Kari Traa Brand Activation – Red Bull Cliff Diving, Norway 2012 9th August, 2012

Our Norwegian partners BITE AGENCY made the case for the very well known female sports brand, Kari Traa of Norway, to work with the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Championship.

As cliff diving is traditionally a male dominated sport, it was necessary to create a viable link for Kari Traa to be a part of the event as a main sponsor.

THE link:
Women will, as of next year, be an official part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships.  So far so good.

Then we went looking for one of the few female cliff divers worldwide.  We found Anna Bader who was willing to be a part of the sponsorship – however, as females jump from 20m (rather than the 27m the men dive from), we managed to create a teaser dive a few days ahead of the event, together with Red Bull’s Orlando Duque, 7 times world champion cliff diver.

As a result, a very organic story was created, with Anna opening the doors to females as of next year, Kari Traa (the double Olympic Gold Medalist Skier) endorsing her in a male dominated sport and the clothing brand Kari Traa as a product item.

During Show
During the event we showed an event clip about Anna Bader, her dive and the story behind it on the 70m2 screen to the audience, Kari Traa was sampling from a boat on shore and all in all the brand was extremely visible during the day to the local and international press and the audience present.

Follow Up
Anna Bader will be a part of the Kari Traa Extreme Team, Kari Traa extends cooperations with Red Bull and Kari Traa’s German efforts might very well be based around Anna in 2013.

The video clip of the event and an own-production video will be launched through KariTraa.com and national media in the course of August to match follow ups of Cliff Diving and international exploitations regarding the clothing brand.

Check out the footage from the event.

For more information on this innovative partnership – feel free to contact:

BITE here or Slingshot here

EPL, Bendtner & Nalbandian: How Branding IS Still Relevant, No Matter What The Cost 2nd August, 2012

I wrote a blog a few months ago called ‘Sponsorship – More Than Just Branding’.  Whilst it’s palpable that sponsorship has evolved into far more than straightforward logo placement, it’s important not to forget that branding – be it via naming rights, advertising hoardings or shirt sponsorships – is still relevant within our industry and most importantly, still deemed hugely valuable in the eyes of sponsors.

On Monday, General Motors signed a colossal £175 million deal with Manchester United that will see the Chevrolet logo replace Aon on the front of the club’s shirt for the next seven years.  Chevrolet will be provided with numerous additional benefits from their shirt sponsorship (via advertising, hospitality etc.) but primarily their logo position on United’s shirts will promote brand perception of ‘success, speed and superiority’.  Further it will automatically garner favour with United’s 659 million followers worldwide, as General Motor’s VP for N. America states: ‘this is about connecting the brand with Manchester United and its passionate supporters around the world.’

And it’s not just the Premier League’s most famous teams that are seeing such significant returns on shirt sponsorships, with the likes of Sunderland attracting substantial investment from their lucrative partnership with Invest in Africa. Recent figures reveal a 25% increase in English Premier League shirt sponsorship to £147 million, dampening fears that the EPL as a brand would suffer as the British economy entered its second dip in four years.

Now, while these shirt sponsorships represent the more expensive side of branding within sponsorship, a couple of incidents a month or so ago, illustrate that (clever/accidental) logo placement can still generate positive brand perception and awareness on a budget.

Firstly, David Nalb(r)andian  took out a knee-height Nike hoarding, along with an umpires shin, after failing to return a base-line shot from Marin Cilic.  This was followed shortly by the boxer-gate affair surrounding Nicklas Bendtner’s Paddy Power lined briefs, which he revealed after scoring his second goal in Denmark’s 3-2 defeat to Portugal.

Both men were disciplined accordingly – Nalbandian receiving disqualification from Queens and Bendtner receiving a hefty fine – and received their fair share of press attention.  Granted the Nike hoarding board was not the focal point of such attention over Nalbandian’s kick-out, but it was in Bendtner’s case, and Paddy Power got a huge amount of publicity and engagement out of it.

