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  UK sponsorship news update ... December, 2011
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20th December, 2011

BP pledges £10m in sponsorship to leading UK cultural institutions, as environmentalists step up protests

Artists and environmentalists reacted angrily to an announcement yesterday that BP will be pledging £10m over the next five years to sponsor four major UK cultural institutions.

The renewal and expansion of the partnerships were announced in the BP Lecture Theatre in the British Museum in London, at an event attended by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries and Iain Conn, managing director of BP, together with Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, Tony Hall, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery and Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate.

Each of the four institutions has a long-standing partnership with BP — most stretching back over twenty years — which the new agreements will extend for a further five years, out to 2017. The increased level of funding will also allow them to further develop their programmes and extend access to wider audiences, said BP.

BP said that providing secure funding and building long-term relationships with partner institutions is a key approach in its support of the arts and culture in the UK, helping to underpin the institutions' long-term development of programmes of exhibitions and performances, helping them to secure performers, artists and works of art well into the future.

Furthermore, says the company, since the beginning of the institutions' partnerships with BP:

     over thirty million people have visited Tate Britain and enjoyed the refreshed BP British Art Displays

     over 1.2 million people have attended a BP special exhibition at the British Museum

     over three million people have visited the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery which, in total, has attracted around 30,000 entries to the competition from more than eighty countries

     with the Royal Opera House, the BP Summer Big Screens programme has extended from one initial location in London in 2000 to 21 locations across the UK in 2011, providing thousands of people access to free world class ballet and opera.

In total, over three million people across the UK engaged with BP-supported arts and cultural activities in 2011. As a Premier Partner of the London 2012 Festival, BP is also helping to showcase the UK's cultural excellence and diversity to an even wider audience.

But the announcement from BP has come at a time when sponsorship arrangements between oil companies and cultural institutions, in particular between BP and Tate, have become increasingly controversial.

Earlier this month Tate head Nicholas Serota was handed a petition with more than 8,000 signatures from Tate members and visitors at the Tate members' AGM calling on Tate to end its relationship with BP, while Tate Trustee Patrick Brill (aka Bob and Roberta Smith) was quoted as calling BP "a disgrace".

Chris Sands, from art-activists Liberate Tate, who have carried out a number of unsolicited performance interventions in Tate spaces over BP's sponsorship said:

"Tate Board of Trustees should make the decision to refuse this dirty oil money. For too long the art museum has supported BP against the demonstrable wishes of so many thousands of Tate members and visitors as well as hundreds of artists. It is now up to the Tate governing body to demonstrate 21st century leadership and act on growing public concern by ending Tate's relationship with BP not renewing it. Only by breaking its links with BP will the Tate Board be acting in the best interests of Tate and the arts as well as affected communities, future generations and the world we live in".

Kevin Smith from the art-campaign group Platform, and one of the editors of the recent publication, Not if but when, Culture Beyond Oil, said: "By aligning themselves with BP, the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House and Tate Britain are legitimising the devastation of indigenous communities in Canada through tar sands extraction, the expansion of dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic, and the reckless business practices that lead to the deaths of 11 oil workers on the Deepwater Horizon.

"BP's involvement with these institutions represents a serious stain on the UK's cultural patrimony".


17th December, 2011

Virgin Media to partner with Britain's Got Talent in 2012

ITV, FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and Syco TV have announced Virgin Media as the primary media partner of Britain's Got Talent, which returns to ITV screens in Spring 2012.

The new cross-platform brand partnership, with one of the UK's biggest and most popular entertainment shows, includes broadcast sponsorship of all Britain's Got Talent programming, online sponsorship of the official Britain's Got Talent website, mobile and a host of off-air licensing opportunities.

The partnership also extends to sponsorship of hit U.S series America's Got Talent, which returns to ITV2 next year.

Nigel Gilbert, Chief Marketing Officer at Virgin Media, said: "We're extremely proud of all the fantastic things happening in the UK in 2012 and are teaming up with one of the nation's favourite shows to celebrate great British talent. Britain's Got Talent is at the heart of prime time entertainment and we'll make the most of our partnership to bring the experience even closer to Virgin Media customers and to TV fans everywhere".

Simon Daglish, Group Commercial Sales Director, ITV said: "Britain’s Got Talent is one of the shining lights of the ITV schedule and remains one of the most talked about shows on British television. The team worked closely with Virgin Media to really understand their marketing needs and have delivered a fully integrated partnership, with deeper brand activation than ever before across multiple platforms".

The show is produced by talkbackTHAMES (a FremantleMedia company) and Syco TV. In 2011, Britain's Got Talent drew an average audience of 10.9 million viewers and a 43 percent share of viewing, with a huge peak audience of 15.2 million viewers tuning in to watch Jai McDowall crowned winner in the final.

