Hyundai Motor UK is Official Car Partner to Wales Rally GB

Wales Rally GB is delighted to announce that Hyundai Motor UK is extending its partnership with Britain’s concluding round of the FIA World Rally Championship, brokered by Slingshot Sponsorship.

Building on last year’s successful affiliation, Hyundai Motor UK has been reappointed as the event’s ‘Official Car Partner’ – a move that reinforces the company’s growing presence at the forefront of the WRC. Hyundai Motorsport’s ambitious team last year secured its first WRC victory, alongside several other podium finishes, and so far this year, has secured podium finishes in Sweden and Sardinia.

The partnership between Wales Rally GB and Hyundai Motor UK will see the i20 WRC car once again featuring prominently on all the 2015 event’s promotional materials including posters, ticketing leaflets and publicity flyers as well as on the walesrallygb.com website and the cover of the official programme.

Hyundai Motor UK will also provide a fleet of liveried vehicles for use on the event by key members of the organisation team and FIA dignitaries.

“It was a pleasure to join forces with Hyundai last year and we are delighted the company will extend its role as ‘Official Car Partner’ to Wales Rally GB in 2015,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “The staging of a major world championship event is a huge project, and we couldn’t possibly achieve it without the support of major partners like Hyundai. Their increased involvement is reflective of the greater commercialisation of the event and demonstrates the value that the rally can bring to partners.”

The Hyundai Motorsport team enjoyed an encouraging Wales Rally GB debut in 2014 when Thierry Neuville just missed out on a podium with a highly creditable fourth position. There was further success, too, in the National Rally with BBC TopGear magazine’s Oliver Marriage taking B2 Class Honours in his Hyundai i20. The team will be running a four car line-up at this year’s Wales Rally GB, which will feature British co-driver Sebastian Marshall, who will be joining promising Dutch driver Kevin Abbring in one car.

Tony Whitehorn, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor UK Ltd commented, “We are delighted to be supporting the smooth operation of Wales Rally GB for the second consecutive year – what better way is there to showcase the robustness of our products than over the tough forest rally routes of north and mid Wales in November!

He continued: “Rallying here in the UK has a significant, engaged and massively enthusiastic audience. We hope that through our continued support we can engage with our consumers in a more dynamic way as well helping to further raise awareness of Wales Rally GB.”

Wales Rally GB features four days of dramatic action, predominantly set on the legendary forest tracks of north and mid Wales in November. Full information and details of significantly discounted advance tickets can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

How Under Armour Delivered a Champion

With brands becoming fixated on trialing creative across a plethora of digital channels with mixed engagement success, it is easy to overlook the value of athletes in respect to capturing the consumer. Athlete sponsorship is now as competitive as the sports themselves, with the biggest brands in the world battling to obtain the best athletes – a key reason why athlete sponsorship deals are more lucrative than ever.

During the last decade Nike and Adidas have gained a stronghold on the sporting market utilising established sports stars to endorse their brands. This spend surpasses most other brands requiring them to become more resourceful to obtain the same benefits enjoyed through a high level brand ambassador partnership. Talent acquisition is crucial.

The big success story of 2015 has undeniably been Under Armour and its association with the new golfing sensation, Jordan Spieth. Under Armour originally signed the unknown Spieth to an endorsement deal in 2013. However, Under Armour granted the 21 year old a 10 year contract extension just months before his inaugural Masters win, creating an estimated $34m worth of exposure for the brand.

Whilst this would seem a gamble for the brand to invest a 10 year contract in someone who only had one career victory to his name, from Under Armour’s point of view this was by no means a gamble. The company’s senior professionals had followed Spieth and his career for a number of years, critically evaluating the potential of the player, much like a chief scout would in the professional game.

Following on from the Masters, Spieth has gone on to win the US Open – crediting two majors to his name. Most recently, he narrowly missed out at St. Andrews, which ended the chance of the newly coined ‘Spieth Slam’ but nonetheless delivered incredible exposure for Under Armour, leaving the Nike, Adidas and the rest of the field feeling as if they have missed the cut.

The Under Armour partnership with Jordan Spieth is evidence that innovation can overcome spend when implemented with creative insight.

Sky & British Cycling – When It Pays To Put All Of Your Eggs In One Basket

Fresh from the saddle of my first Sky Ride and currently in awe of the (super) human feat by Chris Froome in the Tour de France, I thought this the perfect moment to celebrate the partnership between Sky & British Cycling and question what’s next for both properties.

Since its inception in 2008, Sky’s partnership with British Cycling has been embodied across multiple areas of the business from staff engagement cycling events to wider reaching Sky Rides and the global media machine which is Team Sky. Sky’s involvement was initially seen as a revelation in the industry, only to be further magnified by the venture into Team Sky, with mass plaudits following shortly behind.

