FOCUS: SPONSORSHIP; And now a word from our sponsors

GLOBAL VEHICLES: Worldwide televised sporting events are ideal for building brand awareness on a grand scale COMMUNITY SERVICE: Supporting local projects offers high impact on a low budget if the programme fits THE ARTS: Exhibitions and cultural events can attract coverage and offer more than the usual corporate hospitality

GLOBAL VEHICLES: Worldwide televised sporting events are ideal for

building brand awareness on a grand scale

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Supporting local projects offers high impact on a low

budget if the programme fits

THE ARTS: Exhibitions and cultural events can attract coverage and offer

more than the usual corporate hospitality

Business is booming in the world of sponsorship but recipients must be

able to deliver results in return for the big bucks. Susan Gray reports

on some of the success stories

Commercial sponsorship has brought a heightened market awareness into

the once leisurely worlds of sport and the arts. If the cliches about

art for art’s sake and it’s not the winning but the taking part, were

ever true they are certainly not anymore. Commercial sponsorship, worth

around pounds 500 million in Britain has brought its own wisdom: namely,

sponsors want a lot of bangs for their bucks and the results of their

sponsorship spend must be demonstrable.

Organisations seeking regular high-level sponsorship, such as the Tate

and National Galleries, conduct surveys to show sponsors how effective

their support is in reaching key audiences. The National Gallery

discovered on surveying visitors to last year’s Spanish Still Life

exhibition sponsored by Glaxo, that the Gallery’s typical visitor was an

AB woman aged 35 - in other words the key influencer in most household

big ticket consumer spending.

Of course many companies want to spread their net wider than AB women

and it is in reaching a mass or global audience that popular sports

sponsorship comes into its own. Summer 1996 is a vintage season in this

respect, having Euro ‘96 at Wembley in June, followed by the Olympics in


US-based express delivery company UPS is a first time major Olympic

sponsor, standing alongside global giants such as Visa, Bausch & Lomb

and IBM. Colin Beesley UPS UK marketing director says: ‘To see lasting

results from being an Olympic sponsor, you are really looking at

sponsoring four Games, not just the one.’

Major Olympic sponsors are forbidden by the International Olympic

Committee to disclose the sponsorship amount, but Annie Garthwaite, PR

manager for UPS Europe says it is ‘a telephone number figure.’

UPS hopes to use its Olympic sponsorship to increase its share of the

European express delivery market which is growing at a rate of 20 per

cent per year. ‘Olympic sponsorship only gives companies the right to

use the symbolic five rings, what they make of sponsorship after that is

up to them,’ says Beesley.

At UPS, as well as levering the obvious corporate hospitality

opportunities, the company has used the Atlanta Games as an internal

communication tool. For instance, employees across Europe on driver

safety and sales leads programmes have the chance of winning 50 gold

prizes - a trip to the Games with their partners. Silver medalists win a

luxury weekend at Lausanne, IOC headquarters, and bronze winners receive

Olympic-style kit. Also the company’s most successful direct mail

featured trips to the Games as the top prize, together with equipment

from co-sponsors Panasonic for runners up.

According to Garthwaite: ‘As the official express delivery service to

the Atlanta Games, UPS is able to graphically illustrate its central

business message. If UPS can deliver for the world’s largest and most

complex sporting event, just think what it can do for your business. We

also advised the Games organisers on moving competitors, officials and

spectators from place to place and event to event at the right time. UPS

is seen as the expert in this field, and working with the Olympics

organisation backs this up.’

The company has further tied the sports themes together for existing

customers by hosting an Olympians in Business forum in central London,

featuring Tarmac plc chief executive Neville Simms, Charles Allen, chief

executive of Granada and sports personalities Roger Black and Brendan

Foster. Beesley describes sporting events as a ‘better fit with UPS

customers than sponsoring the arts: We give sponsorship in kind to the

Swedish Film Festival, acting as couriers, but our customers prefer

sports to Glyndebourne.’

Coca-Cola has been sponsoring the Games for 68 years, and claim the

curvy bottle shape remains one of three classic symbols together with

the Olympic rings and flame. Coca-Cola senior vice president Sergio

Zyman says that this year’s sponsorship would be about fans, rather than

sports people endorsing the product. Coca-Cola will be sponsoring an

Olympic radio station, with DJs from aroun d the world, including one

from Britain, together with a Coca-Cola village in Atlanta to relay the

Games live. Zyman sums up the theme of Coke bringing people closer

together: ‘The passion and patriotism that comes from sports is a great

equaliser - bringing people together in a way that nothing else can.’

