Viking Cruises (www.vikingcruises.com) has signed on as a sponsor of The Great British Baking Show, which recently premiered on PBS stations in the U.S. The new deal extends Viking's presence on PBS beyond its highly visible partnership with the celebrated series MASTERPIECE, which includes the Emmy Award-winning series Downton Abbey and Sherlock. Similar to its MASTERPIECE sponsorship, Viking commercials will bookend each episode of The Great British Baking Show, airing on Sundays at 8 p.m. in January and February. Viking will also leverage recipes from the show across its marketing channels.
Already a hit series in the U.K., The Great British Baking Show follows the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.'s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country's best amateur baker by testing the competitors' skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.
"We have enjoyed an incredibly successful partnership with MASTERPIECE and PBS over the last four years largely because our audiences value the same types of enriching entertainment and life experiences," said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking Cruises. "Our guests are often interested in the intrinsic connection between food and travel, which makes The Great British Baking Show a particularly good fit for our brand. Of course we are also proud to support Mary Berry, godmother to our new Viking Longship Alsvin."
"The Great British Baking Show is a great complement to MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey, which Viking Cruises has supported for the last four years," said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. "We are thrilled that Viking is also supporting The Great British Baking Show, which has been gaining a passionate audience of its own here in the U.S."
In March 2014, Viking set a world record for christening 18 vessels across four countries in five days – each of which was "named" by a prominent ceremonial godmother. Because enriching culinary experiences are at the heart of every experience Viking offers its guests, Mary Berry was selected as godmother of Viking Alsvin. "After spending some time onboard Viking Alsvin, I can see why people are so taken with river cruising. As someone who is fascinated by travel, culture and food destinations you certainly get a sense of the Viking spirit on board," Berry said at the christening.