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  • Writer's pictureSPSG Consulting

The Interview- Álvaro Astorqui, responsible for sponsorships and partnerships of Restaurant Brands Iberia

Thanks to Alvaro Astorqui for his generosity in sharing with all of us his experience in sponsorship and his vision of the present and future of the partnership. Alvaro has, despite his youth, a very relevant experience, having contributed value in, among other entities, Spanish Basketball Federation and Movistar Estudiantes. Currently, he is responsible for sponsorship and partnership in well-known brands such as Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons.

You are currently responsible for Sponsorships & Partnership at Restaurant Brands Iberia, which includes well-known brands such as Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes. Previously, you have worked in entities such as the Spanish Basketball Federation, BeWater and Movistar Estudiantes. With this privileged background, how do you see the evolution of sponsorship in recent years?

The truth is that sponsorship lives in a continuous change, a constant evolution which, in addition, depends largely on the brand objectives you want to achieve.

Nowadays, companies have transformed in such a way that they now have conversations with their customers, they demand unique experiences and it is the main attraction to generate the desired engagement with your audience.

This is why we have penetrated verticals that were not developed with such emphasis before, such as music festivals. Places where the emotions of the attendees flourish constantly and where we are part of that atmosphere of friendship, joy and good feelings. It's about fitting your brand in a natural framework where your values are part of the customer's experience.

Burger King, the main brand you manage in terms of sponsorship and partnerships, is present in properties such as LaLiga and MadCup. What are the main sponsorship objectives you have from Burger King? And those of Popeyes and Tim Hortons?

In the end, we all work to achieve one main objective, which is none other than to generate more than what we pay for a sponsorship.

Beyond the purely economic KPI, Burger King works to capitalize on different territories and be number one in each urban area in which we land. Generate ad hoc actions for each territorial segment and each buyer persona to approach them in an organic and natural way. This is the way to differentiate ourselves and achieve the right impact.

In the specific case of the MadCup, it is a clear example of how to reach families and be in an emotional milestone for them, where parents are going through a feeling of pride for their children and children, happy that their parents can attend the event.

In order to really take advantage of the investment in sponsorship, it is necessary to design and implement a consistent activation plan. What are the main strategic lines of sponsorship activation that BURGER KING implements?

At Burger King we have two very clear strategic lines. Creating business and generating unique experiences for our customers.

The strategic line of business, as a good QSR company, is our priority and is where we focus our sales channels, to empower them and benefit them from our active sponsorship agreements.

The experiences manage to attract new customers who, to date, did not consider us and, thus, to be able to retain the 'BK Lovers' we already have in our portfolio. It's a different, fun, emotional way to build a long-term relationship with your audience.

Sustainability, whether environmental, social or economic-governance, is a key pillar in any organization, as it is in Restaurant Brands. To what extent are the precepts of sustainability relevant in your case, both from the perspective of your sponsorship activations and from the point of view of the selection of the properties you sponsor?

For us, sustainability and commitment to the environment is one of the main strategic focuses that we are currently developing within the group. As our General Manager, Borja Hernández de Alba, said in a media interview, "in 2050 we will be a carbon neutral company".

All of the group's verticals work in a way that makes business development compatible with ethical and responsible criteria.

When it comes to sponsorship, we make sure that each project in which RB Iberia invests maintains the same environmental commitment as the group, so as not to detract from the excellent work we are doing in our business.

With your extensive experience in the sports sector, what are the main challenges facing the sports industry in the coming years? And the opportunities?

The main challenge facing the sports industry lies in technology. The possibilities and capabilities that technology can bring to the market are endless and the customer experiences are much more spectacular and efficient to achieve our goal.

Other industries offer us much more interactive possibilities through technology, much more cutting-edge and spectacular experiences and, with that, the 'wow' factor is more easily achieved. Sport has remained more linear in a more traditional concept. The experience from a VIP perspective and some details that appear each season, but there has not been a substantial change as in other verticals.

Perhaps I would highlight the gap that brands sometimes find with properties as a great opportunity that we are currently missing. Working more in this sense could bring many advantages for the execution of sponsorships.



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