Closer to home and costing an estimated pounds 15 million to police,

Euro 96 is bringing out the sponsors in force. Mars Confectionery trade

relations manager Lionel Cashin says: ‘Euro 96 is the biggest sporting

and cultural event to take place in England in 30 years. Euro 96 will

have a live spectator audience of over one million and a cumulative TV

audience of 7,000 million worldwide, offering unprecedented profile and

media coverage opportunities for sponsors.’

Mars is capitalising on Snickers’ sponsorship presence with a fleet of

80 branded taxis and 200 advertising sites on the roads to Wembley,

branding of the three stations serving the stadium and the

transformation of a camera tower near the ground into a giant Snickers

bar. The group has a Euro 96 section on its web site, including training

tips and the brand has supplied football kits to youth club sides. The

company justifies this spend with research showing that Snickers eaters

are 27 per cent more likely to play football than consumers of any other


‘With 11 main sponsors and numerous secondary sponsors involved in the

event it is essential to utilise striking and innovative presence

vehicles to stand out from the crowd. The presence marketing programme

we have put in place for Euro 96 will establish Snickers as the number

one snack food brand associated with football, football players and

supporters particularly in our core 9 to 24 #group,’ says Cashin.

Credit Suisse’s head of sports sponsorship Urs Wyss, is using the bank’s

sponsorship of the Swiss national team to provide both client

hospitality at Euro 96, and raise awareness of the bank outside

Switzerland. ‘The Swiss football team are world ambassadors for us. At

the moment Credit Suisse is focused on the Swiss home market where we

support 250 sporting events, but involvement in Euro 96 is raising our

profile in Europe and the UK. And World Cup play offs in the autumn will

allow us to show presence in the emerging financial markets of Eastern

Europe and the former Soviet republics.’

Snack and fast food producers have a long tradition of grassroots soccer

sponsorship. With a sports sponsorship double, Coca-Cola is also running

a UK ring pull promotion, where collecting golden ring pulls earns

customers Euro 96 sports kits.

Young fans are an ideal candidate for soft drink and snack food

sponsors, but for adult male football fans there is only one game in

town: beer. Carlsberg is the official beer of Euro 96 and, like Coca-

Cola, the brand is concentrating on making fans’ dreams come true

according to Carlsberg Tetley PR brand manager Jill Freshwater.

Freshwater is full of praise for the Carlsberg account team at Scope

which so far has secured simultaneous front and back page leads in the

Sun with the Probably scratchcard and ring-pull promotion. And in

response to a telephone competition promoted in the Sun, up to a million

people knew that Carlsberg was the official beer of Euro 96.

As well as targeting armchair fans, the brand sponsorship has reached

Sunday park players with the Carlsberg Pub competition, and the behind-

the-scenes heroes of professional football with the Best Bloke in

Football competition promoted in FC magazine which attracted 200

entries. Carlsberg is also running promotions on regional radio stations

and running regional newspaper competitions in cities hosting Euro 96


But Scope has been careful not to get swept away with the success of

media coverage in the nationals. Kent says: ‘We’ve still kept our eye on

the ball with the trades. The on trade has been reached through five

competitions in Publican magazine, and the off trade has been reached

through monthly supplements in Off Licence News. Cash and carry

operators, key business for Carlsberg, had their own Probably league in

Checkout, while corner shop owners have been reached through promotions

in Convenience Store magazine.’

‘Football sponsorship has been a successful PR opportunity from the Pub

Competition up to the highest level with Euro 96. In that sense

Carlsberg is football’s true supporter, recognising fans’ love of the

game. Now we’re just on a roll with this. This week alone we’re on eight

regional radio stations and four national newspapers, so Scope have done

a terrific job. But we’re not finished yet - just watch this space,’

says Freshwater. And in case anyone thinks they can hide from beer and

football in the more highbrow media, Carlsberg is also featured in the

Times and Channel 4’s The Greatest.

Clearly the division between upmarket arts sponsorship and popular mass

sport is blurring, as sponsors look for unexpected ways to tap into new

and existing audiences, while organisations seeking support become ever

more sophisticated at delivering the audience sponsors desire.

