Slingshot announced as partnership agency for Rock Star Racing Team

Slingshot Sponsorship today announced that they will be working with brand new professional ocean racing sailing team Rock Star Racing.
Slingshot have been appointed to develop, build and deliver high level global commercial relationships for this team of expert sailors whose objective is to win significant sporting challenges, beginning with the world’s most prestigious sailing event, the Volvo Ocean Race next year.

Alister Richardson, Rock Star Racing Team CEO said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with Slingshot Sponsorship to bring sponsors on board with us on what will be an exhilarating journey. We have a strong team comprising world-class sailors who are highly ambitious, testament to that is that fact we’re planning to challenge for the Volvo Ocean Race next year so watch out for us!”

Rock Star Racing has already named its leadership team as Alister Richardson, James McHugh, Robert Greenhalgh and Simon Fisher, you can read more about the team’s credentials and achievements here: http://www.rock-star-racing.com/#team-menu

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship commented:
“Rock Star Racing are a very exciting potential partnership for brands who have a global presence, with the Volvo Ocean Race visiting nine ports in as many months across Spain, South Africa, China, New Zealand, USA, UK, Portugal, Sweden and The Netherlands. Bringing the team ethos into the fairly traditional world of sailing sponsorship will definitely shake things up – and this falls completely in line with the type of projects Slingshot loves to work on. We are really excited about this – it’s a great partnership for everyone involved!”

Partnership opportunities with the team have just been released. If you are interested in discussing sponsorship opportunities, please ensure to contact the Slingshot team on 0207 226 5052 as space and availability is exclusive and limited.

How to sponsor like a Rockstar

How buying rights is half the battle

There are many persuasive reasons why sponsorship is worth the money. Notably, sponsorship gives a brand a dominant platform for leverage however, if you want to invest – you have to make your investment work. Buying sponsorship rights is only the half of it. When you buy any sponsorship package you are buying an opportunity – not results. It is leverage that provides the results. A great case study in how to leverage rights and effective sponsorship can be seen with Rockstar Energy’s recent sponsorship of Snowboxx 2016.

The weeklong winter event is set in the heart of the Alps in one of France’s premier skiing resorts, Avoriaz. The event plays host to some 4,000 adrenalin junkies who turn up for great powder and equally great music artists. With top performing DJs and live artists such as Stormzy, Sigma, Paul Woolford, Mella Dee and Grandmaster Flash – everything from the heaviest grime, hip hop and house could be heard at over 1800ft.

When you think of rockstars, your mind is instantly drawn to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Gun’s n Roses! The definition of partying like a ‘rockstar’, as stated by the Urban Dictionary – is where ‘someone can stay up and party hard all night long’ – so when you see Rockstar Energy sponsoring a winter music festival offering consumers the opportunity to party like a ‘rockstar’ you wonder why and how they can do so?

Rockstar Energy, the third biggest energy drink brand in the world and the last non-corporate owned energy drink on the market – chose to sponsor Snowboxx 2016 in order to give its consumers a taste of what it’s like to party like a Rockstar. Here is how they attempted it:

Customer Experience

The most important aspect of the sponsorship opportunity for Rockstar Energy was customer experience, the energy drink took VIP to a new level by offering 26 competition winners the ultimate experience for any music lover, the opportunity to party like a rockstar! The lucky winners were treated with a week’s holiday in Avoriaz, including flights, festival ticket, ski passes and the best VIP access to stages and artists. Now that’s a rockstar experience!

POS

In order to drive excitement and interest, Rockstar created bold and exciting structured POS to be used through key retail partners. This was effectively achieved with the use of a competition to win VIP festival tickets to support the customer experience and was present in the UK, Finland and the US providing a reach much greater than the festival itself.

Branding

Throughout the festival site, Rockstar Energy was seen as ‘the’ energy drink. Branding on and around the mainstage framed every artist’s epic performance, whilst POS encouraged purchase throughout the resort. Rockstar became a significant part of the visual elements of the festival.

Customer touch points

Ensuring maximum exposure to the captive audience, Rockstar was stocked exclusively throughout all bars onsite. In addition, Rockstar made use of the key times of pre and post piste to activate a sampling campaign in order to revitalise the festival attendees. This meant the only way to regain your energy to party like a rockstar, was to drink a can of Rockstar Energy. On top of this they hosted their own DJ (Bunch of Deckheads) to play at an intimate gig in the Avoriaz stash park (freestyle area) based on the side of one the breath-taking mountains.

