When Bigger Isn’t Better – Challenger Properties Offering Sponsors Value for Money 13th July, 2015

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.


How to Make an Impact through Social Media: Slingshot Sponsorship Partner with That Lot 16th October, 2013

Slingshot Sponsorship is delighted to announce a partnership with That Lot Creatives to provide a Bootcamp service on how to make an impact through social media.  The Bootcamp aims to provide organisations with an insight into the sponsorship industry with a focus upon developing sponsorship proposals and approaching and securing sponsorship.  Over the past three years, Slingshot Sponsorship has developed the Bootcampto become a highly tailored service suited to all organisations.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director, Slingshot Sponsorship stated: “We have successfully delivered tailored Bootcamps for over 50 organisations.  The success of the Bootcamp has been through Slingshot’s insight into the development of the sponsorship industry and it felt like a natural progression to advance the offering into the digital sphere.  Social Media has become an ever increasingly important tool and we are thrilled to be working with That Lot to develop an astute Bootcamp for future clients.”

That Lot is a new social media agency, headed by writer, comedian and Twitter obsessive David Schneider (150,000 followers and counting) and the UK’s foremost professional tweeter, David Levin (@BBCApprentice and @BBCTheVoiceUK).

David Schneider commented: “David Levin and I have worked closely with Slingshot to create informative, enjoyable workshops that give individuals and companies the tools to really cut through online platforms. We want to make sure that people leave our course inspired and able to tweet and post with impact and humour.”

The courses form part of the Bootcamp offering from Slingshot and can either be added to the current Sponsorship Bootcamp or provided on a standalone basis.

David added: “I’m a bit of a Twitter evangelist, keen to spread the word about how to do Twitter better. Working with Slingshot is a great fit for us. I’m not saying that, together with them, we’ll turn every company or individual Twitter feed into @OscarWilde, but we’re confident we can help people grow their influence online enormously.”

Opportunities for the Social Media Bootcamp are currently available.


UK Economy is Turning Corner, George Osborne says | What does that mean for sponsorship? 9th September, 2013

This morning George Osborne announced that the UK economy was turning a corner (full article here).  This is of course particularly relevant for our business and a question I often get asked at any and all business networking events I attend.  Being that Slingshot is a sponsorship sales agency, people often assume that we are best placed to identify whether the economy is picking up or not.  However, that isn’t actually the case.

If we were flogging socks, we may be in a better position to answer the question of whether the economy is picking up.  People often need to purchase socks, but if times are tough, they tend to darn the holes rather than make a new purchase.

Instead, Slingshot sells sponsorship and secures clients based on a need to fulfil a strong commercial and marketing objective.  In our case, sponsorship is often invested in and/or chosen (despite popular belief) because marketing budgets are tight, not because they have excess money to spend.  As such, sponsorship is often critically analysed and only chosen if it meets all objectives.

This is the case for the brand, but even more so for the rights holder.  In many cases, rights holders tend to invest in their offering and delivering that offering if they are in a critical financial situation.  On the brand side, marketing budgets are under more scrutiny than before.  If the sponsorship is the right platform for the brand, it inevitably needs to deliver a very strong business case for ROI.

We view our agency as people that find the right fit out of necessity for business – rather than floggers of something that is a luxury in marketing.

This case does not always ring true for all rights holders and brands who undertake sponsorship.  However, a good indication of doing sponsorship to create true partnerships can often be seen in the churn.  If the rights holder sponsor churn is high or the brand sponsorship decisions are frequent, then it is likely that a strong sponsorship strategy is not in place for either.

I am a firm believer that through difficult economic times businesses that rise to the challenge and adapt will be stronger moving forward.  I hope George Osborne is right and the economy will pick up allowing more brands and rights owners to invest into sponsorship.  However, I hope the lessons we’ve learnt over the past three years do not get thrown out with the darned socks.