Billetto joins with Slingshot Sponsorship to develop digital sponsorship for event owners 27th January, 2016

Billetto, the ticketing platform has joined forces with Slingshot Sponsorship to develop an innovative activation platform for its event owners to connect with their fans.

The rich data Billetto has on each of its attendees is much sought-after by event owners wanting to engage with specific audiences based on lifestyle segmentation and with access to over 35,000 events across the UK, and an active email database of 250,000, the pickings are ripe for Billetto’s partner brands.

With access never before available with such ease, brands will now be able to hone into very niche audiences using demographics in addition to interest segments such as culture, music, sport and creative.
“Our USP as a data provider is that we can offer a model where the client only pays for the specific data they need, so if they are targeting a very small audience of 35-44 year-old foodies within a certain European region, they would only pay for the reach we could deliver,” explains Morten Jensen, Partner at Billetto.

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship says, “The potential of this is enormous and helps bridge the gap between online and onsite engagement. By working with rich data, we can segment campaigns and messages with minimal cost and resource. Equally there is the capability to create extremely widespread campaigns and develop continuity with the same consumer – regardless of which music festival or event they attend. It marks a shift in the way that brands and rights holders can operate in the sponsorship industry.”

To find out more about how your brand could utilise Billetto customer data to engage meaningfully with your target audience online, please contact Andrew Selby from Slingshot Sponsorship:
E: andrew@slingshotsponsorship.com
T: +44 (0)207 226 5052


National Business Awards Q&A: Jackie Fast, Slingshot Sponsorship 20th August, 2014

Jackie Fast is the Managing Director of UK-based strategic sponsorship agency Slingshot Sponsorship. Her organisation has been chosen as a finalist in the BlackBerry Business Enabler of the Year category at the 2014 National Business Awards; as part of Outsource‘s partnership with the NBAs, we got together with the finalists for this award to ask them a few questions about their activities and the changing nature of partnership and collaboration in a rapidly evolving business environment…

Outsource: In the words of the organisers, “The winner of this award will be the organisation that has best helped client or partner businesses to increase profitability by improving efficiency, develop talent or implement innovation.” How do you think your organisation has managed to do any one of these things to the extent that it has been shortlisted?

Jackie Fast: Our entire business model centres on how successful we are at identifying, uncovering and generating additional income through commercial gaps and sponsorship; therefore, this award could not be more suitable as every single aspect of our business is built on this.

When we launched only four years ago, we anticipated that this model would only suit smaller organisations who either didn’t have the resource to properly commercialise their opportunities or didn’t have the skill set. However, over the years, this applies to almost every business and can take an objective specialist view to really identify the opportunities that are being missed. Since inception, our clients have ranged dramatically from charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund for London, to music festivals such as Outlook and Dimensions, to big B2B events such as the What Car? Awards. Ironically, regardless of the business or industry, the framework put in place is the same.

O: When a buy-side organisation engages with a supplier, how far do you think it transfers responsibility for innovation?

JF: This is a topic much debated at the moment as historically the brand was always responsible for the activation. However, it is in both parties’ interests to actively engage and ensure that the programme, event, or campaign is successful for the audience. Therefore, I would strongly argue that the onus is placed on the rights holder side to ensure that activation falls in line with the overall business strategy to help align objectives.

O: Do you think the very definition of partnership, in a business sense, is evolving and if so how?

JF: The output of partnership is still the same; however, the input of partnerships is radically changing, which is why there are discrepancies around definitions of what sponsorship or partnership is. Sponsorship makes marketing work harder and always has; however, who is involved in that partnership is different now through the advance of digital technology. This will inevitably change our industry.

O: What’s your definition of the perfect client?

JF: A client who understands their business and their reason for bringing on partnerships beyond the financial. A client who isn’t about just selling the logo.

Partnerships can deliver far beyond the investment of rights. When clients understand this implication and its potential, we then have the ability to create sponsorships that deliver value well beyond expectations.


Sir Bradley Reminds Us It’s About More Than A Logo 24th July, 2014

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ comments on the eve of the Commonwealth Games that the Emirates branding on the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow might have left Sir Chris feeling a little “done over”.

For those of us in the sponsorship industry though, Wiggins’ comments provided another reminder of just how important it is for sponsors to clearly demonstrate the value they’re adding to an event.

