My Year as a Placement Student at Slingshot 23rd March, 2017

The novelty of graduating university has decreased substantially this last decade. As the number of millennials attending university increases, the value of being a university graduate has dwarfed. If a post-graduate walked into an interview claiming they deserved the job role because he or she had a degree, employers would laugh and say ‘you and a million others’.


The only thing that’s increased from university are the expenses of attending the education system and the level of competition in finding a job post-graduation. 10 years ago, It was almost a guaranteed deal in finding a job after University – those graduates didn’t find themselves with their backs up against the wall like this contemporary generation does today.


As an undergraduate I’ve learnt that a degree simply doesn’t cut it anymore.


The real value lies within acquiring hands on, tangible experience through embarking on a placement year. Students need to be able to provide employers with sufficient evidence that both supports and reassures, you can get the job done.


One way or another, acquiring work experience is critical in the process of becoming employable; and I drew the most benefit is working in a smaller organisation.


I cannot stress enough how working in a smaller firm has affected my professional development for the better. My understanding on how the entire agency operates strengthened as I was an integral part of the team. In a big company, you become a cog in a piece of machinery and never truly achieve full awareness to your impact – having that lack of insight to your progression indefinitely detriments your experience as an intern.


The Key Thing I’ve learnt:

Passion over credential. I had zero experience prior to working with Slingshot and minimal knowledge on sponsorship, yet my passion to learn allowed me to develop quickly and become a valuable asset to the agency – drive can’t be bought, but knowledge can be taught.


The Top 3 Favourite Things about My Job:

  1. Numerous role opportunities. Operating within a small team provided me with the chance to perform every job role which offered me and understanding for what career I’d want to specialise in for the future.


  1. Creating relationships. Focusing on sales allowed me to build rapport with various clients and individuals both nationally and internationally that has not only helped me grow in confidence but has opened my world up to potential opportunity.


  1. Unrivalled insight. Working with a sponsorship agency that taps into all sectors meant that I’ve had the pleasure of working across various industries, which kept my experience interesting and refreshing. This allowed me to harness a much broader understanding of the realm of business.


What I Thought Before Work And Now:

I never expected to love work. It wasn’t until I began to see results that the obsession grew. From a sporting background myself, I was always competitive and those characteristics are easily transferable – the office is my new playground and my highs are found from achieving above and beyond from what is expected.


What I’ll miss the most:

Being pushed from my comfort zone. It wasn’t until Slingshot I realised my true potential. Being in an environment where I’m constantly motivated and expected to deliver helped me understand how vital it is to stay clear of what’s familiar or easy because you’ll never grow as an individual.


Although a degree certifies your knowledge in the field, applying your knowledge whilst earning a wealth of experience and building a vast network of contacts is critical to the early stages of your career. It’s ultimately what you do now that affects your future and Slingshot was my stepping stone.

Be The ‘Right’ Holder 21st March, 2017

In today’s age, we are witnessing industries becoming ever more cluttered with brands and consumers are spoilt for choice. With the level of competition skyrocketing; brands need to find new and innovative ways of differentiating.


As the market becomes increasingly saturated, trying to identify something distinct about a brand is blurred; yet deriving something unique for a brand is crucial and is the underlying principle designed to drive their success. Distinguishing that certain something about an organisation represents the biggest sales tool in their arsenal – the USP.


Brands are now utilising the latest innovations in sponsorship, as opposed to standard forms of marketing, to create emotional connections with their target audience, creating sustainable and long-lasting relationships.


Rights holders need to be aware of this and use their platforms as a gateway to helping brands accomplish their goals, providing opportunities for brands to leverage themselves from their competitors. To do this rights holders must invest time into identifying the key ways they can help a brand differentiate and reach their business objectives, which means prospecting should be more targeted than ever.


It is therefore paramount that rights holders promote themselves as the property that will help differentiate the brand from their competitors and become the solution, not an option, in providing brands with the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd, leading to their further success.

Sponsorship DIY 16th December, 2016

‘You need money to make money’ is a common term people refer to when encountering financial obstacles and rights holders constantly face challenges when it comes to taking their projects to the next level.

Most entrepreneurial projects start off as a one-man band or in some cases they might have a small team in place, but nevertheless the amount of effort to get projects of any size off the ground is not for the faint hearted, requiring a substantial amount of time and expertise. Rights holders are now realising the importance of sponsorship not only from a financial standpoint but they are beginning to realise that brand integration can make significant improvements to their holistic business model – ultimately saving them time and money.

Yet, with sponsorship so important to rights holders – sponsorship professionals now understand their worth and as such, large fees are associated with such specialist agencies. Therefore, obtaining the money to hire their services can often be very hard to come by, making the journey from zero to hero a daunting prospect.

However, the solution is simple; identifying alternative services that allow you to function like a specialist agency might be the worthiest investment any entrepreneur can make. Enhancing your knowledge from a fundamental level in the field you operate can ultimately acts as the foundation to your success.