Jana Gray, VP Sponsorship UK for FME said: "Britain's Got Talent is set for a big return in 2012. With new members in the judging panel and an exciting new partner, the series is sure to be a hit with audiences around the UK. We are excited to have Virgin Media on board and look forward to supporting the activation of their off-air campaign".

Charles Garland, COO of Syco, said: "Britain's Got Talent is one of the most anticipated shows of 2012, the year in which the nation will also be celebrating the best of Britain with the Olympics and the Jubilee. I'm delighted that we are joining forces with Virgin Media who are our ideal partners to activate our content across multi platforms. This will enable viewers to have more engagement and to ensure Britain's Got Talent remains the most talked about experience of the year".

On air and online creative for Virgin Media will be produced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty.


16th December, 2011

Johnstone's Paint Trophy deal extended for three more years

Football League clubs in Leagues One have received an early Christmas present following the announcement that Johnstone's Paint has renewed its sponsorship of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for a further three seasons.

The announcement was made at Wembley Stadium, with the release of thousands of multi-coloured balloons to symbolise Johnstone's commitment to "bringing colour to the beautiful game" until 2014/15, extending the premium paint brand's association with The Football League to nine years - the longest sponsorship in the competition's twenty-nine year history.

In welcoming the deal, Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said: "I am delighted that we have extended our successful sponsorship with Johnstone’s Paint.

"They have worked extremely hard to help us raise this competition's public profile and popularity with supporters. I look forward to further strengthening our relationship during this next stage of our partnership.”

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy has gone from strength to strength during the first six seasons of the sponsorship, says thev company, following a package of reforms designed to raise the appeal of the competition. Changes included the scrapping of extra time, increased regionalisation in early rounds and a renewed commitment from clubs to fielding first-team sides in matches.

For clubs in Leagues 1 and 2, The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy continues to offer the opportunity of a dream final at Wembley Stadium and for Johnstone's the sponsorship has undoubtedly developed brand strength and visibility.

Johnstone's Paint Marketing Director, Jason Metcalf, believes the sponsorship has created a huge buzz across the brand's network of Decorating Centres and thousands of independent stockists, which have benefitted from a host of football themed community projects and ticket giveaways.

He said: "More than five million fans have watched Johnstone's Paint Trophy matches, in grounds and on television, since the sponsorship began and Johnstone's Paint has also engaged with up to two million people through numerous community projects.

"So with this in mind, it is clear to see why we are all so thrilled to be extending our sponsorship. It has been one of our biggest success stories and we couldn't be happier to be reinforcing our relationship with the clubs and their legions of fans".

Successful community projects included a search to honour selfless non-league managers in 2010, along with a competition for young bloggers to write about their teams' trophy exploits last season.

A shirt amnesty for World Emergency Relief in 2009 - where communities in South Africa were given hundreds of football shirts to train and play in – was also a resounding triumph.


13th December, 2011

Sponsorship to take largest share of global sports market revenues by 2015: new PwC report

According to a new report by PwC looking at the global sports market, over the next five years to 2015 global sports revenues will grow to US$145.3 billion at an annual compound growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7 per cent due to an improved economy, a rebound in TV advertising, the ongoing migration of sports to pay TV and the resurgence of financial services and automobile companies to sponsorship.

In the short term gate revenues will remain the biggest component of the global sports market, accounting for 32.6 per cent of the total sports market (US$44.7 billion in 2015) and are a key source of income in the regions where live sports events are part of the culture.

However, says the report, this mature market will see the lowest growth across all segments of the sports market at just 2.5 per cent CAGR from 2011-2015.

Accounting for 28.8 per cent of the total sports markets, sponsorship, in contrast, will see an average growth rate of 5.3 per cent to 2015, generating global revenues of $45.3 billion which are split evenly across all regions.

So by 2015 sponsorship will account for the largest proportion of the total sports market.

The structure of sponsorship deals has changed. It's no longer just about brand visibility and awareness but now it's about gaining deeper and more emotional engagement with fans and staff, something which the new digital technologies are enabling.

Advertisers and sponsors are integrating social media into their sports involvement and through social media and smart data mining, they are able to target their messages and content so that it's relevant to each consumer segment and appropriate for each platform and delivery device.

Despite the ongoing troubling economic climate, say PwC, the sports industry has continued to thrive with many major sporting events proving to be more popular than ever. The popularity of these major events is supported by on-going improvements in broadcasting and technology which is allowing better quality coverage than seen before.

At the same time, television companies, sports clubs, governing bodies and even the sports stars themselves, are embracing social media to engage with fans and deliver a greater intensity of experience.

See also: 25.3.2011 - Budget: Gift Aid 'nightmare' lifted for donors, charities and corporate sponsors, says PwC


12th December, 2011

ECB's new team wear agreement with adidas runs till 2017

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that adidas has renewed its agreement to be official team-wear supplier to the England cricket team for a further four years.

