Does Sponsorship Enhance the Festival experience?? 18th September, 2012

So it’s the middle of yet another mild British summer and I’m standing in the middle of a muddy field, surrounded by an eclectic array of people listening to very loud music and to cap it all off it’s raining – who would have imagined this would be the perfect environment for brand engagement.

Music festivals have become an important and developing platform for sponsorship by larger and smaller brands alike. For the festival organisers sponsorship is an important revenue stream, and from the brand’s perspective, the sponsorship of music festivals and events provides opportunities for bespoke communication and interaction with the predominantly young and receptive festival audience. However, are the brands actually concerned about improving the festival experience or are they just in it for their own benefit?

Whether or not corporate sponsorship activation should be allowed within the festival arena is the subject of much debate, with many events such as the Green Man Festival in the Brecon Beacons adopting the traditional ‘Early Glastonbury’ or ‘Woodstock’ approach of zero-branding. However, the real question that should be asked is whether or not the sponsorship actually benefits the experience of the attendees. After all, this is the sole reason for attending the festival in the first place.

Festival goers are passionate about music but most go to festivals first and foremost for the overall experience, something that can be looked back on for years after the event has passed. With this in mind, surely the primary objective of the festival organiser is to ensure that festival goers have the best time possible and if brand activations can help achieve this then why should they be sidelined?

In a study by Havas Sports and Entertainment of six festivals across six European countries and involving 2,244 respondents, they found that 65% of music festival goers believe brands improve the festival experience; with 60% interacting with two or more brands at festivals and 85% liking the brand activations they visited.

In the case of the Green Man and others, it appears that festival organisers do not want to draw too much attention to the sponsors in fear that this would have a negative effect on the integrity of the event. However, Havas’s study does much to dispel the view that music festivals are a dangerous arena for brand sponsors and suggests brands are a welcome part of the festival experience if they develop activations that add value.

Sponsorship therefore delivers a three-way benefit, as the more attendees that partake in and enjoy the activations, the stronger the relationship with the brands and the event. In the over-saturated and intensely competitive festival market of today, festival organisers are constantly looking for new ways in which to attract and retain their audience. As a result, engagement is becoming increasingly expensive, with sponsorship therefore proving to be a highly cost-effective method in which to enhance the overall festival experience.

Slingshot Sponsorship Get Extreme with Nitro Circus Live 16th September, 2012

Nitro Circus Live – an extension of the hit MTV show and proclaimed by many as the greatest action sports show in the world today – has appointed Slingshot Sponsorship as its sponsorship agency for their first ever European Tour.

Following the success of the 2011 Australian tour, Nitro Circus Live will be touring Europe throughout November and December 2012 – with three dates in the UK alone: London, O2 Arena, 3 December; Manchester, Manchester Arena, 4 December; and Birmingham, National Indoor Arena, 5 December.  Slingshot Sponsorship will be aiming to facilitate new partnerships with the tour in addition to existing sponsors Red Bull and DC Shoes.

The brainchild of seventeen time X Games gold medalist, Travis Pastrana, Nitro Circus Live features death defying stunts from the world’s best action sports stars across Freestyle Motocross, BMX, Skateboarding and more, with UK venues already well on their way to selling out for the December shows.

Nitro Circus Live’s European leg is set to be part of a bigger global tour visiting the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Asia and the Middle East over the next 18 months with the Nitro Circus 3D movie set for release in September 2012. The tour therefore offers unparalleled global exposure and unique brand activation opportunities within the action sports market and beyond.

Warranty Direct is Associate Sponsor of the What Car? Green Awards 2012 13th September, 2012

The What Car? Green Awards 2012 will take place on September 19 at the Imagination Gallery, London, and Warranty Direct will be associate sponsor as well as sponsor of the executive car category.

The What Car? Green Awards include the best green cars in each category, as well as an overall winner. The What Car? judging team evaluates more than just CO2, because cars emit a whole concoction of polluting gases, including nitrous oxides and particulates. The judges also evaluate whole-life costs, driveability and reliability.

Awards will be given for the best supermini, small family car, family car, executive car, MPV, alternative-fuel car, SUV, fun car and an overall winner.

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Society is becoming more and more concerned with its environmental impact. Motorists are constantly seeking ways to lessen their personal carbon footprint, and that’s why it is important to highlight greener, low-emission car options to the consumer. Green technology may throw up new reliability challenges, but at Warranty Direct we will protect customers whatever their choice of car. We are, therefore, delighted to be associate sponsor of the What Car? Green Awards.”

What Car? publishing director Andrew Golby said: “The What Car? Green Awards advise an increasing number of motorists looking for greener motoring. The industry is delivering ever-greener and cleaner cars, and our awards will help narrow down the choice for consumers in what can be a complex arena.”

What Car? named the Vauxhall Ampera its overall winner in 2011, as well as the best alternative-fuel car.