Slingshot: Brand Side. 19th December, 2018

Chances are – if you’re reading this – you’re aware of Slingshot and what we do. Or are you?

Our work with rights holders all over the world has been well documented, whether through our own channels or through numerous industry awards. We have worked as the exclusive sponsorship agency for many of the world’s most innovative platforms to identify and secure strategic brand partnerships. But what may be less known is our brand consultancy service: working also on the other side of sponsorship with global brands to highlight the most relevant partnership platforms in order to achieve the biggest cut-through, awareness and equity.

Our expertise, developed over many years working on the rights-holder side, has led us to understand exactly what brands are looking for when they are considering sponsorship opportunities. Thus, on the flipside we know precisely what assets are needed to be secured to achieve brand marketing objectives, regardless of industry or budget.

How can Slingshot help?

Dream Package:

 A crucial step which is often overlooked by brands is the creation of an asset list or dream package. By creating an essential asset list, brands can identify exactly what they require to achieve key objectives and generate a strong ROI. Too often we see brands being one dimensional when it comes to aligning with events and failing to make full use of the opportunity and their budget. A classic case being the purchasing of activation space without making use of the wider PR, marketing and social benefits that would help them cut through at a much higher level with their intended audience (sometimes these extra assets can be bargained within the original price!)

Negotiation:

Many agencies, when given a brief and a budget by a brand will look to spend the whole wad of cash, even if the package offered isn’t worth its price in the current market. With extensive knowledge of sponsorship valuation and sales: Slingshot can negotiate on the brands behalf to get the assets they require at the best possible value. Saving valuable sponsorship monies which can be used to leverage the partnership through activation instead.

Efficiency:

Our extensive network within the industry provides the perfect platform to take a brands’ vision for their sponsorship strategy to market. Building a network takes time and surprisingly, approaching a rights holder for sponsorship enquiries can actually be a lengthy process. However, by utilising an agency who already has an established name in the sponsorship field your brand can save exponential amounts of time, helping you to understand and evaluate the available opportunities more promptly.

Unique Events:

 Lastly, Slingshot is renowned for being at the forefront of the industry as one of the most innovative sponsorship agencies. Our position within the sponsorship industry means that we regularly work with niche, innovative and exciting events. Rather than pitch you the same old generic properties, we have access to platforms with specific demographics and highly engaged audiences which stand out from the crowd and can deliver a far better ROI at generally a far better price too. Some of our current clients include Extreme Tech Challenge, a start-up competition held on Necker Island with a B2B focus and a HNWI audience and London New Year’s Day Parade a mass consumer event with 650,000 attendees. Thus, we may already be working directly with a rights-holder which would deliver the cut-through needed for your next product release, re-brand or campaign push!

If you are looking for advice on any aspect of the sponsorship industry, we would be more than happy to offer our expertise, please email info@slingshotsponsorship.com or call 0207 145 0150 to get started.


Slingshot’s Founder Jackie Fast Wins Emerging Leader Award in Europe 25th August, 2017

The M&A Advisor, renowned globally for its recognition of outstanding professionals in the field of M&A, financing, and turnaround professionals, created The Emerging Leaders Awards – EMEA to celebrate the emerging industry leaders who have reached a significant level of success in the industry before the age of 40.

The awards programme, in partnership with Shard Media Group and supported by ACG, is now in its 2nd year and is unique in that the winners are announced before the ceremony takes place – so we are delighted to announce our very own Jackie Fast as the winner of the ‘Marketing, Communication and Business Development Professional’ category for 2017.

Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship stated:

‘I am absolutely thrilled to be recognised amongst this group of extremely bright and talented individuals.  I am especially proud to be noticed within the marketing, communication and business development, which is a reflection on the consistently great work Slingshot produce as an agency for our clients across all sectors. It is an unbelievable honour.”

Judged by a team of industry experts the awards ceremony, taking place in Andaz Liverpool Street on Wednesday September 13th, will feature speakers including the likes of John Kiely, Managing Director at Smithfield; Richard Shaw, Chair at ACG; Ian Jamieson, Chief Executive at Jamieson Corporate Finance; and Robin Johnson, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland.

To see the full list of winners, click here.


Honda Racing appoints Slingshot Sponsorship to boost commercial revenue 12th September, 2016

Honda Racing, the only factory team on the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship grid, well known for shaking up the traditional world of racing, has appointed Slingshot Sponsorship to manage its commercial rights into the 2017 season.