The new agreement will run from 2013 to 2017 and will give the sportswear manufacturer the exclusive right to supply match and training wear to all England teams from Test, one-day and Twenty20 sides through to England Lions, England Performance Programme, England women and England disabilities teams.

It is the second major financial deal secured by the ECB commercial team in recent weeks following the recent announcement of Investec as the new title sponsor for Test match cricket in a ten-year deal.

adidas became England’s official team-wear supplier in 2008 and is one of ECB's key commercial partners. The partnership gives adidas a range of marketing rights around the England team and the right to design and market official England team-wear.

John Perera, ECB commercial director, said: "Major global brands want to be associated with winners and we are delighted that both our men's and women's teams have achieved major successes on the international stage since entering into partnership with adidas.

"Over the last three and half years, the England Test side has reached number one in the ICC's world Test rankings, the England T20 side has won an ICC global event for the first time and our women's team were victorious in both the Women's World Cup and the Women's World T20 tournament.

"adidas has provided world-class support for all our England teams throughout this period and we look forward to working ever more closely with the company over the next four years to secure even greater exposure for the Team England brand".

Robin Money, head of sports marketing for adidas UK & Ireland, said: "Since we signed our partnership in 2008, we have worked extremely closely with the ECB and individual players to ensure the England teams have the best technical apparel required to allow them to be at the top of their game.

"It is fantastic to see the hard work and efforts pay off and to celebrate the team's fantastic achievements. We very much look forward to continuing this relationship over the next four years".


9th December, 2011

Ofcom decides that Aviva's sponsorship of Downton Abbey broke code rule

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has found that Aviva's sponsorship of Downton Abbey, broadcast on ITV1 in September and October 2011, breached a rule of the EU Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) directive.

The format of the sponsorship credits was to present a 'mini-drama' in which a character called Gary was involved in a motorbike accident. There then followed a series of credits reflecting the development of his story in terms of his recovery, his inability to resume employment and his decision to re-train for a new career.

The issue revolved around the re-training credit. Ofcom decided to investigate a line of dialogue in which Gary, shown holding a document, said: "It's my insurance policy. I think I'm still covered if I do that course!" Ofcom felt that the line warranted an investigation to determine whether it breached Rule 9.22(a) of the code, which states:

"Sponsorship credits broadcast around sponsored programmes must not contain advertising messages or calls to action. Credits must not encourage the purchase or rental of the products or services of the sponsor or a third party. The focus of the credit must be the sponsorship arrangement itself. Such credits may include explicit reference to the sponsor's products, services or trade marks for the sole purpose of helping to identify the sponsor and/or the sponsorship arrangement".

Channel TV, the Licensee of the series, submitted a range of arguments justifying the script. For example, they explained that "the purpose of these credits is to inform the viewers of the sponsorship arrangement. The sponsorship line changes from credit to credit … this particular credit employed the sponsorship line 'Aviva Income Protection sponsors Drama Premieres'".

Channel TV considered that the sponsorship message was the "primary message" of the credit. Amongst other points put forward, they argued that no detailed description of any Aviva product was given in the credit, nor was any specific claim made as to the likely benefits. "Gary gives a qualified response (I think I'm still covered) rather than affirming any specific benefit due to him as a result of his policy (I'm still covered). No promotional language is used ..."

In their Decision, Ofcom stated that "Rule 9.22(a) of the Code ... requires that sponsorship credits broadcast around sponsored programmes must not contain advertising messages or calls to action, and that credits must not encourage the purchase or rental of the products or services of the sponsor or a third party". They judged that the majority of viewers would have assumed that Gary had been reading his Aviva Income Protection policy, whether or not Aviva branding or information was visible on the documentation that he was holding.

In a detailed judgment, Ofcom concluded that the credit promoted a benefit of the sponsor's insurance, ie that if you undertake a training course, you can still receive insurance payments under an Aviva policy. As such, Ofcom concluded that the sponsorship credits broadcast on 18th and 25th September and later, in amended form, on 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd October, 2011, contained an advertising message and therefore were in breach of Rule 9.22(a).


7th December, 2011

Ageas Insurance to headline sponsor Salisbury International Arts Festival

Ageas has announced its headline sponsorship of the prestigious Salisbury International Arts Festival.

Ageas was known as Fortis Life until its rebrand early this year. This sponsorship will see the Festival rebrand to become the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, commencing with the 2012 event which will run from Friday, 25th May to Saturday, 9th June.

The Festival presents an array of spectacular events. Classical and world music share the limelight with international theatre, dance, film, visual arts, children's events, free outdoor events and a full literature programme. Highlights for the 2012 programme include the vibrant culture of Brazil, celebrations of Olympic themes and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Barry Smith, CEO at Ageas UK commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with the Festival team to launch the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival. It has been a momentous year for us under a new brand and this sponsorship deal provides us with an excellent platform to raise the profile of the Ageas brand in our local area and internationally through alignment with this world-renowned arts festival. We very much look forward to continuing to work with the Festival team on what will prove to be a very exciting partnership".