Their Facebook page was awash with comments from users acclaiming their ‘genius’ marketing strategy and the story was covered byevery major broadsheet.  While I don’t conform to the consensus that a distinctly average footballer wearing a green pair of briefsconstitutes exceptional intellectual aptitude, it was rather clever.

For just £80,000 (the price of Bendtner’s fine, which Paddy Power agreed to pay) the Irish bookmakers got nationwide exposure and saw thousands of additional online users flock to see what other mischief Paddy Power have been up to.

Obviously Bendtner’s boxers can’t be compared with Chevrolet’s United sponsorship in terms of worldwide reach, but you’d be hard pushed to say that it’s not better value!

Our own Jackie Fast announced in prestigious Media Week 30 Under 30 12th July, 2012

Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship, Jackie Fast, announced as part of the industry’s next generation of talent revealed at the prestigious Media Week’s 30 Under 30.

The competition is supported by The Mail on Sunday and the newspaper’s managing director Marcus Rich joined Jeremy King, editor of Media Week, on stage last night at the Cuckoo Club to reveal the names of those that made it onto the list.

Recognising the next generation of talent in the industry, this prestigious award showcases the emerging talent in the marketing and media industries.  Sought after by marketing and media agencies, Slingshot Sponsorship was the sole winner in the sponsorship industry to be recognised.

Jackie Fast commented, “It is absolutely fantastic to be recognised amongst this group of extremely bright and talented individuals.  I am especially proud to have our sponsorship work be recognised in such a marketing focused awards programme – truly showcasing how sponsorship is an important aspect in the marketing mix.  It is an unbelievable honour.”

Judged by a team of industry experts that included Marcus Rich, David Wilding, planning director at PHD; Tom Dunn, digital strategy director at Maxus; Karen Stacey, broadcast sales director for Bauer Media, Clare Rush, joint head of investment at MEC and Philip Smith, head of content solutions for the Brand Republic group, this year’s entrants were of a very high calibre.

To see the full Media Week 30 Under 30 list please click here.

Caterham Cars appoints Slingshot as Sponsorship Agency 30th April, 2012

Caterham Cars has appointed Slingshot Sponsorship to activate all commercial opportunities outside the Caterham F1 Team activity.

Slingshot will implement an extensive sponsorship strategy, including brand marketing partnerships, endorsement deals, licensing, corporate experience days, and much more.

The aim of the partnership is to create unique properties that can leverage the Company’s profile, and enhance the brand’s global appeal, capitalising on the brand’s entry into Formula One earlier this year.

Ansar Ali, Chief Executive of Caterham Cars, said:

We are thrilled to be working with Slingshot Sponsorship as their unique services complement the ambitious objectives of our brand, particularly now we are part of the Caterham Group.

As a British sportscar brand with the iconic Seven at the heart of our business, I have always felt we have much to offer brand partners, particularly through our motorsport and drive experience operations.  Now, as part of the Caterham Group, we have so much more to offer in terms of value and brand awareness, and Slingshot Sponsorship is the right partner to deliver and leverage the commercial partnerships.

Motorsport is at the heart of Caterham Cars, with the Seven the original ‘race car for the road’; over 700 competitors racing the iconic model today in 11 countries around the world is testimony to this.

The acquisition of Caterham Cars by Tony Fernandes in 2011 and the Caterham F1 Team’s presence in Formula One has propelled the British brand to the forefront of a global audience.

With increased public and media attention from the Caterham brand’s first season in F1 and a recent track record of robust financial results, the company is now looking to further leverage its commercial activities.  Caterham plans to facilitate this through Slingshot Sponsorship’s expertise in building existing assets into commercially-sustainable sponsorship platforms.

Furthermore, Caterham Cars also continues to reinvent motorsport following the recent announcement of a Caterham Motorsport-run karting championship in 2013.

