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Newcastle-based Karol Marketing Scoops CSR Project for Norwegian Outdoor Brand


Sep 14, 2016

Sam BransonExtreme outdoor clothing and ski brand Bergans of Norway has selected Newcastle-based communications agency Karol Marketing to head up public relations around its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and expedition activities.

The Prolific North Top 50 North East Agency scooped the additional project after its recent campaign on behalf of Bergans, supporting Ambleside retailer Cunninghams and the Lake District National Park Authority following the Lake District floods, was shortlisted for Best Corporate and Business Communications Campaign in the CIPR PRide Awards shortlist.

The news comes as the Norwegian brand, which has a strong heritage of collaborating with and supporting adventurous expeditions, was announced as one of the partners of the Virgin Strive Challenge 2016. Bergans of Norway recently supported The Endurance South Pole Bergans of Norway is supporting Sam Branson (shown above), Holly Branson and Innocent drinks co-founder Richard Reed as they take part in the Virgin Strive Challenge 2016 100 Expedition that followed in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Trans-Antarctic attempt 100 years on. It has also partnered with Craig Mathieson, named Scotland’s first explorer in residence by The Royal Scottish Geographical Society to support his new venture The Polar Academy, which inspires young people by taking them on Arctic expeditions.

Established in 2014, this year’s Virgin Strive Challenge will see Sam Branson, Holly Branson, and Innocent drinks co-founder Richard Reed among others tackle a gruelling 30 day expedition from the base of the Matterhorn in Switzerland to the summit of Mount Etna in Sicily. The core team of 25 will be joined by up to 250 participants at various stages of the journey, as they hike, swim and run over 2,300 km to raise funds for Big Change charity, established by Holly and Sam Branson to catalyse positive change for young people.

Bergans of Norway’s support of The Virgin Strive Challenge 2016 comes at a time when the brand is embarking on its own ambitious four-year- long journey, to the metaphorical Expedition 2020, which will see the brand embark on a huge sustainability programme to achieve:

 75% of Bergans of Norway products to be bluesign® approved.

 70% of Bergans of Norway products to be made from more sustainable raw materials which will have a verified environmental footprint for products and operations.

 Help reduce the industry’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Having successfully worked with the Norwegian brand since 2012 to raise consumer awareness of its products, Karol has been tasked with creating campaigns that showcase Bergans sustainability credentials, build on the brand’s support for adventurers and excite consumers and outdoor retailers to cheer on the Strive team as they undertake their epic journey starting on the 1st September.

Bergans of Norway UK country manager, Andy Nicolson said: “As a company, we genuinely believe in the power of the outdoors to inspire and educate, so we are very proud and privileged to have been involved with supporting Big Change since its inception in 2012. The Virgin Strive Challenge 2016 has a strong synergy with Bergans’ core values and to be associated with such a credible cause that combines a challenging expedition with raising funds to help young people in the UK is fantastic”

He continued: “Having worked with Karol for over four years to raise awareness of our products in consumer media, we’ve been consistently impressed by the team’s expertise and commitment. When we were looking for opportunities to raise the profile of the individuals and teams that we support, Karol was an obvious choice.”

Karol Marketing’s founder and managing director Stefan Lepkowski commented: “At Karol we pride ourselves on developing long-term client relationships and are committed to working as an extension of your team to deliver outstanding campaigns that add value.

Having worked with Bergans for a number of years now, we’re thrilled to be building on our existing work with this exciting new project.”

With nearly 25 years of experience of working with brands in the outdoor industry, Karol Marketing has a proven track-record of raising awareness of technical performance clothing and equipment brands amongst wider consumer audiences. This latest news comes during an exciting period of growth for the award-winning agency, which also has a business PR division working across the aviation, healthcare, oil & gas, property, engineering, and retail and leisure sectors.

Karol Marketing is one of the most awarded public relations and marketing agencies in the North East of England. Established in 1992, it will next year celebrate its 25th birthday.

By Emily