Local: Lavishing cash and care on the community

Traditionally considered the poor relation of sport and arts

sponsorship, community relations offers high local impact at a

relatively low budget. Although the spend may be lower, Christopher

Crowcroft, managing partner of arts sponsorship specialist Crowcroft and

Partners, maintains that the sponsorship aims of community relations

need to be as well thought out as any other sponsorship activity. ‘When

a client asks me to look at their community relations, I ask them what

they are trying to achieve because sometimes they think if they just put

money into a good cause, everything will come right. Inappropriate

sponsorship is no use at all.’

Coopers and Lybrand’s sponsorship of housing charity Shelter’s pack for

student rag weeks is an example of a good community sponsorship fit.

Head of business and community fundraising, Sam Rider explains: ‘Coopers

and Lybrand were targeting students with a concern that’s close to their

heart - decent housing. The firm is also a large graduate recruiter, so

the sponsorship fitted both their business and charity aims.’

Shell UK has sponsored Live Wire, a scheme for young entrepreneurs for

13 years. Kinross and Render director Sue Laybourne responsible for

promoting the Live Wire brand, says it is Shell’s most successful

community investment scheme.

‘It’s a very comprehensive programme, Shell supports it both financially

and with a lot of man hours. Shell UK chief executive Chris Fay attends

awards and meetings, and Shell regional senior managers judge regional

rounds. The sponsorship of Live Wire assists with very successful

branding and the feel good factor for employees,’ says Laybourne. ‘Press

coverage of Live Wire achieves 80 per cent branding for Shell.

Increasingly the national press are willing to mention sponsors because

they realise without a credit, companies wouldn’t bother. The press

mention the sponsor where they believe it’s a worthwhile scheme, and not

just a quick fix to get branding.

‘We’re as proud of the young people we’ve put off, and shown that self

employment isn’t for them, as the young entrepreneurs that have

flourished,’ she adds.

Improving young people’s chances is the key to Tate and Lyle’s pounds

500,000 sponsorship of a primary school reading scheme in the London

borough of Newham. The company has a refinery in the borough’s

Silvertown district. Director David Tate, who is also chairman of the

Newham Education Business partnership, says: ‘Local companies want to

help Newham’s children succeed and reading is the most important

learning skill.’

Few sponsors would disagree that there is a lot to be learned and gained

from properly thought out community sponsorship, as long as companies do

not let their heart rule their head.

Little league: Minorities’ chance to become sporting giants

With the arrival of satellite and cable TV, minority sports have never

been better placed to offer sponsors distinct audiences. Mike Scott,

director of the Institute of Sports Sponsorship says: ‘It’s harder for

smaller sports because sponsors are looking for maximum spectators and

maximum coverage, but Sky and cable certainly help to give coverage to

minority sports. The Institute’s Sportsmatch scheme helps 67 sports in

England from American football to yachting’

Successful sponsorship deals between big names and small sports include

Beefeater’s sponsorship of the Boat Race and Churchill Insurance’s

support for the World Indoor Bowls Championship.

Euro 96 sales and marketing manager Jonathan Hill says that over the

last 20 years sponsorship has become so sophisticated, it is not

difficult for big events to attract sponsorship. ‘Small sports are

benefiting from the sponsorship opportunities developed by larger

sports, and there are certainly enough sports to go round,’ he says.

The growing popularity of American football is proof that minority

sports can play in the sponsorship big league with the right promotion

and backing. Gareth Moores, general manager of the London Monarchs,

says: ‘ Realistically the hype about Euro 96 only started in mid-May,

whereas we’ve been able to build up excitement for the American football

season since its start on 14 April. Non-traditionally Britsh sports have

to make their own noise.’

American football’s pan-European league has financial backing from the

US National Football League and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The

game attracts 9.5 hours of TV coverage per week during the season, and

every Monarchs game is covered live or tape delayed. ‘TV is essential in

attracting new audiences and investors,’ says Moores.

American football also offers sponsors a family audience, to a greater

extent than Premier League soccer. ‘At a soccer match you queue for a

drink and a meat pie at half time and that’s your lot. At our games

there’s a power party with music and dancing before the game, and you

can have merchandise, bagels, pizza and beer delivered to your seat. The

American way of presenting sport offers value to the customer and we

intend to make sure the spectator experience at our games is second to

none,’ says Moores.