Hitting the targets of the partnership over a year ahead of schedule, Sky delivered over a million more regular cyclists across the UK and a British winner of the Tour de France. Now Sky is seen as an industry leader in cycling across all levels from the elite to mass participation with cycling becoming the epicentre of Sky’s engagement both internally and externally.

The announcement earlier this year that Sky will end the partnership with British Cycling in 2016 created a shock throughout the media. With such success and over delivery on the partnership, many have expressed an uncertainty about what will follow. Despite the decision to part been reached “amicably” as British Cycling’s chief executive Ian Drake advised, the challenge for British Cycling will be to find a partner that offers the same level of support as Sky for the long term.

The question which forms much speculation is what the focus of Sky’s next partnership will be. After all, people generally advise not to put all of your eggs in one basket – following Sky’s success with British Cycling, only time will tell if they choose to do so again.

Understanding Sponsorship’s Evolution Will Help You Capitalise

Sponsorship is not a new concept.  It originally dates back to 776 BC to the first Olympic Games held in Greece with wealthy citizens and local governments providing financial support to build awareness of their cities.  Sponsorship continued in this way until 1984, when the Los Angeles Olympics redefined sponsorship to the world by selling the Olympic symbols to brands.  With 43 major sponsors stepping forward, the Olympic Games made a profit of $225million and a new wave of sponsorship profitability ensued based on logo and brand recall.

Since then, sponsorship has undergone many shifts with partnerships becoming less about the logo and more about engagement.  Without engagement, brand sponsorship fails to resonate with consumers who are constantly bombarded with messages in our digital revolution.

The three key shifts of evolution with sponsorship:

1.  Sponsorship should be used by every organisation

When sponsorship is used with both creative and commercial objectives at the core, opportunities for this type of partnership benefit all organisations – no matter how big or small you are.  Small businesses particularly benefit for sponsorship as the impact on maximising commercial revenue tends to be greater.  However, the one challenge for small businesses undertaking or integrating sponsorship is not understanding their value beyond a logo.  When identifying the partnership USP is so vital, it is crucial to understand what assets they have and are prepared to offer for their partners.

2.  Sponsorship should not be seen as a monitory transaction in exchange for a logo

By uncovering your business assets correctly, you will be able to show potential sponsors what you can provide allowing you to approach sponsors by creating a business proposition rather than just awareness. Furthermore, looking at sponsorship benefits outside of logos can create partnerships with organisations you may not have approached before.

3.  Sponsorship provides brands personality

Sponsorship gives life to a brand providing brand character and differentiating it from its competitors. By partnering with sponsors who share the same values as your brand you will expose your brand to a broader audience and leave a lasting impression with that audience.

David Verklin, CEO of Carat USA once said, “Sponsorship shows respect to a viewer by not taking advantage of something that they involuntary give up – their time and attention.”

Sponsorship continues to evolve and by keeping ahead of these shifting concepts ensures you will continue to add value to your sponsors and continue to secure sponsorship funding for your organisation.  However, much of the information you can gather online is not as practically implementable or easily understood as it may seem.

By getting expert advice in this area, you can ensure you are not wasting time by trial and error.  As such, Slingshot Sponsorship has recently launched a monthly sponsorship training event which provides organisations with the tools to approach sponsorship from a forward-thinking and creative standpoint. If you would like to become part of the evolution of sponsorship attend a Sessions at our Slingshot’s London head office. One of our senior consultants will provide you with all the tools necessary to capitalise on your commercial potential.

To find out more about our sponsorship sessions please click here or call the Slingshot Head Office:  +44 (0) 20 226 5052.

Slingshot Sponsorship’s MD Jackie Fast Goes Down Under

Slingshot Sponsorship’s MD Jackie Fast will be presenting a two day training course in Sydney, Australia on October 27th and 28th with Marcus Evans. This is a unique chance to hear from one of the industry’s leading experts on how to successfully secure sponsorship in today’s landscape.

With the increase of digital and technology, this has created a seismic shift in the way consumers engage in the world around them – and this has a significant impact on brands and how brands utilise sponsorship to engage with their target audiences.  Slingshot have successfully been a driving force within this new framework of sponsorship and this two day course will show you why traditional sponsorship practices no longer work in today’s industry.

Key takeaways from the event will include:

  • Understanding the new rules of sponsorship
  • Incorporating social media and digital technology to enhance sponsorship activity
  • Learning how sponsorship can grow your business, not just your commercial bottomline
  • Elaborating the market trends on sponsorship sectors including sport, arts, music, conferences and CSR
  • Maximising your true potential

Jackie Fast commented, “I am extremely thrilled to be coming to Australia to present our agency’s framework for sustainable sponsorship for both rights holders and brands.  With an office in Singapore, we can help provide further support our attendees in the long term so I am thrilled to be able to come down and start engaging with the Australian sponsorship industry.”

