17th December, 2010
Honda (UK) announces sponsorship of WorldSkills London 2011
Honda (UK) has reinforced its commitment to developing the workforce of the future with the announcement of its sponsorship of WorldSkills London 2011, the largest international skills competition in the world.
As part of Honda's Gold-level sponsorship, it will also be providing all cars and equipment to be utilised for the three WorldSkills automotive competitions: Autobody Repair, Automobile Technology and Car Painting.
WorldSkills is a global competition where young people from across the world compete to become the best of the best. 1,000 competitors from over fifty nations will compete in forty-five skills, ranging from automotive engineering and landscape gardening to plumbing and web design, at ExCeL London, from 5th to 8th October, 2011.
Competitors vie for the chance to win gold, silver or bronze medals, while medallions for excellence are also awarded to competitors who achieve the international standard.
Honda (UK)'s involvement is part of its commitment to developing skills in young people and its philosophy of encouraging the pursuit of excellence. The Honda Institute, a UK-based state-of-the-art centre of learning for the Honda retail network, delivers 25,000 days of training per annum, with around 100 graduate apprentices each year.
Honda (UK) has supported UK Skills and WorldSkills since 2004 and assisted in the bid to host the 2011 competition in London.
Involvement in WorldSkills, says the company, is part of its wider education strategy which aims to give back to its communities, inspire and encourage the pursuit of dreams and bring the education and business communities closer together.
Neil Fletcher, Head of European Training and Honda Institute commented: "At Honda, we are committed to attracting new talent and developing people to be the best that they can be. High quality, relevant vocational qualifications play a large part in this.
"Our support of WorldSkills London 2011 allows us to demonstrate our commitment to excellence. Similar to the Olympics, WorldSkills is a global competition and the UK is privileged to host this event a year ahead of the Olympics in 2012".
13th December, 2010
Morrisons instructs lawyers over "unfair" FIFA bid decision
Supermarket chain Morrisons has become the first sponsor to take positive action to challenge FIFA over its decision to award the 2018 World Cup venue contract to Russia.
In the furore following the announcement of the result by FIFA President Sepp Blatter - and in particular the fact that only two delegates voted for England, despite a number of promises of support by others - the financial investment by sponsors supporting the England bid was somewhat overlooked amidst the outcry over the result itself and accusations of double-dealing, writes Richard Fox.
Blatter has since made a number of statements defending the way the venue contract was awarded, claiming for instance that FIFA's detractors didn't realise that the philosophy of the organisation since the reign of João Havelange had been to make football "universal". "At that time football was more for Europe and for South America", he has been quoted as saying.
Morrisons announced their support for England's bid in February this year, mounting a campaign in its stores to collect signatures from its customers to demonstrate the strength of public enthusiasm for England to host the tournament.
Mark Gunter, Group Retail Director at Morrisons, said at the time: "We're sure that our customers would be delighted if the World Cup came to England in 2018 and by becoming a commercial partner we can help them to play their part in supporting the bid".
But today Richard Taylor, Morrisons Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, made it clear that they felt that the effort had been wasted: "Morrisons was proud to sponsor the England 2018 bid", he said.
"Over 1.65 million of our customers signed a petition pledging their support. The FA team put together a fantastic bid.
"On behalf of our customers we are disappointed that the merits of the bid were not recognised by FIFA, which clearly was intent on locating the 2018 World Cup in an emerging country.
"As we think the decision making process was unfair, we have instructed lawyers in Switzerland to examine our options under Swiss law. We hope Fifa will do the right thing and offer £1m to be invested in grassroots football".
8th December, 2010
FHM 100 Sexiest Women Poll in sponsorship deal with VO5 Extreme Style
Bauer Media's men's lifestyle brand FHM has secured sponsorship for its FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World Poll in 2011 with leading men's styling and grooming brand VO5 Extreme Style.
Bauer says the six-figure partnership with V05 Extreme Style, planned and negotiated by Carat Sponsorship, will bring this FHM iconic property to life across seven unique platforms, exemplifying the publisher's ability to provide engaging content to audiences wherever, whenever and however they want.
The sponsorship by V05 Extreme Style launches with the call for FHM's 1.1 million readers to vote in the March issue of FHM, on sale early February 2011.
Activity will run for five months in print and on TV, online, radio, mobile and retail platforms, culminating in a live event in May 2011 in the form of an FHM 100 Sexiest Party, where the winner will be revealed to coincide with the June issue hitting newsstands.
The execution and delivery was devised, created and brokered by FHM Brand Director Michael Kalli, Bauer Access Director Joe Evea and FHM Editor Colin Kennedy, with Charlotte Erskine and Laura Varnam at Carat and VO5's Brand Director Vicky Metcalfe and UK Commercial Director Mark Bleathman.
Earlier this month Bauer Media hosted Bauer Live, at which a new creative and commercial collaboration initiative - Bauer Access - was launched "to illustrate to clients and agencies the reach, influence, engagement and unique cross-platform offer of the Bauer Media portfolio".
