Creating Transformational Moments Through Location Technology 17th November, 2014

The development of location technology is growing fast and has major implication to sponsorship – especially when considering location services to engage brands to their customers onsite at the events that they sponsor.  Understandably, Apple was the first to launch with the Apple iBeacon.  Shortly after Samsung launched Proximityas the “mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.”

The potential of this technology is limitless, but made essentially relevant for retail sales.  Imagine you are in M&S to purchase yourself a cashmere scarf.  If M&S employed location technology via in-store transmitters, upon arrival the store could tell not only tell you what cashmere scarves are available, but also what gloves might match and where they can be found.  Upselling in-store no longer needs to be done by the sales people on the ground, but applied in your hand.

The influence on sponsorship and the physical space

The development of this type of technology further erodes the traditional sponsorship model, making way for a new breed of thinking driving effective, collaborative partnerships that demand a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour and engagement.  This potential need not only be applied to Westfield, but also within football stadiums, music festivals, science museums and children’s museums – allowing sponsors and rights holder to effectively influence and engage with their audiences.

The intriguing aspect of this technology which isn’t particularly new, is deciphering the data location technology generates. Rewarding loyal, frequent shoppers with unique events or rewards offers brands an extended and tangible asset to target and communicate a specific demographic.

Smartphones making us work smarter

Brands want to take greater ownership in the festivals and events they support to the dislike of some event organisers. However, turning this insight into commercial solutions that ultimately drive sales is what excites top level marketers (and Slingshot employees!).

Marketers are driven by media content because it works – it’s that simple.  However our sponsorship solutions shouldn’t be limited by this alone.  Instead, sponsorship professionals need to start questioning the true value of collective goals – ensuring involvement and activation drives purpose beyond the traditional.  Utilising location services not only helps sponsorship professionals do their jobs better, but more importantly adds significant value to the customer’s experience, which is what matters most.

Why Lifestyle Brands Are Getting It Right 17th July, 2014

Our unique take on sponsorship has enabled us to work with some fantastic lifestyle brands such as Red Stripe, Majestic Athletic, Supreme Being, Monster Energy, Spotify, and New Era who are truly maximising the consumer shift towards culture brands.  In terms of sponsorship, these brands are getting it right.  They truly understand their consumer, their market, and most importantly understand how utilising effective sponsorship platforms make their marketing budgets work harder – often because their budgets are a fraction of their rivalling high street retail competitors who are vying for the same audience.

But what makes them different and why should you care?

It all boils down to engagement.  Lifestyle brands tend to have more success in engaging their market better than many other retailers.  They also know where to engage them and how to engage them.  If engagement is what brands are after because engagement sells, then this surely is something to take notice of rather than being complacent on your own brand image – even if you do only sell shoe inserts.

So here is my take on why lifestyle brands are getting it right:

  1. Challenged to be creative – smaller budgets mean you have to really think about what you are doing with them.  When lifestyle brands sponsor something, they maximise every single opportunity and asset they purchase ensuring nothing is missed.
  2. Commercially creative teams – lifestyle brands tend to have teams where everyone does a bit of everything, rather than job roles split up.  This forces individuals to be both creative and commercial – enabling people to fully understand how marketing activity drives sales, which is crucial.
  3. They are their target market – not only do they know their audience, they themselves tend to be active and avid advocates of the brand.  This saves focus groups, countless surveys, and allows them to tap into consumer insight easily.

If you want to see what we’ve done with Majestic Athletic, click here for the case study.

The Sponsorship Selfie 1st May, 2014

With June just round the corner, there has been time for a bit of light reflection about what 2014 has served up so far, and what a bizarre year it’s been. The list already includes conflict, flooding, missing planes, #moyesout, little Georgie, twerking and last but certainly not least, ‘the selfie’!


However lauded the ‘selfie’ might be, it can offer quite a good starting point for rights holders looking to gain sponsorship. Such introspection should be the first port of call when beginning the process of sourcing sponsorship, rather than the immediate ‘show me the money’ approach.

Making sure you know what you want to look like before your sponsorship selfie is essential; therefore, forming goals and objectives in order to create a pre-determined strategy will be key. So, how is this broken down – what should rights holders be concentrating on?



Engagement is the acid test for any successful sponsorship. Making sure that sponsors are engaging with your audience and increasing the customer experience is essential; logo placement is never enough. This also helps drive other factors such as footfall, PR and unlocking extra assets within your platform. In recent years, O2 have been pioneers in engagement, using it to reduce churn and increase customer loyalty. This was subsequently achieved through priority moments, which amongst many things, offered fans a catalogue of benefits for being an O2 customer.


Added value

Sponsor activation and brand presence, if used strategically, should add value to your property. This has to be done with the brand image and objectives in mind, making sure that there is an authentic fit and your integrity is not challenged. Over the past twelve months integrated stadiums have been a hot topic; none showcase this more poignantly than the rise in Cisco’s investment. This activation fulfils a number of objectives, and ultimately allows the stadium to generate more revenue by offering mobile purchasing of refreshments, and the initial costs are offset by an exchange of assets in return.



Having the endorsement from a big brand can revolutionise a rights holder’s public image, and provide the credibility needed to stand in an ever cluttered market place. British Airways’ new partnership with the Rooftop Film Club has done just this; an underground and relatively unknown rights holder has the backing of partner who will add kudos and an air of reputability (watch this space for 2014).


Not being blinded by the money is key to utilising any partnership to the full; a truly successful sponsorship deal must comprise all of the benefits above. However, going against the true spirit of the selfie – try not to be vain, consider the ugly duckling partnership. By broadening your horizons and keeping an eye out for the unlikely partnership, like ‘Good Earth Teas’ have formed with music supremo EMI, can launch something new – which is what partnerships are for, right?