Driving the Future of the Sponsorship Industry – ESA Appoints one of its Youngest ever Board Directors 29th May, 2013

Jackie Fast, Managing Director, Slingshot Sponsorship, was announced this morning as one of the youngest ever individuals to be elected as a Board Director of the European Sponsorship Association.  Jackie will now sit alongside fourteen other Directors; setting the standard for the sponsorship industry for coming years.

In the wake of the success of this year’s ESA Sponsorship Summit, which addressed significant shifts within the industry, ESA is set to further develop itself alongside its new Board Directors.  Jackie’s appointment highlights ESA’s continued drive to enhance the industry – seeking to challenge the ethos and make significant contribition to its progression.

ESA was formed ten years ago with the premise to unify, strengthen and advance the business of sponsorship throughout Europe.  The industry itself, once predominantly focused upon sport and large corporates, has profoundly shifted in this time.  The body’s appointment of Jackie Fast to the Board conveys its recognition of the changing market, and the need for the industry to adapt with it – further promoting its role to inspire and innovate.

With the sponsorship industry worth €26.5 billion, the European Sponsorship Association will have a vital role in its growth and development into the future.  The key issues identified by ESA include:

  1. Proving Sponsorship’s Business Value
  2. Providing value to members
  3. Creating stronger links with brands and rights holders
  4. Technology – the way in which sponsorship can best icnorporate its benefits
  5. Thought-leadership

Jackie commented, “It is an honour to have been elected to the Board of ESA.  I have admired ESA as an organisation since its creation; to have the opportunity to develop and contribute to its decision making process is a humbling prospect for me. I am looking forward to really developing ESA into a body that is not only vital and leading the entire sponsorship industry, but reflective and influential in the marketing industry.”

At the age of only 29, Jackie is forging a path for aspiring young sponsorship professionals to follow.

Why Big ATL Agencies Can’t Crunch Numbers 5th April, 2013

Walking into a fabulous advertising agency the other day, I will admit, I was envious.  Envious of the beautiful office building, elevators, stairwell, art work, great tea  – even the receptionist wooed us with her timely wit. There were whispers of “…and they also have a free cafeteria!” when we entered the large doors into a reception area that is bigger than the entire Slingshot office.  It was hard not to be smacked in the face  by success the moment you walked  through the front door.

And yet, the meeting with over 15  bright young things – planners, account managers and creatives left me feeling slightly underwhelmed when it came to brainstorming ideas for driving additional revenue to a project and it got me thinking about sponsorship and the future of the agency model (which I will also be discussing at the ESA Summit, read more here).  Now I am not saying that all creative media and marketing agencies and the people that work in them can’t understand sponsorship – many of them can.  The point really is that they don’t have to.  They don’t spend an agonising amount of the day working client budgets to meet targets through multiple revenue streams.  They don’t spend hours on the phone negotiating media rights and convincing brands to provide free products in order to drive the event forward.  They don’t have midnight calls with overseas clients on how to then find a way to pay for the distribution of said product.  Unfortunately, this is my job.  Again, cue my envy.

Yet envy aside, I have come to the conclusion that the thousands of hours I have spent agonising over a successful route has inevitably given me a very strong aptitude for understanding how to generate revenue – effectively and sustainably.  These hours spent have gifted me the ability to valuate a platform fairly quickly, just by a call, because this is what I do – day in and day out.

I can whole heartedly admit that I cannot come up with the creative idea.  I cannot even draw stick people properly. Of course, I  recognise the huge value in the idea and implementation  – but I think the tables are turning.

The Mad Men days where creativity is king is difficult to validate in an era where ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ has over 520 million views.  Where budget cuts, the economic recession, and overall increased scrutiny on budgets continues to rise.   I think it is time to recognise that it is now the era of ROI.

As I am in the business of ROI, I am sure you’d expect me to say that. However, look around you – it really is everywhere.  From the daily Groupons, to free content on ITV player, value is something we are all looking for and delivering that value can be a difficult challenge.

I truly believe the way forward is  through building partnerships – creating true synergies between organisations, understanding all parties objectives, and working together to reap mutual rewards.  The shift has already begun with major brands pulling funding out of the major kit deals in favour of smaller, more integrated campaigns and partnerships.  It can also be seen with the huge success of our own agency, which has doubled in the last year purely through the increase of new incoming business. People are beginning to recognise (whether forced or not) the value of building lasting commercial partnerships.

Now I am not claiming that I am the next Sir Martin Sorrell, David Ogilvy, or William Bernbach – but I do see a future  that features free meals for Slingshot employees.

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.

Slingshot Sponsorship wins Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 28th October, 2011

Jackie Fast managing director of Slingshot Sponsorship has won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Camden & Islington Business Awards.  The category was open to business owners who have shown exceptional business acumen and achieved consistent business growth since launching.

Slingshot Sponsorship delivers and develops long-term brand strategies that engage targeted audiences through sponsorship rights.  Integrated and tailored in each approach, Slingshot Sponsorship diversifies across a range of industries with clients based in publishing, sports, entertainment, media and charities.

Jackie Fast was absolutely ecstatic to win this award, commenting:

It is an absolute pleasure to be nominated, let alone win this category.  Since launching Slingshot Sponsorship last year, our business has grown exponentially – which truly shows how valuable our unique business proposition is.  And hopefully how it challenges and drives forward the sponsorship industry.  It’s fantastic to be recognised by the community for all the hard work put in to developing and launching this agency!

The strict criteria set out for the Camden & Islington Business Awards indicated that only the strongest candidates within the area would be shortlisted for the award. Slingshot’s successful nominations illustrate its capabilities in creating successful partnerships that generate ROI through sponsorship.

The winners of the Camden & Islington Business Awards were announced at the awards ceremony in London on Thursday, 27th October 2011.


Slingshot Sponsorship is a strategic sponsorship agency based in Central London.  The sponsorship agency works with brands such as Haymarket, London Irish Rugby Club, the BBC, Mencap and more to manage and develop sponsorship rights.  The main focus is on creating long term partnerships with a common goal.


The purpose of the CIBAs is to recognise and celebrate those business owners in Camden and Islington who have successfully grown and maintained their business positioning throughout 2010 and 2011.

Winning this award is a superb opportunity to raise a company’s business profile and increase PR exposure across London.  As the first of its kind in Camden and Islington, it is a great opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals.

CIBAs’ objectives:

  • To celebrate the work and efforts of businesses across Islington and Camden.
  • To encourage and champion enterprising behaviour across the 2 neighbouring boroughs
  • To boost the awareness of SME business success across London and the UK.
  • To increase the exposure of the local businesses within the Camden and Islington Area.