Geoff Campbell, MD of Bauer Media Men's Lifestyle Brands, commented: "FHM is the most complete and creative multiplatform men's entertainment and lifestyle brand and the undisputed market leader for reach and engagement with young men. While fascination in the world's most beautiful women is as active as ever amongst our audience, style and grooming has become increasingly important and now plays a more significant role in the overall FHM brand offering.
"This VO5 Extreme Style partnership is an excellent example of how Bauer Access can facilitate great creative, planning and buying collaboration between Bauer Media brands and our commercial partners. Delivering such iconic content across seven different platforms will provide added value for the FHM audience, whilst meeting the specific objectives of V05."
Richard Whitty, Brand Manager, VO5 Styling, commented:
"We're excited to be the first sponsors of the prestigious FHM 100 Sexiest Women Poll, something that we know is hugely popular among our consumers. As the UK's number 1 styling brand, we know how important credible endorsements and partnerships are, and the FHM and VO5 Extreme Style brands are a perfect fit. Having just claimed our fifth FHM Grooming Award prize, we're very proud to be working with FHM and look forward to the creative outputs we'll achieve together over the coming months.
Laura Varnam, Carat Sponsorship, added: "This is a fantastic partnership between two aligned brands. It builds on the successful relationship that the VO5 Extreme Style brands and FHM have developed over the years and progresses it further to being one centred around a key editorial proposition. The FHM 100 Sexiest Awards are iconic and to be the first official partners is a fantastic opportunity for VO5 Extreme Style to deepen the association with the audience".
A brand new series of Bauer Access workshops will kick off in January 2011, providing clients and agencies with open access to Bauer Media's editors, programmers and creators of content.
3rd December, 2010
Shell and Siemens take the lead in sponsoring Science Museum's new climate change gallery
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has today officially opened the Science Museum's new gallery, atmosphere: exploring climate science, a project made possible by support from principal sponsors Shell and Siemens.
atmosphere is a new gallery that will provide "a dedicated space for visitors to deepen their understanding of climate science in an enjoyable, engaging and memorable way".
Other support has come from major sponsor Bank of America Merrill Lynch and major funder the Garfield Weston Foundation, with additional support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Patrons of the Science Museum.
Andreas J. Goss, chief executive, Siemens plc said: "Siemens is delighted to be a principal sponsor of this important climate science gallery. Climate change is the most serious challenge facing us all and it is imperative that young people in particular are inspired to engage in how we as a society adapt to a low-carbon world".
"Siemens is a leading company providing innovative environmental infrastructure solutions. Last year, globally our customers reduced their CO2 emissions by 210 million tonnes using products and services from our environmental portfolio, said Goss. "That’s the equivalent of the emissions from New York, Tokyo, Berlin and London put together.
"This global focus on environmental care is driving innovation and investment and underlines the importance of scientific advances in combating climate change. The new climate science gallery at the Science Museum promises to play a central and authoritative role in the public debate on climate change".
HRH The Prince of Wales was among the first to explore the new gallery which sets out to illustrate the science of how the climate works, what's happening now and what might happen in the future. The gallery is divided into five zones focussing on different areas of climate science through a variety of interactive exhibits and objects.
More than a hands-on gallery, atmosphere reveals some of the key instruments used by today's scientists, reports on some of the latest climate science news, and offers visitors the chance to dig deeper into the story of the science behind the changing climate.
Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Director of the Science Museum, said: "The Science Museum's role is to make sense of the science that shapes our lives – our latest addition, atmosphere, aims to make sense of one of the biggest issues today, climate change. Whatever your level of understanding the gallery will provide you with an enjoyable experience and a clear framework of what is currently known about the climate so you are better able to make up your own mind about this subject".
Gallery highlights include a section looking at how scientists have studied past episodes of climate change illustrated by tree ring and stalagmite samples and a real ice-core from Antarctica – the only one on display in a UK museum.
The gallery also features examples of how designers and engineers are responding to the challenges of climate change and contributing to a low carbon future. Exhibits include a hydrogen fuel cell car from eco transport company Riversimple, an energy-generating paving slab and a specially-commissioned animated video, Life in a Low Carbon World.
2nd December, 2010
England fails in World Cup 2018 bid as Russia scores dramatic victory
And so it was not to be ...
Despite fielding the best team available - including the so-called "three lions", Prince William, David Cameron and David Beckham - in the final bid presentation, backed by some sparkling film material designed to pull all the right heartstrings, England's bid ultimately got the red card.
As the post mortems begin, there is likely to be focus on the BBC's Panorama investigation which was transmitted just three days before today's final decision. Did it really have no impact on a FIFA panel whose integrity had been called into question?
The tournament is still nearly eight years away; the sponsorship industry will have plenty of time to consider the ramifications of today's decision.
In a few years' time, some UK-based sponsors will need to assess the merits of supporting a competition taking place in a country as vast as Russia - though most who can afford the luxury of buying into a soccer fest which garners such massive media coverage are global brands, such that location is largely irrelevant to them.
But some big reputations have been put on the line in the course of this bid; and the financial, political and (longer term) social implications of this lost battle may take some time to run their course.
And, to adapt Kenneth Wolstenholme's legendary quote, some people seem to think the FIFA investigation is all over; and maybe it is, for now ...