Sport Sponsorship Accessible for All Businesses 5th March, 2012

With new multi-million pound sport sponsorship deals secured almost daily, sport sponsorship may seem to only really work or be available for big brands.  Because of this perception many businesses will not even consider incorporating sport sponsorship into their marketing mix.  However, there are options available for SME’s and they can work better than you imagined.

In this two part series, I explore how small businesses can get involved with sport sponsorship.

Part 1: The Options

Community Projects

Sporting community projects can attract big name sponsors and funding but there are still hundreds of projects in the UK that do not have the funding needed. Although huge multi-national companies such as McDonald’s lead the way in community sponsorship, this can be replicated at a local level by local business. Sponsoring your local football community project can create awareness of your company and build the same brand trust that McDonald’s strives for. Involving your business in community projects also offers a unique chance for small businesses to demonstrate a local CSR programme and show that point-of-difference to your community that will set you apart.

Local Business and Local Sport

Local businesses sponsoring their local sports team is a great way to create brand awareness in your community. Local sports rely on sponsorship to bring in funds that otherwise would not be available. Less popular sports can struggle to attract central funding as well as new players and club members. This was a problem that faced Leicester Hockey Club who in 2008 lacked the financial input to take them to the European Championships in Azerbaijan. This led to a call for help, a call which Pukka Pies duly answered, enabling the team to compete. Pukka Pies have continued their support for Leicester Hockey Club and grown with the team through brand awareness and achievements helping them to success at the European Championships held in Holland.


Don’t be afraid to test new waters. Lesser known sports can be great platforms for sponsorship. Not many people in the UK have heard of the sport Korfball (a mixed sport similar to netball), but that didn’t stop Squashed Newt, a UK based web design company from sponsoring the Welsh National Korfball Team. A growing sport in the UK and with an impending tour to the World Championships in The Netherlands, Korfball became the sponsorship platform for Squashed Newt in spite of the sports low national profile.


Sports sponsorship is the easiest way for local business to market themselves to their own community with guaranteed exposure to their target market. The number of sport sponsorship platforms out there is enormous, but as with major sponsorship deals branding is not enough. Part Two of this blog will explore how you can maximise your sponsorship’s potential and generate real ROI for your business.

Experiential: 3 Ways to Maximise Your Assets 20th January, 2012

With the London 2012 Olympics fast approaching we are due an influx of experiential campaigns in 2012. With headline sponsors of P&G, Coke and McDonald’s taking the majority of the London 2012 marketing opportunities – both in sponsorship as well as ramped up advertising campaigns, other brands will be engaging in shorter term experiential marketing to capitalise on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Experiential marketing at its basics is a live brand marketing campaign allowing consumers to experience the product through their senses.  It occurs in real time and is a two way communication between the brand and consumer – creating a lasting connection with the brand, which is then amplified through other marketing channels. Experiential activation offers a great way to showcase a brand’s products, or simply demonstrate what the company can offer with immediate feedback.  Some examples of experiential campaigns we’ve run include Tracker’s Photo Booth for the What Car Awards 2012 and the EA Sports’ Game Hub at the London Irish Rugby Club’s St. Patricks Day Party.

Maximising Assets for Experiential Sponsorship Campaigns

1) Brand Positioning

With immediate feedback, experiential activities first need to ensure their audience is the right audience to be receiving feedback from.  Ensure that you are very clear who the target audience is first and then decide how best to reach them and more importantly where to reach them.

Being relevant to the right consumers will provide both the correct feedback, but also will enable you to drive the communications further through additional marketing campaigns.

2) Engagement is Essential

You have to be engaging in activity consumers can relate to and want to engage with. The message and positioning should be clear and concise ensuring cut through.  Providing people an experience that is on brand for the experiential activation, on brand for the company and also on brand for the sponsorship platform will create a cohesive message with all parties building resonance with the audience.

3) Make it Last

Even if your experiential activity is a one-off campaign, ensure you are making the most of it and that you have resources to support this.  If the objective is to create a viral campaign through the experiential activity, do not forget to include a social strategy that will drive this communication forward through user networks and your own company network through user generated content, videos, competitions, etc.

Slingshot Sponsorship win agency contract with Autosport for 2012 19th January, 2012

Autosport, the authority on motorsport, has appointed Slingshot Sponsorship to develop and implement a new sponsorship strategy for the 2012 Autosport Awards.  Slingshot is briefed to increase awareness and commercial value for the event through the creation of additional opportunities and sponsorship platforms throughout the year.

Rob Aherne, Publisher at Autosport:

We are delighted to be working with Slingshot Sponsorship on the Autosport Awards. They have proven themselves to be a vibrant company with lots of ideas about driving our event forward commercially, and we look forward to making plenty of progress together.

Held every December at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane, the Autosport Awards are voted for by the readers and attended by the biggest names in motorsport including Formula 1, Motorsport GP, British Rallying & World Rally Championships.  Winners of the International Racing Driver of the Year Award have included Sebastien Vettel, Jensen Button, and Lewis Hamilton.

Slingshot Sponsorship will assist Autosport with consultation and overall execution of a strategy that will attempt to forge new brand partnerships, whilst raising awareness of the programme overall for current sponsors Castrol, Mercedes-Benz, Perelli, Skoda, BMW, UBS, Parkalgar, and TW Steel.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship:

We can’t wait to get started with the Autosport Awards.  It is a phenomenal event and can deliver real marketing value to sponsoring brands.  We will be looking to enhance their current programme through the creation of additional touchpoints as well as integrating new sponsoring brands to help diversify and deliver additional value.

Slingshot Sponsorship Renews Partnership with Mencap for 2012 12th January, 2012

Slingshot Sponsorship secure contract renewal with Mencap for 2012

Mencap, the leading UK based charity helping people with a learning disability, has re-appointed Slingshot Sponsorship to continue to develop and implement a new sponsorship strategy across their high-profile events.  After an extremely successful year together, the renewal will see a continuation of Slingshot’s work to increase awareness as well as increase the commercial value for the charity through creation of sponsorship opportunities.

Slingshot Sponsorship will assist Mencap with consulting and implementation for upcoming events including April Fools – a stand-up comedy night at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo; the Little Noise Sessions music festival – an acoustic and intimate, 6-night music event curated by Jo Wiley; the fantastic swimming event Mencap Mile held at the Olympic venue; and many more.

Leo Visconti, Head of Corporate Development at Mencap:

We’ve had a great first year working with Slingshot, who have delivered some excellent sponsorship deals for us in 2011. We are now looking forward to bigger and better for 2012 and some delivering amazing events with Slingshot’s help.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship:

We are pleased to be working with Mencap again in 2012.  The Little Noise Sessions and April Fools are two events that we are always confident of attracting high profile sponsors for.  We’ve really enjoyed working with all the staff at Mencap and look forward to helping them promote their brilliant cause in the year ahead.

If you are interested in finding out more about what Slingshot Sponsorship do, or want to get involved in one of Mencap’s events, please contact: [email protected], or call us on +44 (0) 20 7226 5052