With this sort of competition, traditional British sports may have to

get into training to maintain their share of the sponsorship cake.

Broadcasting: Programmes speak louder than commercials

Television programme sponsorship has grown from pounds 1 million in 1989

to pounds 30 million this year, and although at present it only accounts

for two per cent of ITV’s advertising revenue, this is set to grow to

five per cent by the Millennium.

PowerGen’s sponsorship of the national weather forecast in 1989 was the

first sponsored programme now there are 35 networked programme deals and

70 regional ones, which offer less in money terms but help locality

specific programme making.

Martin Lowde, head of sponsorship at Laser, which sells airtime for LWT,

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, Granada and Border, says: ‘Sponsorship is another

tool in the marketer’s toolbox. It’s designed to complement advertising

revenue not replace it - that would be shooting ourselves in the foot.’

According to Lowde, viewers prefer sponsorship to advertising. For

sponsors, programmes can offer opportunities for unknown brands to win

recognition from large audiences. The association gives the brand

awareness and image in a short time frame. Well-known brands, such as

BT, use programme sponsorship to bond with customers in a different

way, suggests Lowde. ‘BT wants to be the first company people think of

when they think of communication or seeking help. The company sponsored

LWT’s Community Action slots and Surprise Surprise, which is about

people meeting up. Now it is sponsoring This Morning. The aim is to

make the customer fell at ease with the brand.’

Commercial Union’s sponsorship of London’s Burning, handled by Edelman

and winner of 1996 Hollis Most Effective Use of Sponsorship award, is a

textbook case of programme sponsorship as part of a sales drive. ‘CU

used the mechanics within the programme to talk to three different

audiences: customers, financial advisors and its own staff,’ says Lowde.

In future producers will work more closely with sponsors and advertisers

to develop programmes suited to their needs. Lowde claims that UK

broadcasting regulations prevent our airwaves being full of US-style ‘a

quick word from our sponsor’ interruptions while enabling brands to

‘milk a programme for its full commercial worth’ with direct appeal to

its target audience through tie-in promotions.

The arts: Where culture and commerce can collide

‘Everybody’s been to Wimbledon as part of corporate hospitality, but ask

them who took them last year and they can’t remember. An arts event is

so much more unique and memorable,’ says Christopher Crowcroft.

His most recent venture has been on behalf of client Glaxo Wellcome,

which sponsors the current Degas the Collector exhibition at the

National Gallery alongside the larger exhibition Degas Beyond

Impressionism. Glaxo Wellcome Group public affairs manager Geoff Potter

says the Degas exhibition fits well into Glaxo Wellcome’s continuous

programme of sponsorship taking place around the country and throughout

the year.

According to Potter, arts events are ideal for the large number of

corporate receptions the group holds for the media, City and Government.

‘The company’s sole sponsorship of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew

allows Kew to establish its reputation as a scientific research and

provides a unique venue for chamber concerts which double as Glaxo

Wellcome corporate receptions,’ says Potter.

As with sports sponsorship, arts sponsorship is frequently used as an

international communications tool. By making free tickets available for

cultural events, sponsors are able to diminish ‘us and them’ feelings

between managers and workers.

Last year, Glaxo’s sponsorship of the Spanish Still Life exhibition at

the National Gallery, its largest sponsorship commitment to date,

coincided with the UK’s largest takeover bid which saw the merger of

Glaxo and Wellcome. The newly-formed pharmaceutical giant invited all

former Wellcome employees to the Spanish Still Life as a gesture of


Business sponsorship of the arts has undergone something of a sea change

since the late 1980s when sports sponsorship set the pace for million

pound deals.

Bill Kallaway, managing director of arts sponsorship agency Kallaway,

says that prior to this change, sponsorship of the arts was seen by some

companies as a purse of money held by the board of directors, to be

opened for events or organisations that personally interested them.

‘Patronage is one the way out,’ says Kallaway. ‘The atmosphere is

changing, driven by companies reassessing what sponsorship is there to


‘For arts organisations, sponsorship based solely on personal interest

can be short-term because people move on. But if the organisation can

point to a well thought out programme with media coverage for the

sponsor, there’s more chance of further sponsorship, sometimes at a

higher value.’

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