AGENCY OF THE YEAR
Cake is a creative agency specialising in sport, entertainment and culture.
Our work in football spans everything from talent-packed integrated campaigns and cutting edge experiences to campaigns supporting grassroots, female, male and disability footballers for brands like Arsenal, EE, BT, The FA, PUMA and PayPal.
Everything we do is about helping businesses get closer to people through the moments, interactions and passion points that matter most to them. It’s what keeps us creative, connected to culture and delivering consistently bold work for our clients.
Our football work is among some of the most exciting and meaningful in the industry, but most importantly, it’s work that works. At the heart of every project is a commitment to delivering on our clients’ objectives: creating conversation and driving action in their desired audiences. We’ve transformed the famous Wembley turf into the world’s first 5G AR Foosball Tournament for EE, encouraged more women and girls into the grassroots game with BT and helped disabled footballers remain connected and active following lockdown for The FA.
It’s fair to say 2021 was a special year for Cake; we’ve delivered for our clients, looked after our people and produced results that truly demonstrate the power of football.
o Eleven Sports Media
Blackpool’s own Eleven Sports Media has worked to forge lasting, valuable commercial partnerships between clubs and their local business communities since 2009. In 2021, against the headwinds of the ongoing pandemic, it regrouped, reorganised, and reinvested in its technology and its core purpose.
Driven by its mission to serve both clubs and local businesses with a platform for recovery and growth, Eleven not only rebounded itself, but connected clubs to more than 700 new commercial partners. Its technology served to help both clubs and brands reach 30-million-strong audiences at a time when fans were distanced from their grounds.
After a difficult start, Eleven ended the year having broken all its records. It signed long-term partnership renewals with Celtic FC and London Stadium, and announced a suite of new partnerships, including with Leicester City.
It also expanded beyond the UK. A landmark partnership with New York City FC saw Eleven begin its expansion into the USA and beyond. True to its commitment to community, Eleven also became NYCFC’s Academy shirt sponsor, adding that to its sponsorship of Celtic’s B Team and Women’s team shirts.
o Fifty Digital
Fifty Digital was created with the intention of building an expert team that can help brands and rights holders to navigate the world of social media and football culture.
That vision still stands today and our 90-strong multidisciplinary team actively embraces our collective mission: to enrich people’s lives by building closer connections through sport.
Fifty Digital is a market-leading creative and social media agency in sponsorship and football. The depth and breadth of our client list demonstrates our commitment to the sport and our understanding of the game from grassroots to the elite.
In the last season, we have expanded our football portfolio to include: The FA, England Football, FIFA World Cup, Chelsea FC, LiveScore and Cristiano Ronaldo, Qatar Airways and UEFA European Championship, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Football Marketing Asia (FMA) and Playermaker.
Our consistency in exceeding client expectations in content strategy, creative ideation, content production, video, motion and static post-production and editorial output has enabled us to grow substantially in the last 12 months, with our in-house team trebling in size.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, Goodform is one of the UK’s longest established sports marketing agencies. Goodform’s expertise in data and research services provides clients with a holistic audience view informing strategy and omni-channel marketing, driving better engagement and audience growth.
Goodform deliver services for: the EFL (and by extension 72 EFL clubs), Watford FC and Wrexham AFC, and have a successful history with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. A key objective for Goodform in 2021 was to drive outstanding revenue and ROI outside of matchday, which has never been more important.
As retained CRM & Data agency for the EFL, Goodform has played a critical role in the growth of iFollow, the EFL’s OTT product, significantly contributing to £42 million in revenue raised for EFL Clubs during the 2020/21 season, providing targeted and automated marketing campaigns, data analysis and supporter research, managed centrally for EFL Digital clubs.
Additionally, Goodform ensured that fan views informed development of the Racecourse Ground, following new ownership of Wrexham AFC. For Watford, Goodform’s highly targeted retail campaigns have achieved over 1000% ROI in 2021. Overall, the positive and measurable impact of Goodform’s services have been widespread across football.
Hatch is an independent agency based in Leeds and London, offering PR, social media, events, content production and sponsorship activation with a specialism in the sport sector.
Brands and organisations we’ve worked with include The EFL, The FA, Leeds United, Sky Bet, Powerleague, Nationwide, Remington and Hisense
Our board has worked in football for the last 20 years, and as an agency full of football fans we have a really clear understanding of what will and won’t work, and most importantly, what will leave a positive lasting connection with the fans.
The last couple of years have been challenging due to the pandemic. It was our job to overcome these challenges and keep providing a service that clients and fans both love, and the innovation of our team’s thinking led to us running activities that were more creative than ever.
As an agency, we worked across a range of incredible projects that have brought us and our clients some excellent results in 2021. We now count Premier League teams on our roster as well as sponsors of international tournaments.
o Little Dot Sport
Little Dot Sport, part of Little Dot Studios, is a specialist digital content and media agency, enabling sports rights holders, clubs, sponsors and federations to connect fans with premium content, and generate revenue in the process.
With a 60-strong team of digital experts and content superfans, including social media and platform managers; editors; account managers and data analysts, they recently acquired WING – a sports-specialist production company who create captivating branded content, films and commercials for their partners.
The agency works with some of the biggest names in football, such as The FA, Chelsea FC, Serie A, Juventus and the SPFL. Their expertise has allowed their partners to reach exceptional growth across digital platforms; generate millions in revenue; and create engaging conversations with global football fans.
MatchFit is one of the fastest-growing independent PR and sponsorship agencies in football.
We’re deeply embedded in football culture, with clients including The FA, LiveScore, The EFL and one of the world’s biggest clubs.
Spanning brands and rights holders to clubs and services, we help our clients connect with their audiences from the elite through to the grassroots of the game.
We focus our energy and creativity on our clients, not our ego, using PR, content and sponsorship to tell the stories which matter most to them.
From the heart of the football industry, we make a big impact in the beautiful game, underpinned by a remote-first model which is MatchFit for the modern age.
o Ten Toes
Ten Toes is a young, hungry 4+ year-old agency.
We started with two people, no clients, a little bit of money and a large ambition to change the industry with a more strategic, insightful, holistic and authentic approach.
From 2 to 20 people our business also grew, with constant year-on-year increases – 2021 Net Fee Revenue up 54% and Profits up 62%.
Underpinning our work is a passionate belief – that ‘authentically fuelling fan culture’ drives impact, engagement and commercial benefit for players, brands and organisations alike.
Personal brand building for talent has always been a pillar of our offering, and our unique insight also attracted brands who we provided with bespoke ideas to achieve their goals.
Most recently, we launched our strategic consultancy, bringing clubs, leagues and federations closer to their ‘fans’ through the ever-changing modern digital landscape.
We are uniquely placed to deliver this ambitious proposition through the experience our team has from inside and outside ‘the industry’ – The FA, Tottenham Hotspur, Wasserman, M&C Saatchi Merlin, AKQA and Anomaly.
Each area of our business complements one another, delivering more ‘complete’ solutions than others.
You could argue that we have many competitors, and equally that we have none.