At Slingshot, we don’t just work with global properties but all businesses with the ambition of propelling every client we work with to the next level. For those unable to justify larger investments into agency support, we conduct commercial training sessions that have been designed to give people an insight into the step-by-step process we go through with our global clients, providing you with all the knowledge and skills to go out and secure long-term sponsorship for your own organisation.

Performing like a trained sponsorship expert will result in you developing the right propositions, having the right conversations with the right brands resulting in you building long-lasting relationships with sponsors whilst driving year on year revenue. Don’t just hire specialists, become one.

If you’d like to hear more about the commercial training sessions we run at our headquarters in London, please contact Liam Ward at [email protected]

To book onto the course, simply follow the link provided.

The rise of eSports – From on the pitch to behind to the screen 17th November, 2016

By 2019, the eSports industry is expected to hit $1.23 billion in value according to SuperData reports. Considering electronic sports was not considered a legitimate form of organised competition over the past 10 years, the industry is growing at an alarming rate.

ESports is growing 38% in viewership and 42% in revenue year on year. The reason for its success in such a short space of time resides in its platform being incredibly accessible and inclusive. Regardless of size, age, gender or disability no individual is denied access of taking part, therefore the potential for the industry to develop in scale is limitless.

There are even signs to suggest that the world of eSports is taking over the traditional sporting industry. Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for eSports gamer’s, hosts more than 45 million users every month to broadcast, watch and chat. With data recorded by Twitch analysts, the average audience member of this platform spends 120 minutes a day tuning into this channel, which is only marginally less than the average person watches TV in the UK.

Sport is typically associated with athletic ability, however now that we are progressing to a more digital age, the way we perceive and participate in sport is altering. This is having a substantial effect on younger generations, who are now becoming heavily integrated with the use of technology and gaming. Since 2013 85% of children in households aged 8 to 15 owned a gaming console. With technological influence growing stronger, a new world of organised competition is emerging within the ‘sporting’ sector.

The rise of eSports has opened up numerous opportunities for participants as they find themselves with the chance to become professionals. Like all professional competitors, eSports athletes require time to train and develop their skills. Sponsorship acts as the foundation to sustain themselves as professional athletes, allowing them to commit their time and resource in becoming the best in the world!

With organised events celebrating competitions and leagues, eSports gaming stars can be earning up to 6 figures in sponsorships in addition to prize money, competing in sold out stadiums of up to 45,000 fans plus.

Global brands such as INTEL, IGN, YouTube, Google, Microsoft and Coca Cola have already seized the opportunity to sponsor eSports platforms, creating sustainable partnerships, and driving revenue and awareness to a key audience. Brands within a variety of differentiating sectors are now seeking to sink their teeth into this industry.

In the next coming decade, eSports is expected to be televised in every household. Brands world-wide are pursing early sponsorship contracts with eSports properties before markets become saturated and grow increasingly harder to access. The prospect of eSports taking over traditional forms of sport, in both participation and industry value is becoming reality.

Slingshot shortlisted for the European Sponsorship Association Excellence Awards 2016 1st November, 2016

Renowned as the pinnacle accomplishment in sponsorship across Europe, Slingshot have been shortlisted in both the ‘Live Music Sponsorship Award’ and ‘Rights Holder Award’ categories for the European Sponsorship Association Excellence Awards.

The European Sponsorship Association (ESA), is the voice of the sponsorship industry across Europe, seeking to inspire, educate and raise standards within the sponsorship industry. As a membership association it strives to lead the industry through activities relating to policy and governance, corporate responsibility, education and training, provision of information and networking.

A truly perfect start to the week for the Slingshot team, proudly reminiscing on their recently conducted partnership with Snowboxx (Rights Holder) and Rockstar Energy Drinks. In a new development for 2016, Snowboxx created something never seen before at winter festivals, their own ‘Snowboxx Village’. Based in Avoriaz, the heart of the Port du Soleil ski region, Snowboxx Festival hosted a plethora of events from headlining performances, off-the-wall festival features & local food and drink stalls.

With the most important aspect of this sponsorship for Rockstar Energy Drink being customer experience, the brand took VIP to a whole new level by offering 26 competition winners the ultimate experience for any music lover, the opportunity to party like a rockstar.

Through Slingshots ability to set out a clear sponsorship plan for success – Rockstar Energy Drink were able to leverage their key assets on a number of platforms, ensuring an effective delivery to their captive audience.

On being shortlisted, Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship, ‘To even be recognised by the ESA organisation is a huge honour. As an agency we aim to endorse that we are not a one trick pony but will consistently exercise optimal levels in effort and commitment for each of our clients’.

Moving forward the Slingshot team look to inspire the new additions to their team showcasing one of their best in class campaigns. Slingshot will continue to cover the entire spectrum of sponsorship disciplines, ensuring this lead of creativity will be replicated in future work.