For Emirates, who have activated their sponsorship pre-event by spreading the excitement of the Games across the Commonwealth through the Queen’s Baton Relay and unveiled a new Emirates Lounge at Glasgow Airport just in time for the Games, it will be interesting to see how the airline actively engages audiences now the Games are underway.
The recent World Cup in Brazil pushed digital and brand engagement to the fore and further supported the premise that effective sponsorship is more than just a collection of logos and branding at an event. Sponsorship should help to actively engage with consumers allowing the audience to interact and create an emotional tie with a brand.

We’ve seen major brands and sponsors bend-over-backwards at recent global sports events to use meaningful and relevant activation to bring their brands as close to the action as possible. Here’s our selection of podium placers from recent global events where engagement was king.

P&G – ‘Thank You Mom’ (London 2012 & Sochi 2014)

To much critical acclaim P&G executed a clearly defined and emotionally charged message through an integrated“Thank You Mom” campaign, encompassing a host of digital channels, athlete ambassadors including the likes ofVictoria Pendleton and Jessica Ennis-Hill and the release of an app allowing over 50,000 of us to say thank you to mum too!

Beats – London 2012

Beats was just one of a number of  brands who managed, temporarily at least, to evade the brand police and creatively engage with audiences at London 2012 without sponsoring the event. Not only supplying (what seemed like) every athlete with a custom pair of Beats, they also created a pop-up space in Shoreditch House allowing 4,000 people including Olympic athletes from all over the globe to interact with the brand, watch the Games and make use of a photo booth which was used to generate content for poster shots later in the campaign.

Budweiser – ‘Rise as One’ (FIFA World Cup 2014)

Budweiser made sure to engage with its audience whether they were in Brazil or not.  Fans from all over the globe were encouraged to get involved via Twitter with users urged to tap #ManoftheMatch tweets from @FIFAcom which generated Budweiser branded player photos and a  tweet and vote mechanic. Many fans lucky enough to make the trip to Brazil were greeted with rewards in the form of the Budweiser Hotel which hosted parties and events throughout the tournament and acted as a hub for over 3000 satellite Budweiser parties all around the world.

With 1.5 billion people tuning in to the Commonwealth Games let’s hope brands involved make it equally engaging!


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.


The Future of the Stadium Experience looks Dark, Sponsors must Act Now 17th May, 2013

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend The Innovation in Sport Business Summit, which was in conjunction with the Turkish Airlines Final Four in London. The first topic of discussion was ‘Innovation as a revenue driver in Sports’. Unsurprisingly the general consensus was that everything is moving towards digital, social and mobile; making fan accessibility easier and increasing online activity.

All the panellists rightly mentioned how the sofa experience has transformed with a number of different upgrades such as the use of the second screen and datatainment (the availability of in-depth stats and figures, which make pub debates that much more enthralling). However it became clear that with all these technological luxuries, the appeal of going to a stadium may be losing its gloss. Today’s consumers not only want things quicker but they want things catered around their lives, hence why Sky Plus and mobile media are so popular, they align with the schedule of the consumer and give them a great amount of control.

This is far from what can be said about the sporting experience in person- a game starts at a set time, tickets are expensive and hard to get hold of, weather and travel can be extremely frustrating and there are still a large amount of limitations on stadia facilities (alcohol, food prices, crowd control, Wi-Fi, seating). No one can argue that watching your team score a last minute winner in person can be replicated in any form at home or on your mini screen but in this era ticket holders still deserve much more from the total stadium environment- up to date facts and statistics, extensive match highlights and in-game food and beverage ordering to name a few.

Sponsorship agencies are desperately trying to shed the perception that sport is all about logo bashing and big ad banners, but sponsors themselves must contribute by exposing their brand to a wide range of different channels, starting with promoting a technology-led stadium experience, even if it means investing that little bit extra. If sponsors want to capitalise on their mass brand presence at stadiums, increase slipping ticket sales and build loyalty and engagement with all types of fans, enhancing technology in stadiums has to be a priority. Sponsors must treat their association to a team or competition as a mutual and progressive partnership in order to tackle these glaring hurdles, rather than simply pumping money into a team and letting them sort an issue that is actually imperative to a sponsors’ ROI.

