SPONSORSHIP / PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR
English Football League & Mind
Launched in July 2018, the EFL and Mind’s ground-breaking collaboration has provided a unique opportunity to improve the nation’s mental health and wellbeing.
Every year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem. That’s one person in every family, so it could be hundreds of footballers and thousands of football fans. Traditionally men have found it more difficult to speak out about their mental health and is one of the many reasons that the EFL and Mind decided to join forces.
In year one of the partnership, the EFL and Mind have worked together to raise awareness of mental health with fans, Clubs and the wider public; raise money to deliver life changing national and local support and help improve the approach to mental health in football working with other partners in the game.
FC Barcelona & Stanley Black & Decker
Stanley Black & Decker is passionate about supporting individuals and teams who are blazing a trail and making a significant difference for future generations. Sharing its vision for a more diverse and inclusive world, Stanley Black & Decker is the first jersey sponsor of the FC Barcelona Femení women’s football team under its STANLEY brand.
This outstanding club is continuously raising the game, not just in football, but as role models for the professional athletes who will follow in their paths. Reinforcing the company’s purpose ‘For Those Who Make The World’, Stanley Black & Decker chose to sponsor FC Barcelona Femení as they are ultimate pioneers and innovators in their field. Both organisations believe in the philosophy that ‘together we are more’. Focused on breaking boundaries and setting standards in women’s football, they are true champions of change. Through their positive actions and encouragement, this exceptional team is helping other young girls feel empowered and realise their dreams.
As part of their ongoing marketing collaboration, this short film was created by FC Barcelona Femení and STANLEY to emphasise the message that football is for everyone regardless of gender, and was released to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019.
Leeds United Football Club & Eleven Sports Media
The Leeds United Partner Programme has been developed in partnership with the club and Eleven Sports Media, a sports technology and partner programme agency.
Launched in January 2018, the Leeds United project turned the traditional partner programme model on its head. Eleven identified a need for new era of activation for all partners, incorporating digital branded content, events and the creation and usage of bespoke partner IP. 2018/19 was the programme’s first full season of operation and has proven to be a huge commercial success for all stakeholders.
Eleven’s experience in constructing partner programmes by bringing together a range of digital communications channels had already seen them achieve commercial success at clubs such as Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Watford.
Norwich City Football Club & Visit Tampa Bay
Best summarised as a partnership that has allowed Norwich City to set in motion plans to internationalise the Club, plans that very conceivably wouldn’t have happened anywhere near as quickly had this partnership not been so successful.
Norwich City has a number of synergies with Visit Tampa Bay as an organisation, and we believe our relationship is leading the way in how international sponsorships should work.
Our warm weather winter training camp in Tampa, in November 2018, was a first of its kind in football, particularly at Championship level, and the links fostered from that have grown to the extent that Norwich City now has an official partnership with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and long-term links with Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays.
Our long-term goal is that soccer fans in Tampa Bay take Norwich City to their heart and we become the go-to option as a supporter of UK football, outside of the top 6 teams.
This would never have been possible without our partnership with Visit Tampa Bay, and the warm weather winter training camp was the culmination of a year’s hard work in planning.
Portsmouth Football Club & University of Portsmouth
At the start of the 2018/19 season, Portsmouth Football Club secured the University of Portsmouth as Front of Shirt and Main Club Sponsor on a three-year contract.
With both the Football Club and University of Portsmouth playing a huge role in the city, it seemed a natural fit that will not only benefit the current group of students offering them valuable work experience opportunities but more specifically help increase participation rates in higher education in the area.
In order to tackle this issue, the University of Portsmouth strengthened their relationship with Portsmouth Football Club and during the 2018/19 season have achieved some amazing accolades including over 950 young people having a First Team player visit at their school as part of an inspiring motivational UoP Outreach visit, 100 UoP students employed by the Club in part-time or full-time roles and a bespoke Purple Kit launched to showcase the strength of the partnership.
As we embark on the 2019/20 season, we are excited to continue working with the University of Portsmouth and further strengthening the relationship in and amongst the city of Portsmouth to help build on these relationships within the wider community.
Tottenham Hotspur & Hotels.com
Hotels.com launched its partnership with leading Premier League football Club, Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of the 2018/2019 season. This was the brand’s first European sports partnership and as multi-faceted activation plan was developed and executed to meet their objectives to drive awareness, promote its rewarding and irreverent personality and generate revenue.
The partners provided a constant and relevant platform to promote the brand to the Club’s 463 million global followers. It used star players to create engaging content to amplify its key messages to a targeted, travel loving audience. Finally, it introduced innovative technology to integrate a value exchange for fans into the ticket purchasing journey and offered exclusive discounts to the Club’s supporters.
The campaign cumulatively reached nearly 100 million on digital channels and well over 100 million on traditional broadcast. This resulted in strong familiarity and favourability of the brand amongst surveyed Tottenham Hotspur fans. In addition, a cumulative quarter of a million supporters were offered a one-off discount voucher and a season long discount code for Club members generated hundreds of room bookings of which nearly half were made by new customers of Hotels.com.
Vanarama, Prostate Cancer UK and The National League
The MANarama campaign was a historic fundraising and awareness campaign in conjunction with Non-League Day (13 October 2018), leveraging a new partnership with the National League, and continuing Prostate Cancer UK’s relationship with longstanding partner, Vanarama, also title sponsor of the National League. Vanarama and the National League changed its name to the MANarama National League throughout the month of September until Non-League Day, with the ambition to raise £150,000. They donated £50 for every vehicle leased from the start of September until Non-League Day, and launched a successful digital awareness drive.
The primary objectives were to raise awareness of prostate cancer within the football community and beyond, while raising money to enable Prostate Cancer UK to ultimately focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and support of those affected by prostate cancer; primarily by:
- Bringing to life the official partnership between the Vanarama National League and Prostate Cancer UK through a UK-first re-branding of a football league mid-season
- Raising £150,000 for Prostate Cancer UK through Vanarama’s “lease a van, save a man” fundraising drive
- Working with the National League’s 68 clubs to raise awareness of the campaign
- To educate and reach at-risk men, and those who have a low awareness of the risk of prostate cancer by utilising the reach of Vanarama across all channels to the company’s 80% male audience, including Vanarama employees
West Bromwich Albion & Ideal Boilers
Ideal Boilers saw a unique opportunity to partner with West Bromwich Albion to achieve their objectives of increased brand awareness across the UK. The introduction of Boiler Man generated viral global coverage that has delivered unprecedented media content to bolster already impressive media values from the partnership.
By working together Ideal Boilers and West Bromwich Albion have created a partnership proposition that has given the fans an emotional connection with the brand while simultaneously driving commercial objectives and value.