Content

Keen to amplify the onsite activity to the 90,000 social media followers outside the resort, Rockstar hosted exclusive supporting content across all digital platforms. This included images and videos of sweeping mountain landscapes and high adrenaline action shots from some very talented freestyle skiers – on top of all this, Rockstar even interacted with other sponsors – Coors Light and Jungfrau, ensuring no possible social news feed was left untouched.

Conclusion

Having set out with a clear sponsorship plan, with clear ideas of success – Rockstar Energy were able to leverage their key assets on a number of platforms to ensure an effective delivery to their captive audience.

The VIPs may well have lived like rockstars, but Rockstar Energy sure do sponsorship like one!

Top 5 Tips On Maximising Sponsorship At Your Next Event

Sponsorship is not only important for generating financial resources but also is crucial in creating credibility, brand experience, audience engagement and goodwill. Which begs the question, why don’t more events or platforms bring sponsors on-board? A recent survey in Admap magazine showed 86% of sport fans welcome brand interaction as they believe it will improve their experience.

One issue experienced within the event industry is that brands rarely maximise the ROI from the events they integrate with, as such they dismiss many opportunities whilst squandering their marketing budget on archaic forms of promotion such as logos badging instead of recognizing the real benefits that lay within sponsorship.

  1. Monetary Benefits

Sponsoring events that have your target audience provides brands the opportunity to:

  • reduce marketing budget spend through the efficient use of marketing budget and integration
  • increase direct sales
  • gain PR content through involvement and activation
  1. Brand Experience

Sponsorship of an event offers organisations a platform to access their target audience – creating meaningful brand experiences. This enables the brand to let the audience become part of the brand and product. The experience is always dependant on the product’s interaction capabilities, but a successful brand experience is always more engaging than a logo. Through this criteria the engagement becomes measureable and transparent for the brand as it allows real-time feedback from their consumers.

  1. Increasing the Halo effect

A company who integrates with a charity event as a sponsor to meet their CSR targets is able to improve their public relations and any other CSR goals set. Through integration they have the opportunity to create a positive impact on their social environment. Pro bono and charity work has long been part of company’s ethos and sponsorship also offers this to all brands. In addition, it allows employees to engage with the charity and align with brand values.

  1. Audience Engagement

Sponsorship offers brands a great opportunity to engage their target audience, offering meaningful and lasting investment resonance.  Brands need to uncover their own assets within the event’s rights and increase the overall event experience of attendees.

  1. Reputation Improvement

A corporate relationship with an event can provide an enhanced reputation of a brand and also secures a competitive advantage to rivals in business. An event which aligns to the image of a sponsor has the potential to further strengthen credibility.

When BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico occurred, sponsoring the Olympics was a quick and fairly easy way to manage their global reputation crisis – supporting their sustainability credentials.

With the vast and significant benefits that sponsorship of events offers brands – it would be fatal to not include it within the marketing mix.

Slingshot heads to India

Slingshot Sponsorship are heading to India later this month to work with IDBI Federal Life Insurance, one of India’s fastest growing life insurance companies.

Slingshot’s remit is to help build sponsorship strategy into the marketing team at IDBI Federal and support the team in their role to maximise the potential of their current and any future sponsorship investments.

Karthik Raman, Chief Marketing Officer, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, said:
“As a growing organisation operating in a highly competitive marketplace, it’s important for us to have a differentiated marketing approach. In the last couple of months we have taken important steps to boost our brand building efforts using sponsorships and experiential marketing initiatives. We’re eager to work with Jackie and the team at Slingshot to help us to further derive the long term value of our brand and brand associations. We know that bringing practical implementation solutions to our sponsorships will result in increased benefits to our customers which we’re always striving to deliver.”

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot explains; “We’re looking forward to working with IDBI Federal and helping them leverage their sponsorship assets further than typical logo badging. It’s also very exciting for us to be working with firms in India as expanding our client portfolio within the World’s largest democracy is a central element to our global growth strategy.”

Muscular Dystrophy UK appoints Slingshot Sponsorship to drive commercial strategy

Slingshot Sponsorship today announce their new client, Muscular Dystrophy UK. Slingshot has been selected by the charity to help drive new commercial relationships and a long term strategy.