There is no point of having marketing strategies like brand advocates, match day content and social media campaigns if they are only visible to fans at home. The purest form of fan engagement is the raw emotional roller coaster that occurs in stadiums and only a handful of sports teams have realised this (see Arsenal and Manchester City). Of course teams like Manchester City and the LA Lakers have the resources to build multi functional digital facilities but other sporting organisations without as much funding must begin to collaborate more strategically with sponsors to enhance stadia experience.

An inspiring example of how successful this can be is the New Jerseys Red Devils Mission Control, the first digital command centre launched by a pro sports team. Mission Control, launched in 2011, acts as the hub for internet and social media connection for both the team and the arena, allowing fans to utilize the space and monitor messaging. This innovative collaboration with Prudential (stadium partner) and The Red Devils revolutionised the fan-stadium platform.

The rewards for this dynamic and engaging project was not only higher ticket sales and two 2011 Bulldog Awards (including Socially Engaged Brand of the Year) but it also attracted global powerhouse T-Mobile to sign on in 2012 as official sponsor of the stadium’s digital hub. The New Jersey Red Devils are by no means an elite financial sports team but it shows that if sponsors work collaboratively with teams and utilise the innovation of technology, they can help drive fans into stadiums, rather than out of them.

My Top 3 Digital Sponsorship Campaigns 25th March, 2013

Sponsorship campaigns have always relied on brand synergy and mutually benefitting concepts but now it is imperative to incorporate the partnerships through a digital platform. Here are three of my favourite digital sponsorship campaigns…

Nike and Apple (Nike+)

The Nike+ sponsorship campaign stands out for simply the sheer size of the two brands involved, as corporate logos go, few are as identifiable. For Nike and Apple there was no case of ‘clash of the titans’- merged products (shoes, sensors, kit) allowed joggers to be notified of progress by iPod prompts as well as tracking distance and duration. The data could be uploaded to a Mac or PC, and then on to Nikeplus.com, giving people the chance to record progress, set targets and share results.

For Apple, the sponsorship allowed them to target consumers from a different angle and created a much more fulfilling exercise experience thanks to their technology. For Nike, the sponsorship helped them shift their brand image away from bad press concerning labour ethics and high-profile court cases previous to 2006. Aligning to Apple, which had a very clean reputation at the time, aimed to help add credibility to some of the promotional tags that Nike were trying to shed.

Vice and Intel

Vice is brash, incisive and radical, which is exactly why Intel bit, their aim was to diversify their brand image. John Galvin, director of Intel’s partner marketing group, admitted that “if we give music fans the opportunity to have this amazing experience, maybe they will think about Intel differently, becausewithout our technology, this wouldn’t be possible.”

Having Intel as a sponsor not only associates Vice to a global brand but it also acts as a service for their multiple digital ventures. Intel has now partnered with Vice on two of their most impressive subsidiaries, The Creators Project and Noisey. The collaboration has a real sense of synergy – Vice finds fresh talent and creative pioneers in order to distribute the content and footage while Intel supply cutting edge ways for fans to engage digitally.

Kopparberg and Spotify

Independent cider brewer, Kopparberg partnered with Spotify and Last.fm in 2012 to create the Kopparberg Festival Player, which helps UK festival-goers plan their schedule of bands they want to watch over the summer based on Spotify playlists, the app featured playlist sharing and chances to win tickets to the most sought-after festivals in the UK.

The appeal of this campaign is Kopparberg’s chance to connect with fans through music, rather than direct, brash marketing which festival-goers tend to disapprove of. Furthermore, the partnerships drives awareness of the brand and drinking Kopparberg before they even get to event, which cuts out the competition and resonates with the customer. With their involvement at more than 15 UK festivals and major events in 2012, this became a key reason for their sales success.

Digital Unite Appoint Slingshot Sponsorship as Exclusive Sponsorship Agency 20th August, 2012

Following the use of Slingshot’s insightful one day Sponsorship Boot Camp, Digital Unite and Spring Online, the UK’s leading digital inclusion platform, have appointed Slingshot Sponsorship as their exclusive sponsorship agency.

