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In 2000, International Sportsworld Communicators Ltd. (ISC) acquired a ten year exclusive commercial rights agreement for the World Rally Championships. Previously the sport attracted a low level of media exposure. ISC planned to market the WRC with the intention of gaining a top five position as a global sports television brand. The main aim of the present study is to examine the marketing strategy of the WRC by ISC. In particular, this study focuses on the strategies taken to increase the Pan European TV coverage for the WRC. ISC identified television as the priority channel for building audience and the brand. The study is a ‘live case study’ that allowed the researcher to monitor and evaluate the process on site, and on an onging basis over a three-year time frame, 2001-2003. The data was obtained through semi-structured interviews with representatives from 5 different groups, namely ISC Management, Broadcasters, Key Teams, FIA and Event Organisers. Analysis of the interviews found the ISC marketing strategy to be broken down into four phases (a) Research (b) Development and planning (c) Execution and (d) Evaluation and revised strategy. Four meta-themes, Television, Management, Global Entertainment Brand and other media also emerged from the analysis. The strategic phases and meta-themes are discussed in relation to the successes and failures of the ISC and the future of the WRC.
O'Connor, S.: An examination for the marketing strategy of the World Rally Championship. Masters Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2004.