Muscular Dystrophy UK, founded in 1959, supports and helps bring together people affected by more than 60 rare and very rare progressive muscle-weakening and wasting conditions.

Rebecca Day, Director of Development for Muscular Dystrophy UK says:

“For Muscular Dystrophy UK, research is at a critical stage requiring a real acceleration in investment; along with all we want to accomplish in providing ongoing support for families living with these devastating muscle-wasting conditions.  Wholly reliant on voluntary income, we are keen to take a thorough and proactive approach to identify and maximize the potential of commercial partnerships to meet our goals. Slingshot responded to our brief with a perfect blend of energy and passion for the project, coupled with evident and demonstrable expertise. We are extremely excited to see what we can achieve by working together.”

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship said of the new partnership, “We’re delighted to be working with such a well-renowned British charity to help them make the most of the commercial benefit to their research and income streams.”

 

Heading off Piste – Solving Platform Issues With Sponsorship

Fresh from the success of Snowboxx 2016 just this month, we thought this would be a great time to shine a light on how Snowboxx has utilised sponsorship to develop the event.

Snowboxx is a week long snow escape combining the perfect ski holiday by day with the excitement and hype of a festival hosting world renowned DJ’s by night. Based in the picturesque resort of Avoriaz in France the festival has grown year on year, welcoming over 4,000 attendees to this alpine getaway. However when planning the 2016 event, Snowboxx faced a number of challenges which it felt were creating barriers to the event’s growth & customer experience.

In order to overcome these challenges Slingshot worked with the sponsors to ensure all activation was curated to create a positive contribution to the identified areas, whilst supporting the on-point brand activity. This allowed sponsors to not only project their desired messaging but to also provide meaningful engagement to the festival and attendees alike.

Sponsorship Solutions

The four sponsors of Coors Light, Rockstar, Jungfrau & Dare2B all brought brand activations and expertise to the event, highlights include:

  1. Social Media & Content

A key challenge to rights-holders is social media, the management of content and how to engage with the attendees in an engaging manner. As such Coors Light, the brand for ‘Damme cold’ refreshment had a huge focus on amplifying their sponsorship outside of the festival boundaries of France. With a thirst for content and social interaction Coors Light developed a social media centric campaign to support their sponsorship including the curation of a unique Coors Light Igloo Party, a Twitter competition to win tickets for the Igloo Party, in addition to the chance to win a trip to Snowboxx courtesy of Coors Light – now that’s refreshing!

  1. New Audience & Reach

Ensuring an event is reaching new audiences and providing unique experiences are key to growth and attendee retention. With a platform seemingly made for Rockstar who embody the spirit of music and adrenaline fueled activity, Snowboxx was able to benefit from the launch of the new Freeze product variety and the supporting campaign. Launching with striking point of sale creative across a number of key retailers both inside and outside of the UK, Rockstar offered customers the chance to win the ultimate VIP experiences at Snowboxx including accommodation, lift passes, flights and even onstage viewing during the acts. In addition to this Rockstar was onsite throughout the festival providing the added revival to all the attendees for the long slope days and late nights at the main stage.

  1. Customer Experience

In a unique development for winter festivals, Snowboxx 2016 introduced a festival village within the heart of Avoriaz in addition to hosting bars and clubs across the resort. Due to the sprawling site it was imperative that the customer experience wasn’t impaired by the cold or misdirection. As the official clothing partner of Snowboxx 2016 Dare2B wanted to align with the youthful winter sport market and be seen as the equipment of choice for the slopes. By providing the clothing for all onsite staff Dare2B had over 70 branded customer service reps roaming the resort.

  1. Retaining Momentum

Captivating an audience outside of the core entertainment schedule is a challenge not only restricted to the festival scene. Highlighting the periods of most downtime for attendees Jungfrau hosted activity from the Jungfrau Igloo atop the main festival site, to be the saviour for all those forgotten, hats, hip flasks and shot glasses. Through the festival Jungfrau provided refreshments throughout the down days with sampling whilst providing attendees with branded merchandise including glasses, bobble hats and the ‘piste’ de resistance, the Jungfrau branded shot ski’s revered by all the attendees’ onsite. This coupled with an engaging social team to support and interact with all captured content allowed Jungfrau and Snowboxx to connect with the attendees outside of the core entertainment times.

