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Aldi UK has inked a deal to sponsor Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off, replacing former title partner Amazon which has held the exclusive broadcast rights since 2018.

The German-founded budget grocer has paid an undisclosed sum to feature on the eleventh series of the show, saying it wants to use the prime-time slot to underpin its quality positioning and light-hearted tone.

The Drum explores why the surprising collaboration is significant for both parties.

Why is the Bake Off sponsorship such a big deal?

  • Bake Off, which Channel 4 snapped up the rights to from BBC in 2017, draws in huge UK audiences each year across a variety of demographics, making it an attractive (and lucrative) investment for brands.

  •  The last series of the show was the second biggest series of 2019 for young UK viewers across all channels, attracting a 60.1% share of Channel 4’s key demographic of 16-34 year olds.

  • The series drew an average audience of 9 million viewers per episode and a 35.6% share of the viewing audience – peaking at 9.8 million and a 37.6% share for the final episode.

  • Previous sponsors have included Dr Oetker and Tate & Lyle (which split the rights in 2017). Amazon has secured the coveted sponsorship for the past two years, with reports pitting it as having paid around £5m for the privilege.

  • Channel 4 – which has seen its revenues battered by Covid-19 – will be hoping for a boost to revenues with the deal, which was brokered by its regional 4Sales team in Manchester with Aldi’s agency McCann.

  • Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation, Channel 4 said: “We’re really looking forward to celebrating the return of Bake Off’s much-needed warmth and fun this year with Aldi. This significant new partnership provides the perfect opportunity for Aldi to continue its mission to champion British quality with a show that showcases the very best of British baking.”

What can we expect from Aldi’s sponsorship?

  • As well as the main series Aldi will sponsor three spin-offs on Channel 4.

  • The package includes the upcoming eleventh series of The Great British Bake Off which welcomes actor, writer and comedian Matt Lucas to the Bake Off tent, alongside Noel Fielding and judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood; Bake Off: An Extra Slice presented by Jo Brand with Tom Allen; the festive specials and Junior Bake Off hosted by Harry Hill with judges Rav Gill and Liam Charles.

  • The rise of Aldi over recent years has been one of grocery retail’s enduring success stories. Now, the brand will be looking to maintain the sales growth it saw in lockdown as competitors like Tesco and Waitrose continue to invest in e-commerce solutions to rival their burget counterparts.

  • Sean McGinty, marketing director, Aldi UK said: “The Great British Bake Off is the perfect partner for Aldi. The ‘feelgood’ show appeals to all ages, and underpins Aldi’s quality positioning and light hearted tone.”

  • McCann has already created sponsorship idents for the brand, centred on a gingerbread family.

Anything else?

  • Channel 4 has launched a marketing campaign for upcoming return of the popular baking series (which can be viewed in full above).

  • The broadcaster has yet to set a date for the debut of series 11.