Exclusive Ballooning first approached Triumph International in 2003 with their idea of wrapping one of the famous eye catching and controversial Sloggi billboard campaigns around one of their racing hot air balloons.
By the end of 2009, the Sloggi balloons have visited over 30 countries including South Africa, Australia (flying from the Parliament lawn), Finland (flying under the midnight sun), Japan, Taiwan and most of Europe. The project has generated over £100m in media value and the balloons have made front page stories on four continents.
"Exclusive Ballooning approached Triumph International with their creative idea of digitally printing the sloggi campaign onto balloons which had not been done before. The project has been running for five years and we have had six balloons for both Sloggi and Triumph brands which have visited over twenty countries across four continents. Professional, friendly and expert pilots, Exclusive Ballooning also instinctively know where to find the press angle from any situation and this has helped gain significant media coverage from the project. Every press question is answered with the words sloggi, sloggi, sloggi... " - Oliver Commentz Senior Head of Marketing & Communication Global Western Fit Services - Triumph International
The first Sloggi balloon was a Lindstrand X69 - the only one in in the world at the time - and the first hot air balloon to be digitally printed from the mouth at the bottom to the crown ring at the very top.
The press launch for the first balloon was at Epsom Racecourse in April 2004 with radio presenter and model Emma B.
The first balloon, registration G-REAR, debuted at the 2004 London Marathon on a tether but the first free flight came at the Championships in Krosno, Poland in May 2004 which was also the first event for Exclusive Ballooning's competition team which had been rebranded to Team Sloggi.
2004 took Team Sloggi to events across the world and accolades included UK Counties Challenge winners, a bronze in the UK Grand Prix and 26th in the Ballooning World Grand Prix.
2005 took Team Sloggi again across the world to South Africa, Japan, and many European countries. The balloon appeared at many high profile events around the world incuding the Tour de France and the San Marino Grand Prix. Accolades in 2005 include champions of the UK Counties Challenge, the African Ballooning Championships and the Italian National Championships, Terni near Rome. Team Sloggi also finished 15th at the World Balloon Trophy, 15th at the World Ballooning Grand Prix and achieved a BBAc Silver Badge.
The team also wins the prize grab flight at the World Balloon Trophy by flying from 5km and then placing a sponsors cap into a tiny pedaloe on the lake in Ecthernach.
In 2006, two new Sloggi balloons appeared. G-REAR was replaced in full but kept the same registration as the crown ring was reused. The second balloon, G-IRLZ, was a smaller more agile racer and was launched at the Imperial War Museum, London together with the winners of the Sun newspapers 'Bot Idol' competition. Team Sloggi appear on Chris Evan's show discussing competition ballooning and the Sloggi balloon.
G-IRLZ's maiden flight, by coincidence, was also at the ballooning championships in Krosno, Poland in May 2006.
G-REAR becomes the first hot air balloon in Taipei, tethered at the foot of the worlds tallest building Taipei 101 along with six Sloggi models. The event produces millions of pounds worth of press coverage. The balloon is used for the live evening news and weather as well as many other TV features and two programs for MTV Asia.
Accolades from 2006 for the team include another UK Counties Challenge championship victory, champions of the FAI category 1 event, the MOL Cup, Debrecen, Hungary; 5th place at the World Balloon Trophy in Luxembourg and runners up in the Ballooning World Grand Prix series.
2007 sees the fourth Sloggi balloon - G-CDFI which is a lightweight hopper designed for a world record attempt after the team secured the British Record in 2006. The balloon is made by Thunder and Colt and is 31,000 cubic feet carrying the pilot in a harness without a basket.
July 2007 sees the Sloggi balloon the first ever to tether at the Atomium, Brussels and also drew over 46,000,000 page impressions when it appeared on the BBC News website home page following a world record paraglider drop stunt.
2007 successes include a tenth consecutive UK Counties Challenge trophy and Champions in Olen, Belgium as well as the Adria Cup in Croatia. The team are again the highest place British team in the World Balloon Trophy and finish runners up in the Mondovi championships and also the Croatian National Championships. Team Sloggi score a first and second at the Bristol Balloon fiesta and the World number one Uwe Schnieder flies for Team Sloggi at the British Ballooning Grand Prix and delivers a master class winning with a healthy margin.
2008 successes included Champions in Mondovi, Italy as well as a Sloggi first and second at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. The team finished runners up in the pre World Air Games and also runners up in both the Pre European championships and the British National Championships. The team competes for the fist time in the World Championships in Austria and finishes in the top third.
2009 The team competes at the European championships in France and also finishes a very respectable 15th at the World Air Games in Italy. The team wins the team accolade at both the British Ballooning Grand Prix series as well as the European Championships.