Results

Snowboxx 2016 was met with roaring acclaim from attendees, with one group describing it as “the best week of their lives” whilst on the final chair lift. No doubt with the increasing allocation of tickets next year the event is sure to sell out once again.

So much emphasis is focused on alternative revenue when right-holders initially look to secure sponsorship, rarely are the other benefits spoken of until this topic is exhausted. However when looking at the challenges or weaknesses in your own platform you can utilise sponsor expertise to help upgrade this thinking much below the initial surge in the bank balance.

From rags to (relative) riches, what does this mean for Africa’s marketing mix?

Africa’s economic evolution over the next few years will be exponential – now home to more than 1.1 billion people, continued commodity-fueled growth combined with new energy discoveries and Africa’s ever growing role as a food producer for an expanding global population will certify increases in economic output for years. These revenues will increase per capita incomes and consumption demand. How can brands unlock this market and is sponsorship the answer? Historically lucrative sponsorship deals in Africa have been confined to sports such as football and rugby with deals ranging from $100, 000 to $5, 000, 000.

What will newly rich Africans spend their money on?

In the lowest-income group, consumption decisions are based on fulfilling basic needs; people in this category typically live from hand to mouth with near to nothing for savings. As people begin to shift away from an existence lifestyle, output per person rises moving them into the middle income group resulting in their brand consciousness emerging – resulting in more emphasis placed on quality.

Food: As people get richer, they first increase their caloric intake before they begin to diversify the kinds of foods they may eat and then, later begin to attach significance to certain brands and convenience

Beverages: Alcohol consumption follows a similar suit to food. Sales of beer (the cheapest brand) expand first – then consumers start to favour branded beer, then spirits and wines begin to gain market share and imported beers gain popularity.

Household items and vehicles: In Africa television penetration is below 20% in poor countries like Malawi and Mozambique, and rates are around 90% in the richer countries like Tunisia and Mauritius. The overall household television penetration rate has gone 42.4% in 2009 to around 50.8% in 2016. Vehicle ownership begins to increase also, incomes of US $2,500 to US $12,000 show there is double-digit growth in vehicle purchases as the product becomes more accessible.

Where to begin in marketing to Africa

Africa is huge continent – finding the right customers in the market can be a laborious process with as many as 53 countries. The future of marketing in to Africa could be compared to what western brands have done in India and China as a result of increasing incomes when those countries saw per capita gross domestic product (GDP) rise quickly in the 1990s and 2000s.

Chinese Marketing in the 1900’s and 2000’s

Due to its fast economic expansion and Open Door policy, China has become a lucrative market for Western companies that are seeing a decreasing market demand in their home countries. China’s rapidly expanding middle class is expected to triple their spending over the coming years, reaching $6 trillion by 2020. Although China offers many opportunities for Western companies, the Chinese market presents obstacles to Western marketing managers too.

Many of these barriers originate from the Chinese culture, which can be difficult for Western marketing managers to understand. The culture influences consumer buying and adoption behaviours, and Western marketing managers are challenged to gain insight into the Chinese consumer. By following these 3 examples brands may not trip up in a foreign market.

  1. Make your brand more socially and culturally acceptable:
    • Back when Coca Cola entered the Chinese market it was struggling to attract the same consumption it sees in its home markets, one idea fashioned by the company was to change the brand name. Coca Cola’s Chinese name, 可口可乐 Ke Kou Ke Le, loosely translates to “happiness in the mouth” and also sounds like Coca Cola.

 

  1. Know your market:
    • The success of China’s Taobao versus eBay determines the importance of knowing your target market. Both have the same basic service in which someone can sell products to another, yet it was the platform and methods which Taobao used that captured the Chinese market. EBay required customers to pay online using a credit card, something that is standard in the west. Taobao, knowing that many Chinese do not like to use credit cards online either because of they don’t own one or because of security concerns, allows customers to pay with cash on delivery.

 

  1. Advertise through effective experience:
    • Advertisements have been ineffective because they depict people and/or situations that are unfamiliar to the Chinese audience, such as a blonde family of four vacationing on a sunny California beach.

For western brands to take advantage of a growing economy they should look to emulate the marketing techniques of those in China, then they will emerge victorious within a new and expansive market.

“How Long Should My Sponsorship Proposal Be?”