Caterham will design and develop its own F1-inspired kart and thus provide young drivers with the opportunity to take their first steps in a career, in which it will be possible to progress from grassroots racing to the pinnacle of global motorsport. In addition, the organisation of Caterham karting will benefit from the firm’s 26 years of experience in running low-cost, high-value one-make race championships.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship commented,

“Being able to work with a brand that is on the brink of such change and innovation is what we live for at Slingshot Sponsorship.  We cannot wait to begin delivering the creative concepts and brand partnerships that will help project Caterham Cars to a wider audience of new enthusiasts.  The Caterham brand creates exceptionally strong advocates, both in Britain and internationally and we hope to turn this passion for the brand into a more holistic and accessible commercial property that can deliver real value for brand partnerships.”

The London Olympics: Marking the ‘Coming of Age’ for Sponsorship 25th April, 2012

Sponsorship is undoubtedly an exciting industry to be a part of at the moment – and it’s not just due to all of the outside media attention surrounding the London Olympics and its various sponsors.  Granted that some of the individual sponsorship campaigns around London 2012 are fantastic in themselves; but what stands out, from a sponsorship agency’s perspective, is the universal shift in the way brands are approaching sponsorship and the remarkable levels of engagement that brands can create from such collaborations.  A wide range of companies, from British Airways to McDonald’s, have launched a series of highly interactive campaigns designed specifically to get the customer using, tasting, watching, listening and experiencing their products through the Olympic platform.

Have these campaigns only come about because the need for cut through and ROI is so vital due to the high investment of the Olympic sponsorship rights?  Are creative sponsorship campaigns only to be seen during this period before reverting back to the more ‘conventional’ strands of sponsorship, such as branding & hospitality?

Unlike naysayers in the industry, I believe that the sponsorship campaigns being created are the culmination of a growing trend of brands realising that well-positioned partnerships can offer far more engagement with a highly targeted audience across multiple media channels, than straight advertising or PR alone.

Cadbury’s activation of its Olympic sponsorship rights is a great illustration of this shift.  The ‘Spot vs Stripes’ competition encompasses all forms of marketing and engages with the public far more than an advertisement campaign ever could.  In fact, it all started with an advert – a 2 minute spectacle of animated marine-creatures, divided up into spots and stripes, participating in an underwater frenzy of Olympic-esque competition.   Viewers were then urged to logon (spotsvsstripes.com) to join a team and compete in online games and earn points for their given side.  Players could also earn points through taking part in physical competitions, like crazy golf, as well as downloading games to play offline.  Hundreds of thousands of people took up the challenge and interacted with the Cadbury’s brand, albeit without a chocolate bar in sight!

When the focus point of this campaign – the Cadbury’s Challenge Bar – hit the shelves everyone had already chosen sides and was fully familiarised with the concept, guaranteeing cut-through to an audience that otherwise may have been reluctant to try another new Cadbury’s product.  The bar itself, was divided up into 3 pieces; one piece each with spots or stripes on, with the middle piece tobe contested for via further games printed on the inside of the wrapper.  The winner of the game won the middle piece and was also able to claim points back for their given side online.

From start to finish, this sponsorship activation campaign was a huge success.  Cadbury’s capitalised on their partnership with the Olympics through interaction and competition – engaging with their audience through digital, social and physical.

This is the future of sponsorship.

Outlook Festival appoints Slingshot Sponsorship as exclusive agency 23rd April, 2012

Outlook Festival – Winners of the ‘Best International Festival’ at the Festival Awards– have appointed Slingshot Sponsorship as their exclusive sponsorship agency.

Slingshot Sponsorship will work closely with the Croatian-based event to increase awareness and commercial revenue through the creation of sponsorship opportunities as well as creating new digital brand partnerships.  Keen to preserve the traditional values of the Outlook Festival, Slingshot Sponsorship will ensure sponsors are carefully incorporated into the fabric of the event, adding value to the 15,000 festival goers at the event and the millions of music lovers who engage with the Outlook brand online throughout the year.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship, commented:

We are thrilled to be working with Outlook Festival this year.  They epitomise how growing organically and being true to a brand can create advocates exponentially.  This is a fantastic opportunity for brands to be involved with an influential music festival in Croatia – not to mention UK brands building relationships prior to Croatia’s acceptance into the EU in 2013.  The potential for audience engagement is like no other festival currently in the market because of their digital capabilities, making it an amazing platform for brands to be involved with.

