seat to win, they commissioned the experienced sign making team to work throughout the night before the final stage to help kick-start the winners celebrations. By branding their team support vehicles yellow, matching the infamous winners yellow jersey, the celebratory final stage could start with a festival spirit.
Ten vehicles, including the teams two Jaguar XF SportBrakes and two Jaguar XJ cars used to support the Sky Pro Cycling riders along the entire route, were rebranded with partial vehicle wraps. In addition three Mercedes Vitos and a Sprinter, a bus and a truck all received new graphics. With the world’s media attention on the team, the enormous marketing opportunity saw Team Sky cemented in Tour de France history.
The rebranding was a cleverly kept secret; with the Sunday morning reveal a surprise to almost everyone, generating an electric atmosphere of anticipation for the final stage.
A huge response from the sport on the impact of the vehicle graphics along with widespread media interest has led to further promotional work for Signs Express (Manchester). Co-owner Lee Eaton explains:
“We feel very privileged to have been involved in such a prestigious occasion and were delighted to pull out all the stops to ensure the ‘reveal’ was a complete surprise to everyone. The turnaround time was crucial and working through the night, we had to ensure our high standards of workmanship were maintained for what would become the biggest photoshoot we had ever been involved in. What a fantastic achievement for the team.”
“We have also been asked to complete follow-up promotional work with the team vehicle manufacturer Jaguar, who has commissioned the graphics to be re-applied as part of a week touring around Jaguar's sites nationwide in celebration of car and the association with the first British Tour de France winner."
Claire Boakes, UK sport & lifestyle PR manager for Jaguar cars said, “With the recent Team win, we had an opportunity to re work the Jaguar XF Sportbrake livery. Timing was critical and tight but Lee and the team at Signs Express Manchester were quick to help and re-decal in Paris!”
Signs Express (Manchester) is part of the UK’s largest sign company and is a member of the British Signs & Graphics Association.