SPONSORSHIP / PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR
BT’s Home Nation FA partnerships – Cake
To support BT’s fundamental role in UK society as a national enabler, we announced the most transformational sponsorship in UK football.
BT are lead partner of the England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland Football Associations. Our ambitious partnership strategy over the next 4 years is outlined in a ‘4-3-3’ formation:
4 – Home Nation FA partnerships (The FA, FAW, SFA & IFA)
3 – Focus areas most in need of support (Grassroots, Women’s & Para/Disability football)
3 – Ambitions to make a meaningful difference & leave a lasting legacy in each area
Key objectives: Uplift the nation during Covid-19 through unique partnership that connects with all four home nations. Support BT’s target of digitally up-skilling 10M people in the UK by 2025.
Delivered free connectivity to 70 grassroots clubs across the UK
Supported thousands of parents with home-schooling resources in lockdown
Up-skilled young people not in employment, education through BT Work Ready
Introduced 20,000 new volunteers to grassroots football through The FA Playmaker course
Launched a national media campaign to shine a light on the Para & Disability game
Created a reality TV series with BT Sport to find the next female football star
Santander & UCL – Footballco
For the 2019-20 season we set out to make Santander the most famous UEFA Champions League sponsor on social. We started the year with a clear roadmap to achieve this, however, the global pandemic put a stop to football in March 2020 derailing our strategy.
Rather than stopping us in our tracks, the pause gave us the opportunity to re-think and pivot our approach to ensure Santander’s social output remained relevant throughout the pandemic & tonally in tune, leveraging a range of new content trends and innovations that ended up making 2019-20 our most successful season ever.
Leyton Orient FC & Harry Kane
Front of Shirt Deal with the England Captain Harry Kane.
This unique and global partnership deal with Harry was a life line for the Club, just when income streams dried up, shirts started flying off the shelves. 3 times as many shirts have now been sold compared to last season and they have been dispatched to over 80 different countries across the globe. What makes the Club and Harry proud…the opportunity to celebrate, support and raise the profile of three amazing Charities:
– Thankyou Frontline Heroes – Bart’s Charity
– Haven House Children’s Hospice
Harry and the Club through this partnership have been able to engage with the Charities events, fundraising events, amplify their messages and put smiles on peoples faces. Gifts have been given to the children over Christmas at Haven House and Whips Cross Hospital, auction items have been donated, and video messages from Harry and the Club have been sent to patients across the three charities. With lots more planned between now and the end of the season.
Liverpool FC & Carlsberg
To celebrate Liverpool FC’s first league title in 30 years, Carlsberg launched a limited edition ‘Champions’ product in more than 25 markets around the world, featuring the signatures of the winning squad and manager. The campaign was predominantly a channel activity, designed to provide positive outcomes at off-trade point of sale, but was supported by significant digital activity.
The campaign’s main objective was to add value to the fan experience and help the brand to authentically celebrate the club’s league victory alongside the fans, as the longest partner in the club’s history (currently at 28 years and counting).
More than 6 million champions cans were sold around the world from the UK to Malayisa, Indonesia, USA and Australia. The campaign also delivered global exposure for Carlsberg with 8m social media impressions, 5.5m video views and 1m engagements whilst 31% of fans felt that Carlsberg added value to the fan experience and 8 in 10 fans felt that Carlsberg were a genuine supporter of LFC.
Liverpool FC & Standard Chartered – Project Stand Red
Standard Chartered united the past and present to inspire and educate the next generation of Liverpool FC fans by showcasing LFC’s most successful manager, Bob Paisley, in what would have been his 100th Birthday year (2019/20 Season).
The beauty of technology is to provide human connections. Through the use of smart technology, both voice technology and CGI, we were able to allow Bob Paisley to once again walk on the Anfield pitch, tell unheard stories alongside Ian Rush and interact with today’s players and Manager, Jürgen Klopp.
Working extremely closely the Paisley Family and LFC, ‘Project Stand Red’ became a campaign that preserves a tremendous legacy that will continue to inspire the next generation of football and demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to bringing global fans closer to the Club they love using innovation and technology.
Project Stand Red is a campaign that built human connections, inspired the next generation of football fans and demonstrated the Bank’s commitment to bringing fans in all corners of the globe closer to the Club they love – using the same type of innovative technology that made the brand a fintech leader.
Norwich City FC & War Paint for Men
In 2020, Norwich City partnered with male makeup brand War Paint for Men to deliver an incredibly important in-depth content series we’ve titled ‘Challenging Stereotypes’.
Episode 1 focused on recognising and tackling the concept of ‘toxic masculinity’, challenging the stigmas and offering hope to those struggling, all in the company of global star Stephen Fry. Stephen joined Darren Eadie and Danny Gray for the honest in-depth chat about all things mental health where he spoke candidly about his experiences, current attitudes in society to mental health and also how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the thoughts and emotions of people around the world.
Stephen Fry: “But brave is saying I have weaknesses, I have fears, I have a secret…That’s courage.”
Episode 2 focused on homophobia within football, in the company of the inspiring Amal Fashanu. Amal is the niece of Justin Fashanu, the first openly gay footballer who was driven to suicide by the backlash he received for his sexuality. Amal spoke emotionally with Darren and Danny about her mission to help footballers struggling to accept their sexuality, and her work in founding the Justin Fashanu Foundation. Episode 2 will be released in February to coincide with LGBT history month.
Rangers FC and Castore
In May 2020, Rangers F.C. and Castore began a groundbreaking five-year kit and retail partnership.
Castore had selected Rangers as their first football club partner and in a very short space of time, three kits plus training wear had to be designed and launched in addition to the opening of a new online and physical stadium store.
The bespoke kit designs launched in the Summer to fan acclaim and sales vastly surpassed our initial targets which led us to create a commercially successful retro fourth kit launch just before Christmas plus other special collections.
We also jointly created a marketing campaign that centered around the partnership defining “A New Era”. To bring this message to life, the Castore Founders and Rangers Commercial and Marketing Director embarked on an innovative fan media tour that helped to tell the story of the Castore brand and share the exciting vision for the future. This was in addition to other marketing approaches such as a joint CRM and social media strategy plus a high-profile kit launch video.
Despite compressed lead-times and additional complexity brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have achieved a number of key revenue and fan engagement landmarks