The Dowager Countess Approves: Ralph Lauren Sponsors Downton Abbey’s US TV Abode


In a sponsorship deal that was to the manor born, Ralph Lauren announced its first ever TV sponsorship — with PBS for Masterpiece, the U.S. public member-supported TV brand’s flagship drama series that has “won six Emmy awards for outstanding costumes” as the Hollywood Reporter notes.

In tandem to updating its Facebook cover photo with a tweedy image evoking the roaring twenties, above, the brand’s FB page announced: “Ralph Lauren is proud to announce its national corporate sponsorship of MASTERPIECE | PBS (Masterpiece Theatre), the celebrated PBS drama series known for hit programs such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock.”[more]

According to the press release, “Ralph Lauren’s first on-air sponsorship messages will begin on September 30, with the broadcast of Upstairs Downstairs. The company is planning to create unique spots for the various titles in the MASTERPIECE series.” (A three-hour marathon of Upstairs Downstairs on Sept. 30 precedes the second season bow of Upstairs Downstairs on PBS on Oct. 7.)

“We are proud to be associated with MASTERPIECE and public television,” stated David Lauren, Executive Vice President of Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communication, Ralph Lauren Corporation. “This is a great partnership with a brand that represents the same commitment to quality and excellence as Ralph Lauren.”

Ralph Lauren’s web magazine also features the world of Downton Abbey, a BBC/PBS co-production that returns to PBS for its third season on Jan. 6 following its return to ITV1 in the UK on Sept. 16, with fans everywhere aflutter about the prospect of Shirley MacLaine squaring off against Maggie Smith. 

The sponsorship news comes ahead of Ralph Lauren’s spring 2013 collection, which will debut at New York Fashion Week on Thursday — and which promises Downton-ready luxe evening looks that would make Lady Mary and the other aristocratic Crawley women swoon.