For more information or to book your place please click here. 

How to Capitalise on Sponsorship

One of the most common mistakes brands make when entering sponsorship is expecting that by simply aligning their name and logo with a property the ROI will come. Many brands spend a great deal of time planning and selecting which sponsorship would be most beneficial for their business but once the deal has been signed, brands should focus their efforts into making sure they capitalise on the sponsorship.

Create your own noise

A key reason why brands are often unsuccessful in sponsorship is because they fail to capitalise on the opportunities afforded to them once the deal has been signed. Brands spend months analysing the assets of a property and at the point of the handshake it is then up to the brand to exhaust all assets available to them. Unfortunately, a common trend is that sponsors expect the rights holder to create the ‘noise’ during the partnership – this is not always the case. There is a responsibility on the rights holder to support as much as they can, but it is not the rights holders’ primary focus to truly create the impact. Communications of the brand to the audience should be collaborated on rather than isolated to create the best outcome.

Save budget for activation

Another common error is that sponsors spend the entirety of their budget on the sponsorship fee, leaving no additional budget for brand activation during the partnership, therefore brands are unable to capitalise on the opportunities available to them. In essence, the sponsorship fee is the price for rights to utilise the assets. As part of the planning phase sponsors should weigh up the potential costs involved in order to take advantage of the assets e.g. entertaining, promotional products and activation costs. Sponsors must take this into account before committing to any sponsorship or risk an ineffective investment.

Experiment and be creative

The majority of brands stick to what they know best. If a brand continues a one dimensional approach to sponsorship and fails to experiment with different properties and channels they will inevitably miss out on opportunities to progress and reach new audiences. Sponsors should always make use of every vehicle available to them. Through the use of analytics and measurement tools, brands can now assess their success post sponsorship better than ever – considering a property is only as good as its assets, a brands’ success alongside that property is only as good as their determination to make the best use out of the assets purchased.

When Bigger Isn’t Better – Challenger Properties Offering Sponsors Value for Money

Amongst the fall-out from the recent FIFA investigations, a number of brands expressed concern at being involved with the prestigious global property. Should those brands re-evaluate their sponsorship, they may well be inclined to look at a lower profile alternative – a challenger property with a solid foundation, set to ascend further into the public eye.

Lower profile properties allow sponsors to have greater access, less risk and a greater opportunity to tailor their involvement helping to facilitate a more integrated partnership with the rights-holder.

An example of this is one of Slingshot’s client’s GB Taekwondo, one of the shining lights of Team GB and golden hopes of Rio 2016. Established in 2002, the team has grown substantially in recent years developing into a team of 27 full time athletes including a school outreach programme, UK hosted international and domestic championships and a clear pathway to Olympic success.

The team has captured medals at the Olympics, World Grand Prix and most recently conquered at the World Championships where Bianca Walkden and Damon Sansum claimed Gold & Silver medals  respectively resulting in national media coverage across the BBC and ITV. Jade Jones also clinched Gold at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Tasting Success

With a challenger rights-holder such as GB Taekwondo the team offers sponsors an extremely flexible and personal platform to associate the brand – reaching multiple objectives in the business.

Hill Dickinson the law firm (a partner of the team since 2014) is a prime example of a company who has leveraged their partnership to great effect, creating tangible new business opportunities, cross company staff engagement and accomplishing multiple CSR objectives within the firm.

The firm was provided such flexibility due to the aligned core objectives of both parties. The team and athletes understood Hill Dickinson’s key objectives and helped facilitate this through their own understanding of their assets – a proactive approach not often taken with some of the more established rights holders. Through this sponsorship, staff have created lasting relationships with Olympic athletes which have grown and developed on the Road to Rio 2016 creating a more holistic partnership than mere branding or hospitality.

Future Opportunities

With challenger properties, brands have the opportunity to truly partner with the right-holders. Enabling the opportunity to reach success across company objectives with smaller companies who may believe sponsorship is out of their budget.

As the property evolves as will the partnership and fees associated. The brand’s objectives and focus will adapt, changing in tune to the success – reaping the rewards on their modest outlay with increased PR, awareness and opportunities. When working in this manner, sponsors find the ROI clear to see with such a cross section of involvement at all levels.

Act now!

In the Road to the Rio Olympics, now is the time to consider how lower profile sporting properties could significantly benefit brands – without the price tag of sponsoring the Olympics.

The GB Taekwondo team has a calendar for 2015/2016 including the World Championships, Baku 2015 European Games, World Grand Prix, the Road to Rio and the crowning glory of the Olympics. Now is the perfect time to engage to access Olympic benefits leading in to Rio 2016, supporting your business objectives over the long term.