Slingshot Sponsorship will be working with Digital Unite in order extend and exploit the commercial opportunities presented by the Spring Online campaign which features over 2,500 events nationwide between April 22nd – 26th 2013 as well as additional commercial opportunities within Digital Unite as a whole.

With over 8 million people still digitally excluded in the UK, many of which being over 55, Spring Online provides a free, safe, and enjoyable environment for those people who consider themselves digitally excluded to receive free IT tutorials – these including lessons in how to use such key communication tools as Skype and Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family as well as how to use the internet for a range of everyday tasks that many of us take for granted including shopping, banking and watching television.

Slingshot Sponsorship will be extending the commercial assets offered by the campaign, adding value to brand partnerships with key benefits including nationwide exposure, unique CSR opportunities and the chance to establish an early relationship with a growing age demographic.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship, commented:

Following the success of our recent work with Digital Unite at our introductory Slingshot Sponsorship Boot Camp, we are thrilled to be working on next year’s Spring Online campaign and to have the opportunity to contribute towards narrowing the digital divide.

Spring Online is a highly unique campaign, proving testament to the ever increasing number of ways in which sponsorship can be utilised and leveraged in order to improve businesses as a whole. Given the value and scope for involvement offered by the platform, we are excited to explore the prospect of some truly ground-breaking partnerships in 2013.

Emma Solomon OBE, Managing Director of Digital Unite, commented:

We are delighted to be working with Slingshot Sponsorship on our award-winning Spring Online campaign.

Over the last eleven years, Spring Online has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of people understand and engage with computers and the internet. Local events held right across the UK reach people from a wide cross-section of society, from the over 55s who have never been online to existing users of all ages who want to brush up on their existing skills and learn more, from rural to inner-city areas. Our fantastic Spring Online event holders provide that essential support and help show learners how digital technology can be relevant for them.

“We continue to develop Spring Online to make it bigger and better each year. Our vision is that ever increasing numbers of local events support more and more communities across the UK to make the most of the digital world – and to really enjoy it too. We are thrilled to be working with Slingshot and to be developing the creativity, dynamism and reach of Spring Online with them.

Leverage vs. Rights: The Evolution of Sponsorship Spend 19th July, 2012

A weekend showcasing two of this year’s biggest boxing showdowns has prompted a blog looking further into sponsorship’s very own rights holder rivalry: the niche underdog versus the undisputed mass appeal property.

As sponsorship history goes, the large-scale established property has always been the primary choice for bigger brands to use as a marketing platform with such rights holders offering more exposure, better hospitality and a more expansive opportunity for activation than the smaller properties out there. However, brands are beginning to adopt a new approach by increasingly taking the power in their own hands via focusing investment towards leverage. No brand has received more success in this area of marketing than Red Bull. By taking ownership of smaller, less mainstream, properties from breakdancing to cliff-diving, the energy drink has been able to take control of brand messaging; completely tailoring their sponsorship, and the property, towards the values of their target demographic. With such success in publicising their presence within the actions sports arena, the brand has even gone one step further with the creation of Red Bull Media House, a platform allowing for extended communication of exclusive Red Bull content across TV, mobile, digital and print.

Where once it was a typical Haye vs. Chisora situation, where all bets and confidence were placed within the bigger name, brands are opening up to the concept of taking the side of the underdog, using their own financial and marketing resources to aggressively infiltrate the market, creating a more Garcia vs. Khan type scenario.

Despite 22% of global sponsors only investing in pure sponsorship rights with no leverage, the ratio of activation investment compared to rights currently stands at an all-time high of 1.7:1. So what is the reasoning behind brands shifting investment towards leveraging their sponsorships? Quite simply, when executed properly, activation spend is inextricably linked to return on investment. The more relevant a brand can make itself to an audience’s personal interests, the more likely the audience is going to buy into the concept. By working its way into the lifestyle fabric of a key demographic, a brand will naturally become the preferred choice among the numerous options available to the consumer.

As an energy drink, Red Bull has created a brand image that personifies stimulation and rebellion, pushing the boundaries in everything they do and showcasing the product’s core function on a truly emotional level. This innovative approach has in turn ensured that the original energy drink has continued to dominate the market, with competitors from Monster to Relentless all playing catch-up to Red Bull’s 42% market share – a true testament to the benefits of sponsorship leverage.