Slingshot Sponsorship, an award-winning commercialised marketing agency, will handle all commercial rights and partner opportunities, ahead of the 2017 British Superbike season.

The Louth-based Honda Racing BSB team is progressive in the world of motorsport, signing BSB’s only female competitor, Jenny Tinmouth, who joined the team in 2015. During her two seasons with Honda to date, Jenny has improved on personal bests at every round.

Team-mates Jason O’Halloran and Dan Linfoot, both occupying the all-important BSB top six Showdown spots, with five rounds to go this season, complete the Honda line-up – representing the most successful team in the championship’s history.

“We’re delighted to have Slingshot Sponsorship join the Honda Racing BSB team. The entire agency truly understands our vision for the team going forwards,” said Nick Campolucci, head of motorcycles at Honda UK. “I’m confident that with Slingshot’s support we can take the success of the team to the next level.”

Slingshot Sponsorship enhances its clients’ commercial rights by uncovering new value through development and creation of sponsorship assets – supporting an execution that is mutually beneficial and sustainable.

“Honda Racing is visionary in its field and has expanded the audience outside of the traditional biking community. We’re honoured to be working with Honda,” said Jackie Fast, founder and managing director of Slingshot Sponsorship. “Honda Racing and Slingshot have a shared interest in pioneering ways of shaking up a traditional market so watch this space.”

Commercial opportunities are now available with the team for the 2017 season.

-Ends-

Note to Editors:
About Slingshot Sponsorship
Slingshot Sponsorship is an innovative strategic sponsorship agency based in Central London with offices around the world. Slingshot works across all industry sectors to help organisations identify, create and optimise their value to become engaging business growth opportunities for brands to partner with. Clients include diverse verticals such as sport, events, celebrities, award programmes, music festivals, and charities – all with a desire of pushing the boundaries in traditional sponsorship.
localhost:8080/slingshotsponsorship.com

For PR comments and information, please contact Kirsty Matthews
e. Kirsty.matthews.consultancy@outlook.com t: +44 (0) 7834 238109

About Honda Racing BSB
Honda Racing BSB news releases and images are available to download from http://media.hondaracingbsb.co.uk/

Contact information
For corporate and model-specific comment, please contact:
David Rogers, PR Manager (Motorcycles)
T: 01344 888573 M: 07775 227872 E: david.rogers@honda-eu.com

For race reports and team comment, please contact:
Becky Vane
T: 01525 270774 M: 07446 472 440 E: Becky.vane@redwing.media


The Strategy Behind Sport 10th August, 2016

Sports teams are built and developed – crafted over years of training, coaching, and trading.  Ironically the same strategic perspective is not invested off the pitch.  Although sport sponsorship is responsible for over 70% of the total industry, it still lacks the necessary expertise to execute a sustainable and robust rights holder commercial strategy.  With so much sponsor churn, the sport sponsorship industry reflects a transactional method of sales with the highest bidder taking ownership of sponsorship rights that are often not fully utilised, supporting marketing strategies that are often never realised.  Unfortunately, this hasn’t been an issue for most rights holders with sponsorship rights fees on the whole increasing.  Why fix something that isn’t broken?  Why undersell rights when you can oversell them?  And why, if money is all that you are after, not align yourself to a brand that has no relation or even tenuous link to the sport.

The answer is that now you have to.

It’s not only more imperative for sports sponsorship sales teams to start thinking more creatively about how a sponsorship activation will support an overall sponsor’s strategy, it’s also becoming crucial for fan engagement.  If sport supports brand messaging by harnessing people’s passions, then brands who aren’t contributing to the fan experience or advocacy fail to gain the cut-through they once had through logo badging.  Brands have needed to become more creative with how sponsorship is utilised; however, the sports rights still fail to recognise this shift in value.  Sports teams and organisers tend to complain about the lack of activation on behalf of a brand.  However, if the sponsorship rights package is skewed towards how many impressions they will get on broadcast then it’s impossible to deliver an activation that will resonate.

It starts with creating the right assets.

By strategically understanding the value in a sports sponsorship package beyond that of perimeter boards and logos on kits, rights holders will begin to build the foundation for a partnership that truly works for everyone – including the fans.  By offering the same sponsor benefits as everyone else, sports rights holders not only run the risk of relying on team performance to generate ROI for their sponsors, but also fail to differentiate from every other team.  The assumption that the way things have always been will work in today’s fragmented media landscape is naïve.  However, this ever shifting environment can create unique opportunities for rights holders to develop their assets and audience (social media) – making it a new playing field.