*Partnership opportunities are available with both team level with GB Taekwondo, and at the World Grand Prix held on the 16th -18th October 2015 at Sportscity Manchester.

Slingshot Sponsorship secures Dailymotion as Official Media Partner for both Outlook and Dimension Festivals

Slingshot Sponsorship has signed Dailymotion as Official Media Partner for Outlook Festival and Dimensions Festival.

This is a partnership with vast potential. The two festivals, Outlook (2-6 September) and Dimensions (26-30 August) feature performances from hundreds of artists across multiple stages located in diverse settings including a moat, a Roman amphitheatre and numerous boat parties, which sets the scene for some unique content, not only for people unable to attend the festivals, but also for festivalgoers to share during and after the festivals. 

Dailymotion is one of the world’s biggest video platforms, and the most popular European site – across all categories – in the world according to comScore. The partnership will include a significant live stream element, in addition to seeded video content than the entire year.

Marc Eychenne, VP of Dailymotion, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Outlook and Dimensions. For years, we have been working with music festivals to develop their online reach through livestreaming or more short form content. Last year’s Dimensions opening concert with Caribou was a massive success on our platform and that’s why we’re excited to further develop a working relationship. Both festivals will bring great music experiences to our audience and attract new viewers to Dailymotion.”

Jackie Fast, MD, Slingshot Sponsorship, said:

“Outlook & Dimensions Festivals are truly unique and amass a huge following worldwide.  The partnership with Dailymotion not only supports this audience growth, but provides both festivals the opportunity to continually engage with their artists, advocates, and fans outside of the attendance of the festivals themselves.”

Sponsorship Sales Basics – Part One: “It’s Not My Proposal, It’s My Lack of Contacts”

We have been running a monthly event at our Head Office since December (find our next Sessions event) and some of the challenges and hurdles that are being faced by quite diverse companies we have been helping seem to be the same.  Therefore, I have decided to create a Sponsorship Sales Series for the beginner.  If you are an expert, this blog is not for you – you might be more interested in reading this.

 

The one thing I hear quite often is that the lack of success in sponsorship sales has nothing to do with the capability, the product or the proposal – but rather, because they just don’t have the contacts.

Opportunities that are truly great opportunities for a company and are communicated well will get noticed within any business.  It is quite easy to make excuses for lack of sponsorship sales from junior sales teams because they just don’t know the right people, when in actual fact the problem lies not in their little black book, but their inexperience at understanding the true proposition between your organisation and the prospect’s strategy.

With the right proposal, right property, to the right brand – there is no sale.

Far too often a significant amount of investment is spent in sponsorship taking sales training courses and the creation of tools to support the value such as media research – without actually addressing the real issues.  Media results and training are incredibly useful tools for a sponsorship team, but if the people generating the leads don’t understand why they are making the approach, these tools become useless.

The 5 Top Tips of Prospecting for Sponsorship:

  1. Know your USP – what makes you a more viable sponsorship opportunity than your competitor
  2. Stop contacting the Big 5 just because you’ve seen their logo on other sponsorship campaigns: HSBC, Barclays, Coca-Cola, Google, and Emirates. This is not a good enough reason to be contacting them.
  3. Know your prospect’s challenges and understand why you can help them when no one else can.
  4. The sponsorship needs to work on a number of levels across a brand’s business – so understand how this will impact and support wider business objectives.
  5. Stop randomly contacting people in hopes that someone will read your proposal. Within any Marketing Director’s job description nowhere does it ever read “to read over 12,000 proposals, feedback to each person who has submitted something, and then find one that works for the business”.

Join Our Webinar – we’ll teach you how to get the right sponsorship

At Slingshot Sponsorship we’ve already helped dozens of companies find the right commercial partners. Whether it’s to help them grow, reach a bigger audience, or simply make a project a success, there’s one common theme: we find clients the right, long-term partners.

At the root of it, that’s what Slingshot Sponsorship does differently.

To get there, our clients normally go through our intensive Bootcamp. But we want more businesses and individuals to benefit from the Slingshot approach.

So, working with our friends at Monkfeet, we’re launching our first webinar.

Looking from the perspectives of both attracting and proposing sponsorship, we’ll take you through:

  • Tricks and tips for making the most of sponsorship opportunities
  • How to form valuable marketing and marketing partnerships
  • Understanding your proposition
  • How to write a sponsorship proposal
  • How to navigate the sponsorship sales process

This 55-minute online course might be the best £25 you’ll ever spend. Book now!

We’re also hosting in-person, in-depth sponsorship workshops at Monkfeet: take a look at our courses.

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