I am asked this everywhere I go – it seems to be the thing that most people think is holding them back from securing that perfect partner.  As much as I’d love to provide a one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately (much like most of sponsorship) this is not the case and the answers vary with each sponsorship platform.  The golden rule is to keep it as short as possible, but still retaining all the information a prospect absolutely needs to know.  As most people are not quite sure what information a prospect absolutely needs to know, I’ve created some tips to help you when creating your sponsorship proposal:

  1. Keep it short, sweet and concise. Sponsorship proposals are not the latest Grazia or best Faulkner – put simply they aren’t interesting and regardless who you send it to in whatever format, people are not desperate to read them.  Sponsorship proposals are just not exciting regardless of how exciting your actual property or opportunity is.  Rather than accepting this, people overcompensate the boredom by writing excessive copy hoping to draw people in.  This is simply not the case – mostly because you aren’t a copywriter and even the best copywriters in the world are unlikely to make your sponsorship proposal a page turner from copy alone.  Therefore, don’t try and make your proposal exciting just by writing more about it.  In our digital age, if you can catch their attention and imagination – they will Google you.
  2. Following on from above – make sure whatever they Google is good.
  3. A picture says a thousand words. If you have great imagery – use it in the best format possible which is typically in a landscape format.  Saying this, don’t fill the entire proposal with a load of the same pictures – if they want to look at pictures of an event or people at an event, they will go on Facebook.
  4. Put a price on it. Don’t waste people’s time.  If you are going to go to the effort of sending a sponsorship proposal, make sure everything that the buyer needs is in there and this includes how much you expect from them in return.
  5. Be professional. I estimate that over 95% of all sponsorship proposals in the world are done by the person looking for the investment.  You are often the Founder, Marketing Director, Event Manager or Sponsorship person.  It’s not your fault you are not a graphic designer, you have other important skills.  But it is important to recognise you are not a graphic designer.  People like things that look good.  You wouldn’t try out the new restaurant in town if they handed you a hand-drawn flyer made out of copy paper and crayons so how can you expect someone to part with budget when you won’t even invest on your own sales collateral?

In terms of a litmus test, I recommend taking your sponsorship proposal to a brutally honest friend and asking their opinion.  They don’t need to work in marketing to have an opinion – they just need to not worry about hurting your feelings.  Listen to them.  They will definitely help.

Failing getting a friend’s sign off, get some actual professional help.  Speak to a sponsorship agency for feedback and/or hire them to put together a proposal for you.  Slingshot obviously does this, but there are also many other agencies who can help too.  It is such a shame to see people fail at securing sponsors for their event because of a bad proposal, but not a bad property so don’t go it alone!

If you are interested in having Slingshot review or create your sponsorship proposal drop us an email: proposalreview@slingshotsponsorship.com

Coors Light Announced As Official Beer Supplier For Snowboxx Festival 2016

Coors Light have been announced as the ‘Official Beer Supplier’ for Snowboxx Festival 2016 with the agreement brokered by Slingshot Sponsorship.

In a new development for 2016, Snowboxx is creating something never before seen at winter festivals, its own ‘Snowboxx Village’. Based in Avoriaz, the heart of the Port du Soleil ski region, Snowboxx Festival will host a plethora of events from main stage performances, off-the-wall festival features & local food and drink stalls.

Coors Light partnership with Snowboxx further supports the brand message of #DammeCold and the positioning as the ultimate in ice cold refreshment.

The partnership will see Coors Light as the exclusive beer supplier to the festival with retailing across multiple bars onsite in addition to inclusion in all promotional activity across Snowboxx’s digital and social channels and a bespoke Igloo party hosted onsite during the week-long snow festival extravaganza.

Rachel Twemlow, Brand Manager for Coors Light commented: “Coors and Snowboxx have a natural affinity through the shared passions of music and the cold nature. Snowboxx 2016 is set to be the biggest and best yet and this will provide a super platform to launch our relationship as well as the opportunity to capture great content and engage with our core demographic.”

This year, Coors Light will be in the acoustic company of headline acts Sigma, one of the biggest acts of 2015 and DJing royalty Grandmaster Flash for what will be a week of unforgettable music, skiing and partying.

Aden Levin, Managing Director, Snowboxx remarked: “Coors’s partnership with Snowboxx is testament to the shared vision of both brands. With the event growing year on year we’re excited to be able to start this relationship and look forward to what will be the biggest ski festival of the year.”

 

Register your interest for Snowboxx 2016 now at http://snowboxx.com/

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