From a sport sponsorship sales perspective, the pace of change is extraordinary – and sponsor gains are being made everywhere.  Be a rights holder who recognises the brand requirement to be part of the experience by creating assets that brands can use.  Be relevant by understanding what assets drive your partnership opportunities – rather than where you can put a logo.


It’s Not Who You Know 25th July, 2016

Far too many of our new business meetings focus purely on who Slingshot knows at Board level with brands. Undeniably, we know a lot. But that’s our business – it’d be like if McDonalds didn’t know what types of condiments to use for their hamburgers. It would be ludicrous if after 6 years of selling sponsorship rights to global brands, we didn’t make a friend or two along the way.

Unfortunately, almost all sponsorship sales agencies use this angle in their pitches – providing a false sense of security, to the potential new client, that sponsorship sales is all about speaking to the right person. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In my 15 years of selling “stuff”, it’s almost never about who you know. Bad salespeople focus on this in a new business pitch because it’s easy. Rather than take time to review the boring strategic processes that underlie sponsorship sales, it’s easier to provide wow factor by name dropping. This masks the fact that the challenge of selling sponsorship actually is controllable by a rights holder and can be fixed without hiring a specialist sponsorship sales agency, and no one really wants that do they?

Slingshot’s approach is never about the black book, which many think is unconventional and also means we lose a lot of pitches to those that guarantee sponsors and often unachievable revenue targets. The smoke and mirrors sales pitch champion who they know, but if you are struggling to maximise your full sponsorship potential it’s not because of your sales people, your property or your access to LinkedIn – it’s your commercial strategy.

Without a commercial strategy that understands what assets you have, what assets brands require to drive ROI, your fair market value and a pretty spectacular proposal – you honestly don’t really have a chance. I am pretty good friends with a lot of big brand buyers, but even I can’t flog something without the above. Gone are Chairman’s Whim days, but it means you have got to start thinking about your proposition if you are going to invest time and resource into selling sponsorship.


Jackie Fast re-elected to the board of European Sponsorship Association 11th July, 2016

The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) announced last week that Jackie Fast, MD and Founder of Slingshot Sponsorship has been re-elected to the board for her second tenure.

ESA is the membership body which represents sponsorship professionals across Europe.

Jackie Fast was originally elected to the ESA board in 2013 and has been re-elected to the 15-strong board alongside Toby Hester from Sponsorship Coach who was also re-elected.

New members on the board were announced as Matthew Leopold from British Gas, Sophie Morris from Millharbour Marketing and Matt Stevenson from EE.
It was also announced that three current members are stepping down, they are Rob Mitchell of Wasps/Ricoh Arena, Gary Carey of Diageo and Helen Lamb of ESA.

The remit of the ESA board is to develop a strategy to ensure that the Association remains in the best position to represent the industry and to provide its members with valuable and usable benefits.

Jackie Fast will continue to develop The ESA Excellence Awards which are growing year on year and are widely regarded as the highest example of sponsorship achievement across all industry disciplines.

Jackie commented, “I’m pleased to have been re-elected to the board of the European Sponsorship Association where great work is being done to promote and celebrate the fabulous campaigns being run within our industry through the Excellence Awards. I am keen to continue to work with ESA on strategy to ensure that we are representing the interests of the industry as a whole and continuing to grow the best practice sponsorship throughout Europe.”


Slingshot to run bootcamp in Oslo 7th July, 2016

Slingshot Sponsorship’s MD Jackie Fast will be presenting a one-day sponsorship bootcamp in Oslo on August 26th 2016 hosted by our friends at ANFO Oslo. This is a unique chance to hear from one of the industry’s leading experts on how to successfully secure sponsorship in today’s landscape.
Slingshot Sponsorship’s aim is to help you grow your company through sponsorship programs that create priceless opportunities to consumers and incorporate motivating factors to drive brands investing in sponsorship.

Slingshot Sponsorship has successfully been running sessions to help rights holders increase sponsorship revenue and improve relationships with existing sponsors. To date, Slingshot have hosted over 400 rights holders at sessions run across the world.
The aim of the bootcamp is to help you discover ground-breaking partnerships big or small, which punch above their weight and measurably build your businesses and your sponsor brands.

