Support the Startups Supporting You 16th November, 2016

Investing in innovation and entrepreneurship is necessary for any business to not only grow and evolve, but ultimately to survive. Becoming complacent and ignoring advances in your field can leave you left in the wake of competitors that mould themselves to adapt with changes in technology.

Given that it is not always possible to rely on your internal team for innovation many companies are recognising the need to invest in startups with new and fresh ideas. Not only does this foster creativity and innovation under their brand but it also is a way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to advances in their industry.

One company that has seen the need to foster talent early is Nestlé who have developed their own platform to actively invest in startups. Nestlé HENRi was created with the objectives to enhance quality of life, contribute to a healthier future, tackle global issues and make genuine positive effects for millions across the world. Not only is this socially constructive for Nestlé’s brand but it also has proven benefits for sales and engagement with Nestlé products.

For example, through partnering with the startup Blippar, Nestlé have since been able to unlock new levels of engagement with their customers for both Milo & Nesquik products in an untested AR territory. Without opening themselves up to external ideas and investing in start-ups, this would not have been possible.

It’s not too late!

For companies that do not have the resources to set up projects of this scale, there are alternative ways to invest in start-ups & innovation. Slingshot is currently working with Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest startup competition supported by Sir Richard BransonBill Tai (Twitter) and Jim Breyer (Facebook). XTC gives brands an opportunity to sit beside some of the world’s most influential business leaders, while ensuring that they are the first to have access to all new ideas & technology that this competition uncovers.

XTC gives brands the chance to integrate their entire suite of services throughout key events at the XTC Semi-Finals held at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January reaching over 170,000 tech savvy enthusiasts, and the XTC Finals taking place on Necker Island in February 2017.

Anchor judge of the program, Sir Richard Branson, sees the event as an opportunity to uncover untapped ideas and technology, “we are hunting for people and ideas that can literally change the world!”

Sponsor involvement is still available for the 2016/2017 XTC program. Sponsoring enables your businesses to align to a category specific to your industry, not only allowing your business to judge the entrants but also positioning you as an influencer among the best in global business. If you’d like to hear more information about partnership opportunities we have available, please contact Hayley Williams at [email protected].


Slingshot Sponsorship Walk Away with Two Bronze Awards at the Field Marketing & Brand Experience Awards in London 2nd November, 2015

Last week the Slingshot team attended the Field Marketing & Brand Experience Awards at the Troxy. It was a really great night with eccentric British themed activities, topped off with two bronze awards! We were rewarded for the Outsourced Sales Performance of the Year for our work over the past five years with the What Car? Awards as well as the Most Effective Sponsorship Activation for our work with Ableton at Outlook and Dimensions Festivals in 2014.

Slingshot came on board with the What Car? Awards in 2011 transforming the sponsorship revenues within the first year; however, being retained since, revenue has continued to increase year on year.  Beyond that sponsors now working with the What Car? Awards have been integrated throughout other areas of the business – illustrating how partnerships are integral to the overall organisation.  As one of Slingshot’s first clients, their success and multi-award winning sponsorship programmes is recognition for our new approach to developing sponsorship in today’s changing landscape.  Find out how we did it on the case study here.

Securing bronze for the Most Effective Sponsorship Activation is particularly relevant this year – outlining how Slingshot worked with a rights holder to develop new properties based on insight.  The development of the Knowledge Arena is the first activation of its kind worldwide.  This development of roundtables, show and play technologies, and panel discussions at a music festival was welcomed and become a key driver for music software and technology companies partnering with the festival overall.  See the full case study here.

Given the fierce competition, we are really proud of this achievement which is a testament to the team and the clients who worked hard to make this happen.

Breaking into the Sponsorship Industry 1st August, 2013

I had a drink with two interns this week – one who had just secured an internship with Slingshot and the other, someone who desperately wanted to intern at Slingshot and even offered to work on the weekends to beat out the other competition.  Both evenings were relatively the same – a history on their experience outside of university, their difficulties in trying to gain credibility within the industry, and of course, the ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario – needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience.

Ironically enough, I applied to a number of sponsorship agencies in the industry before I started Slingshot Sponsorship. But alas, to no avail..  Not even a phone call.  Not even an email reply acknowledging that I had applied.  And I had experience in sponsorship.  Maybe not the typical experience you’d see – much of my sponsorship experience was pieced around commercial marketing rather than sports sponsorship – but experience all the same.

Fortunately for me, my lack of the typical sponsorship agency experience has given me the opportunity to view the sponsorship model in a different light, which has been our key USP within the agency.  What is more, my past experience has taught me first-hand how difficult it really is for people trying to enter the sponsorship industry.

I was recently at a sponsorship conference where some of the debate centred on the sponsorship industry not attracting the best people – which I don’t agree with.  I believe the problem lies with the people hiring, rather than the people applying.  We should be focussing our attention on who we hire rather than who we attract. Having worked within direct marketing (mail, email, data, etc) I know first-hand how difficult it is to attract graduates to these industries.  By comparison, sponsorship is an extremely sexy industry.  Although it may not have the Mad Men appeal of advertising, it does have all the job perks (backstage pass anyone?).  And sport always is an attraction.

The onus I feel is on the hirers to think outside the box. Take a chance. You never know, someone might just surprise you. I know I did.