Slingshot Sponsorship MD, Jackie Fast, shortlisted in the ‘Micro Business category for the 2016 Great British Entrepreneur Awards. 14th October, 2016

A most prestigious and proud event, regarded as the benchmark for entrepreneurial success in the UK, the awards celebrate the contributions and innovations of British entrepreneurs and their impact on the economy. Where over 100 Great British Entrepreneurs have been announced as finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, our very own Jackie Fast has been named amongst them.

Since launching in 2012, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards has received applications from over 1800 entrepreneurs. The Awards recognises business leaders from multiple industries across the 20 awards categories. Previous winners have included Julie Deane MBE, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, James Watt, co-founder of Brewdog and Alexander Solomou, founder of Lad Bible.

As Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship, Jackie has built the company from her bedroom to working with clients now such as XTC with Richard Branson and ‘Rock Star Racing’ within the Volvo Ocean Race. Slingshot’s plans for the future are to grow, develop and excel within the sponsorship industry as a flagship agency providing aid for a number of rights holders to acquire sponsorship.

On being shortlisted, Jackie commented: “It is always an honour to just be recognised amongst such a strong field of strong entrepreneurs, to be shortlisted within the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is a remarkable achievement personally, and from a company standpoint. We at Slingshot Sponsorship immerse ourselves as hard working individuals, and strongly believe that hard work does not go unnoticed”.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards is all about celebrating the wonderful stories that entrepreneurs have, and helping them on their journey to success.

Nick James, Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “This year we have yet again enjoyed an increase in the amount of entries for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, and every single category is fiercely contested. There is no doubt that Entrepreneurialism is alive and well in the UK despite any uncertainty over Brexit.”

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards will culminate at the Gala Final, taking place on Tuesday 22nd November in the ballrooms of the prestigious, Lancaster London Hotel.

‘2 Wrongs Don’t Make a Right’ 26th September, 2016

Rights holders have generally been perceived as the dominant party within sponsorship contracts, this is because the rights holder unarguably has complete control in the dictation of which brands are granted access in becoming a sponsor or not. This often creates the illusion that rights holders are the dominant party and have the power to terminate contracts if they wish.


However, with the sponsorship market growing more cluttered with a vast array of opportunities now available for brands, sponsorship sales are increasing in difficulty to acquire, therefore, sponsorship revenue is becoming ever more precious for rights holders. As such, the power struggle between rights holders and brands have become considerably more balanced.


Having sponsorship funds retracted can be critically damaging to a rights holder and the hole created as a consequence can often lead to a detrimental knock-on effect. For example, a sports team without this financial security may not be able to buy the desired players, just as a festival may not be able to hire talented musicians for a strong headline act.


There have been countless recent case studies where brands have been the ones to pull the plug on sponsorship deals. A famous example of this is Adidas’ recently terminated sponsorship deal with the IAAF in wake of its doping crisis. The 11-year sponsorship deal with Adidas was set to run until 2019 and was reportedly worth £23m. The projected loss of revenue for the IAAF and its agency Dentsu over the next four years alone is more than £21m, which will undeniably have a long term negative effect on the sport as a whole.


According to an official press release that accompanied the deal announcement in 2008, the partnership between the IAAF and Adidas incorporated “every aspect of athletics, from product creation, to grassroots development”, suggesting that Adidas were committed to this partnership for a multitude of reasons and although the brand was under huge pressure to react to these scandals (and in no way can the actions of certain people at the IAAF be condoned) it could be argued that by pulling its funding, Adidas failed to spot an opportunity to rise above the negative connotations and display its commitment to the next generation of athletics stars instead of tarring them under the same brush as their predecessors.


Recently, Eddie McGuire, Australian Football League’s Director of Collingwood, evoked uproar at the Big Freeze, a charity event to raise awareness for motor neuron disease. McGuire made comments in regards to holding a female reporter, Caroline Wilson, under the water for 50 seconds so that he may donate a large sum of money to the fundraising event.


The public fallout was immediate, the comment was deemed sexist, inappropriate as well as a joke in poor taste. However, rather than Holden (Collingwood’s official sponsor), aborting their position as title sponsor, they took an alternative course of action to maintain their relationship to one of Australia’s biggest football teams.


In the wake of the scandal Holden and Collingwood’s partnership has been “restructured” to drive closer cultural alignment between club and company and ensure championing diversity is just as important as the sport. The restructured contract now consists of more than 50% of Holden’s investment directly funding the Collingwood’s female AFL team and community programs. Holden is now integrated within Collingwood’s diversity programmes, building awareness & ensuring equality continues within the AFL.


The newly demanded restructure of Collingwood’s contract with Holden showcases the importance of responsibility as a public figure and the consequences that follow. A percentage of the Australian public regard Collingwood as fortunate, however Holden have reformed the negative press and attention into a positive programme reimbursing the good nature of its organisation as well as their future ambition.


This case study highlights the importance of partnerships and how mutual benefits should not be so easily terminated, regardless of the situation.