Key takeaways from the event will include:
1. Current sponsorship practices & how the industry has changed
2. How to create the right sponsorship proposal – including communications strategy planning, audience development & commercialising your social media
3. Understanding your competition, and therefore your USP in the market – including creation of assets, understanding how brands value your opportunity & pricing your package
4. Sales technique & how to close the deal

Jackie Fast commented, “I am looking forward to coming to Oslo to present our agency’s framework for sustainable sponsorship. With an office in Oslo we can help provide further support for our delegates in the long term so I am delighted to be able engage with the Norwegian sponsorship industry.”

Join other forward-thinking leaders to find new and emerging practices and insights to grow your business and sponsorship revenue in an industry where the only certainty is change.

To book your place please click here.


Slingshot Sponsorship MD Jackie Fast on Kobestarr Digital Podcast 8th June, 2016

Jackie Fast, Slingshot Sponsorship MD, starred on the Kobestarr Digital Podcast released on the 6th of June.

 
The podcast outlines how Slingshot Sponsorship has evolved and why it initially launched (not what you’d think!) and outlines why sponsorship isn’t just about money alone. In a true partnership, both parties are active in the relationship and the goals are aligned by one vision – without this collaboration, the partnership falls apart.

 

A section also outlines how sponsorship is extremely valuable to everyone and it’s not just the biggest brands that can benefit. Smaller organisations should consider sponsorship as being part of their strategy, all the more when it can help small or medium sized companies reach goals they couldn’t have if not partnering with a company.

 
Listen to the full podcast here.


Jackie Fast named as Entrepreneur of the Week 5th May, 2016

Jackie Fast has been announced Entrepreneur of the Week by The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine.

Jackie was interviewed for The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine, you can read the interview below:

Tell us about you and the business
Slingshot creates revenue for organisations through the process of transforming those organisations into viable marketing platforms for brands. Basically we get sponsors for events, online platforms, television, associations, celebrities and charities. Launched on the premise that sponsorship can do more than just brand awareness through logo badging, we uncover the true value and business synergies that deliver significant ROI for all parties involved. This approach is based on business value – we are essentially commercial experts for organisations wanting to grow.

How are you helping start-ups?
Almost 70% of our Bootcamps are with start-up businesses as creating a robust sponsorship strategy is vital to not only their ambitious growth plans, but tends to also be the only way the Founders can earn a salary.
We also have a quarterly training module with General Assembly, which is specific to the tech start up community. Many tech start-ups secure VC funding at product development stage; however, when they go to launch it – funds have dried out, so we teach tech start-ups (and VC fund managers) how to utilise sponsorship techniques to reach users critical mass for awareness (and sales).

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur, but I’m not sure I always wanted to be one (or really understood what one was) at a young age. I like executing ideas – in often controversial ways, so being my own boss is typically the easiest way to do this.

Where did the idea come from?
I’ve been known as a financial fixer in my previous roles – I find solutions to money problems using creative commercial strategies. It was a very simple step to go from that into sponsorship.

Do you have a business role model?
I don’t have a particular business role model, but I admire people who don’t take no for an answer and who aren’t worried about what other people think. I’m also a huge fan of Harriet Green as she cold called her last employer (Thomas Cook). I love anyone who cold calls a Chairman of a company outlining why things could be done better.

What were you doing before you started?
I initiated and led the first sponsorship division of the Direct Marketing Association in the UK.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Hiring the right people for business growth. Our people are so vital to our business and so it’s so important to work with the right ones. However, it can also be a challenging job with a lot of pressure – and it’s been a learning experience trying to identify the right types of people who can be successful in this environment.

What has been the biggest breakthrough?
Learning that the emotions in business come in cycles – and everyone goes through hard times, but the important thing is to keep your vision and keep a smile on your face.

Do you think there is enough entrepreneurship taught in the education system?
I actually think there is a lot of entrepreneurship education everywhere (including the education system); however, most of the time it’s has little awareness with actual budding entrepreneurs. I think we could do more to promote the available opportunities.

What are your plans for this year?
Slingshot have been actively opening our horizons globally – with projects already in India, Africa, and Asia this year alone, we are hoping to build our presence in these new markets.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
With a great team working on excellent partnership opportunities with brands you haven’t heard of yet.