Campaigns: Sponsorship - Homing in on the cult of the spinmasters

Client: Ericsson

Client: Ericsson

Campaign: Superstar DJ competition

PR Team: Slice PR

Timescale: April - May 2000

Budget: Within annual budget

Mobile communications company Ericsson was the headline sponsor for

Homelands, a collaboration between the Mean Fiddler and Home


Homelands is a dance music festival held simultaneously at outdoor

locations in England, Scotland and Ireland. The English venue was the

Matterley Bowl, a site close to Winchester. Huge marquees were erected

to house various DJs and dance music acts. The event ran from the

afternoon of Saturday 27 May through to the Sunday morning. Each event

attracts an audience of about 40,000 young people. Slice handled the PR

for Ericsson’s sponsorship of the English event.


To increase an awareness of Ericsson’s support of youth culture through

its sponsorship of the UK’s biggest dance festival. It aimed to do this

by using press coverage, the internet and a competition to find new DJ


To raise the profile and sales of Ericsson’s youth product range

including: the T10 phone, a youth-branded mobile phone; the Chatboard, a

keyboard that can be plugged into an Ericsson phone and used to send

e-mails and access the internet; and the Handsfree Portable FM Radio,

which can be plugged into a phone and used as a radio.

Strategy and Plan

Slice devised its Superstar DJ competition to target amateur DJs with

the opportunity of playing a set at Homelands. At the end of April and

the beginning of May it used the Sun, the Times’ Metro supplement and

Ministry magazine to publish details of the competition, which invited

amateur DJs to submit recordings of their music-mixing skills. Details

of the competition were also sold into news agencies, the national

press, entertainment magazines and on-line media.

Internet audiences were targeted by Slice’s New Media Street Team, which

raised awareness of the competition throughout chat sites and bulletin

boards across UK-based web sites.

In the run up to the festival the agency approached the press and

broadcast media.

The results of the competition were announced to the media on 13


The winner and the two runners up were each invited to play an hour slot

in the Ericsson-branded arena, which had a capacity of 1,500 people. A

web-cam filmed the dancing crowds and DJ sets and was live-linked to

Ericsson’s web site. A cafe was set up next to the venue with a

promotional team demonstrating the youth-branded products.

The media which attended the event interviewed big-name DJs and dance

acts in the Ericsson press lounge, where the company’s branding was

positioned strategically to ensure it was captured on film.

Measurement and Evaluation

The Sun ran details of the competition in two issues; Ministry magazine

ran the competition in its April issue; and the Times’ Metro supplement

ran the competition on 6 May. The competition attracted 5,000 entrants,

and the Homelands festival attracted over 40,000 people.

Broadcast media, including MTV and the Ozone filmed highlights of the

event and interviews with artists in the Ericsson press lounge.

Slice Electronic also sealed a distribution deal with leading

youth-focused web site Dotmusic to broadcast the live acts from the

Ericsson-branded arena. The site attracts an average of 831,000 users a


It is too early for Ericsson to have measured any sales increase of its

youth products, though thousands of people visited the cafe, spoke to

Ericsson promotional staff and saw the company’s products



By offering a platform for new musical talent, the competition and

Ericsson’s high profile at Homelands emphasised the brand’s youth focus,

placing its finger firmly on the pulse of dance-music.

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