Only in its fifth year, Outlook is already regarded as the biggest bass music festival in Europe, featuring the most prestigious names in the most cutting-edge dances across the globe.  Acts already confirmed include Fat Freddy’s Drop, Skream, Digital Mystikz & Andy C with many more to follow, ensuring 2012 will top the incredibly high standards Outlook sets itself each year.

Johnny Scratchley, Founder of Outlook Festival commented:

I’m very excited to now be working with Slingshot Sponsorship, they have the perfect ethos for us as a festival and are expert inthe new areas of media we are currently focusing on.

Red Bull Car on TRACKER's stand at Commercial Vehicle Show 16th April, 2012

Having teamed up with TRACKER to manage their logistical requirements for the Commercial Vehicle Show, Slingshot Sponsorship are excited to announce the presence of the Red Bull RB6 Formula 1 on stand 3A10.  Stand visitors can also enter into a prize draw to win two tickets to the F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, as well as a tour for two at the Red Bull factory, in Milton Keynes.

TRACKER, a leading telematics and vehicle tracking expert in the UK, will also be unveiling groundbreaking, patented technology and its fleet telematics used by Red Bull Racing to control their costs and focus on the safety of its team.

F1 World Champions Red Bull Racing combines its dedicated and passionate transport and logistics team with the expertise of TRACKER, its fleet telematics partner to ensure the Red Bull Racing team stays on the winner’s podium.

Red Bull Racing’s Formula One design and engineering team, Red Bull Technology, need to ensure the fleet is running as efficiently as possible in order to make vehicle, parts, equipment and team deliveries across Europe. But this all has to be balanced with a constant focus on safety and duty of care responsibilities, which is a challenge when time is in short supply.

With a fleet of 23 vehicles in the UK and across Europe, Red Bull Technology harnesses the power of TRACKER’s fleet telematics solution to deliver a detailed view of driver behaviour and fuel usage across each vehicle. This allows Transport Manager for Red Bull Technology, Ed Porter, to monitor speeds, journey routes and the general whereabouts of the fleet team.

Ed Porter, Transport Manager for Red Bull Technology explains:

I need to be able to manage a fleet that is spread across Europe, keeping in control of what is happening throughout the day without compromising the efficiency of the fleet. The nature of the Formula One industry is that we need everything yesterday, making time the most valuable commodity for me and my team.  If I could buy time, I would, but TRACKER’s fleet tracking system goes a long way in helping me make the best of the time I have

Stephen Doran, Managing Director for TRACKER adds:

This is an exciting opportunity for people to come and see the Red Bull Formula 1 car at the Commercial Vehicle Show. We are also giving visitors to the TRACKER stand a chance to walk away with an amazing prize. And of course, the TRACKER team will be on hand to demonstrate the potential benefits our fleet tracking solutions can provide commercial vehicle fleet managers.

TRACKER Showcases New Technology At 2012 Commercial Vehicle Show 12th April, 2012

Leading provider of vehicle tracking services, TRACKER is showcasing its groundbreaking, patented technology at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, on 24-26 April, at Birmingham’s NEC. Head to stand#3A10 to see firsthand the new level of data available with TRACKER Fleet and how TRACKER’s new battery-powered units provide fleet operators with a robust and flexible solution for valuable assets without a power source, including trailers.

TRACKER Fleet is a completely re-engineered product which, crucially, has been designed following a comprehensive consultation programme with TRACKER’s existing fleet customers, as well as potential users of fleet telematics. TRACKER Fleet provides important cost-saving benefits by identifying fuel inefficiency and supplying insight into driver and business behaviour and boasts a flexible reporting suite that can be customised to meet the specific needs of each of its customers.