Ageas is a leading insurer of Personal and Commercial lines insurance and Protection solutions, insuring around eight million customers in the UK. As a result of its growth strategy, Ageas now employs over 5,500 people nationally, with over 1,000 employees at both its offices in Eastleigh and Bournemouth, and almost 800 at its office in Gloucester.

Maria Bota, Festival Director added: "We are delighted to welcome Ageas as the new Principal Sponsor of what will now be known as the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival. They join us at a time when the Festival is on the move. Audiences have doubled over the last three years and the majority of attendees experience the Festival for free through our outdoor events and free installations. Our Principal Sponsor plays a major part in enabling us to sustain the success of the Festival. We are really enjoying working with Ageas".

The full event programme for the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival will be announced in February 2012.

See also: Salisbury Festival welcomes Telegraph Media Group as National Media Partner


2nd December, 2011

Proportion of donors giving to charity via sponsorship falls from 12% to 11%: CAF report

Figures released today show that over the last year (2010/11) the UK public gave £11.0 billion to charity. An additional 1.1 million people donated money to charity; however, the average (median) amount given per month fell from £12 in 2009/10 to £11.

The findings are released in a report called UK Giving 2011, the most in-depth and long-running study of charitable giving habits, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

The proportion of donors giving via sponsorship has fallen back somewhat, though it seems to remain fairly stable at around 11-12%.

Despite more of the public deciding to support charities, in real terms the total value of donations (£11bn) remained the same as the previous year. In real terms, donations are now worth £900 million less than the amount given in 2007/08, the year before the UK entered recession.

Estimated total amounts given by individuals,
adjusted for inflation and unadjusted,
2004/05 - 2010/11 (£billions)

The survey, which is carried out by the Office for National Statistics three times during the year amongst over 3,000 UK adults aged sixteen years or over, found that in 2010/11 nearly six in ten (58%) UK adults aged sixteen years or over gave to charity. The percentage of the people giving has increased from 56% in 2009/10.

Women aged 45-64 years are the most likely to give and give the most (typical median amount £20 per month). Those aged 16-24 years remain the least likely to give.

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, commented: "It's really encouraging that despite sharp rises in the cost of living more people are supporting charities. The economic downturn means many more people are turning to them for help, and charities themselves are struggling against rising costs, so every pound is really needed. I hope this trend will continue.

"The government's focus on giving is welcome, yet this report shows that donation levels remain stubbornly flat. If we are to create a stronger culture of giving in the UK, this will require continued commitment and investment by both the government and charities".

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said: "This research is a timely reminder that even in straitened times, the British public are prepared to dig deep and show goodwill towards those most in need. The fact that the proportion of people giving is on the up is an encouraging barometer of the levels of public trust in the work of charities.

"However, these figures also highlight that charities will have to work extra hard to attract donors and keep pace with inflation at a time of economic challenges and increased demand for their services. The 'quality of the ask' remains essential - the sector needs to build links between donors and causes and send out a strong message that all giving makes a difference".

The most popular cause to support is medical research which over eleven million people give to on a monthly basis.

1st December, 2011

williamhill.com becomes title sponsor of snooker's UK Championship

Snooker's second biggest ranking event and a firm fixture on the sporting calendar since 1977, the £625,000 williamhill.com UK Championship starts this Saturday at the Barbican in York and runs until the following Sunday, 11th December.

This year's williamhill.com UK Championship will feature thirty-two of the best players in the world – including the reigning world champion and defending UK champion John Higgins, the current world number one Mark Selby, and the recent Premier League winner Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Other former world champions who'll be playing in York include Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Graeme Dott and Shaun Murphy.

Kristof Fahy, Chief Marketing Officer at William Hill said: "The UK Championship is one of the crown jewels in the world of snooker and we're delighted to put our name to such a prestigious event.

"William Hill is a worldwide brand and our sponsorship of the UK Championship gives us the opportunity to promote our online and mobile betting products to a global audience".

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We're delighted to welcome William Hill as the new title sponsor of the UK Championship. Having worked with their team at the Grand Slam of Darts I know they are a fantastic company, so it's fitting that they're sponsoring one of snooker's biggest tournaments.

"The UK Championship is one of the highlights of the snooker calendar and receives outstanding exposure through coverage on the BBC and across the world, providing exceptional brand exposure for the sponsor to hundreds of millions of fans globally.

"It promises to be a superb tournament with thirty-two of the best players in the world gunning for the title".

Coverage of the williamhill.com UK Championship on BBC starts at 1.00 pm this Saturday, 3rd December.



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