One delighted TRACKER Fleet user is Northgate Vehicle Hire, which has been a customer of TRACKER for over 10 years and is experiencing the power of TRACKER Fleet. Stuart Fairbrother, Head of Non-Rental Sales says:

We are reaping the benefits of TRACKER Fleet for both our customers and our own service fleet of 60 vehicles. Our customers have been crying out for enhanced vehicle and driver behaviour information and TRACKER Fleet provides just that and more, invaluable information to both Northgate and our customers.  TRACKER Fleet’s new mapping system incorporates advanced Google maps, such as Street View with a route replay function, which is a standout piece of technology.  We have been able to use mapping to understand exactly where our service vehicles are and where they are needed.  Crucially, we have harnessed the telematics data to reduce vehicle delivery times to improve upon our customer service levels.

Vital to TRACKER Fleet’s evolution has been the addition of new technology, such as its unique patented Transient Voltage Detection technology, which eliminates the need to connect to a vehicle ignition to allow for more accurate ‘idling’ readings. TRACKER Fleet even offers battery powered modules to ensure assets which have no built-in power supply, such as mobile units and trailers, can be monitored.

All these features have proved invaluable for Clancy Group, operating a fleet of over 1,500 vehicles and 10,000 items of plant.  Bernie Stack, Associate Director for Clancy Plant Hire Ltd explains:

TRACKER’s telematics product has become an integral part of our business, providing detailed information on speeding, idling, driver hours, journey times and mileage.  We are still finding new benefits the system can bring to our business and help look after the wellbeing of our drivers.

Apex Plant Hire has also embraced TRACKER’s fleet telematics offering.  This enables them to monitor usage on and off-site, helping them meet employee Duty of Care legislation and increase efficiency.

David Marriott at Apex Plant Hire adds:

With TRACKER’s telematics on our HGV vehicles, we’ve been able to improve our day-to-day business practices which has boost customer service and fleet performance levels.  The system locates the position of all our vehicles, allowing us to deploy the nearest vehicle to the next rental booking.   We can also see if a job is running behind schedule without our drivers having to call in with updates, which means we can take action and enhance the level of customer service we provide.

Stephen Doran, Managing Director of TRACKER concludes:

We are looking forward to bringing TRACKER Fleet to the Commercial Vehicle Show. This product marks our commitment to continually developing and enhancing our products to meet the changing needs of our customers. Visitors to our stand will see how they can harness the power of TRACKER Fleet to ensure vehicles keep moving, while improving efficiency and reducing cost.

Slingshot Sponsorship team up with Oslo-based agency BITE for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series 2012 20th March, 2012

Slingshot Sponsorship, the London based sponsorship agency, will work closely with their Scandinavian colleagues BITE to manage the sponsorship for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series in Grimstad, Norway.  The sponsorship and brand management specialists have combined to create commercialopportunities around the event – one of only 6 World Series Competitions worldwide – that add real value for both brands and the spectators.

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 returns to Norway on 6-7th July – two years after Kragero hosted the country’s first Red Bull Cliff Diving competition.  The World Series is high diving at its most death-defying – an acrobatic descent into water from heights of up to 28m. Once in the air, the divers have approximately three seconds to coordinate their movements before they break the surface of the water at around 100kph (60mph).

Julian Gursky, Head of Events & Sports at Red Bull Norway commented:

We are excited to try a new combination of an international sponsor management approach for our cliff diving world championship stop in Grimstad, Norway by assigning the allied agencies BITE Agency and Slingshot Sponsorship to this challenge

Prospective sponsors will be fully integrated with the two-day event, in Grimstad, as well as during the 21-day day pre-tour, incorporating six cities across Norway, offering ample opportunities for activation, sampling, branding and online promotions.  They will also have rights to footage shot over the two days, giving access to some truly unique content.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship commented:

The Red Bull Cliff Diving sponsorship platform is a great example of how brand platforms can be monetised.  The Slingshot and BITE expertise of sponsorship and branding creates the perfect combination of services to really leverage these types of brand partnerships effectively. We are looking forward to launching this service with Red Bull!

Managing Director of BITE Robert Leinders-Krog also commented:

Approaching this local platform from an international perspective will both increase opportunities and give us a global brand activation arena – executed locally. Exciting times.

For more information on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series please click here.