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  UK sponsorship news update ... July, 2012
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31st July, 2012

Chevrolet adds Man U to its soccer sponsorship portfolio

General Motors and Manchester United have announced that the world's most popular football club's shirt sponsor will be Chevrolet, beginning with the 2014/2015 season.

The news comes a few days after the announcement that Chevrolet had signed up as Official Automotive Partner to Liverpool FC.

Chevrolet, the current Official Car Partner of Manchester United, will become only the fifth shirt sponsor in the club's 134-year history.

Announcing the deal, signed for an undisclosed amount, United's Commercial Director Richard Arnold said: "This is a fantastic, long-term deal for the club. We have been partners with Chevrolet for only six weeks, but already they have produced some fantastic ideas that will benefit both the partnership and our 659 million followers around the world.

"They are a key partner on our current tour and I know they have enjoyed experiencing the buzz generated by our fanatical support and the sell-out crowds in South Africa, China, and Europe. It is a great thrill for those of us who work with partners all year round when an existing partner steps up to being one of our principal partners. This commitment to United and its fans will bring real benefits to everyone who cares about the Club".

The U.S.-based car company will replace Aon, whose partnership with United began in the 2010/11 season.

Alan Batey, GM North America vice president, U.S. Sales and Service, said: "We are extremely proud to connect our brand, Chevrolet, with Manchester United and its passionate supporters all around the world. Manchester United's statistics are impressive, but this relationship goes far beyond the numbers – this relationship is about connecting our brand with the deep-seated emotion that surrounds the team everywhere it goes.

"When you consider the core values of Chevrolet, our passionate customers around the world, and our rich 100-year history, the partnership with Manchester United is a perfect fit. And, to be only the fifth name on the iconic red jersey is a genuine honor. We very much look forward to the road ahead and the opportunities we have in partnering with such a legendary club".


30th July, 2012

Now Betfair sponsors snooker's European Tour

Betfair, the world's biggest international online sports betting company, will sponsor World Snooker's new European Tour this season.

The European Tour is a series of six events over the next few months, capitalising on the sport's burgeoning popularity across the continent. It will be known as the Betfair European Tour, with each event broadcast on Eurosport. The news comes after the announcement a week ago of the company's backing for the Snooker Shoot-Out (see below).

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are delighted to bring in Betfair as the sponsor of the European Tour. Just like us, they are targeting emerging markets in many areas of Europe, and this tour will provide tremendous exposure for their brand.

"Each of these events will receive extensive television coverage from Eurosport and the viewing figures are phenomenal. We are extremely excited about the potential snooker has on the continent in the coming years. These events will attract the best professionals and amateurs, providing great opportunities for the players. And for the passionate fans in places like Bulgaria and Poland it’s a chance to see the world's leading stars compete".

Matt Robinson, International Director at Betfair, said: "We are delighted to add World Snooker's new European Tour to our sponsorship portfolio. The tour visits some key European markets so it's a great way to raise awareness for our brand. We're excited to support a game which attracts fans both old and new".

The six events, which form part of the Players Tour Championship series, are:

     Paul Hunter Classic, Furth, Germany August 23rd - 26th
     Gydnia Open, Gdynia, Poland, October 5th - 7th
     Belgian Open, Antwerp, Belgium, October 19th - 21st
     Bulgarian Open, Sofia, Bulgaria, November 16th - 18th
     Scottish Open, Ravenscraig, Scotland, December 14th - 16th
     Munich Open, Munich, Germany, January 4th - 6th


26th July, 2012

Haier becomes a sponsor of the Science Museum

Haier, the world's number one Major Appliances brand*, has announced its support of the Science Museum in London.

The partnership started on 1st July, 2012 and will run for an initial two years. Haier's support will help the Science Museum in its aim to be "the best place in the world to enjoy science".

As a company, Haier is very interested in the way that science and technology impact our everyday lives. Haier is a worldwide patron of the arts. This partnership is Haier's second in Europe following a venture with the Louvre in Paris in 2011. This new partnership is aimed at demonstrating the company's willingness to support learning and culture in each of its local markets.

Haier says the decision to support the museum was made due to its clear focus on practical everyday science and technology, as well as the important and creative learning experiences engaging school children, families and young people. "This comes at a time when science, celebrated by the British public since the industrial revolution, is returning to the forefront of public attention", says the company. Haier's two year commitment to the Science Museum will enable British school children to experience practical science in a fun environment, encouraging them to pursue important studies in this area.

The partnership will be focused around sharing Haier's key values, such as innovation, design and also examining the future of the home. This is seen as an important step for the company as it seeks to establish a four star brand in the UK and to become a source of inspiration for British families.

"At Haier, we were determined to partner with a cultural organisation that shared our values – a commitment to the arts and sciences and to inspiring the next generation of future product designers and engineers", said Wei Duan, Market Director Haier UK and Ireland. "The link between studying science and careers in engineering and technology is increasingly important in the UK and we are eager to play a part in encouraging British children to engage with these topics from a young age”.

Haier sets aside over 4% of its turnover for research and development and is a pioneer in its field, applying scientific research to create innovative new products.

The Science Museum is one of London's most visited attractions drawing three million visitors a year and up to 20,000 on very busy days. It also attracts roughly 360,000 young people in booked educational groups per year. “We were impressed by the work of the Science Museum and felt that that sponsoring their new-technology and family-friendly galleries was an excellent opportunity to engage with the British public", continued Duan.

The venture forms an important step in Haier's brand development in the UK and represents an opportunity to reach consumers who share Haier's values and interest in innovation and design. Haier aims to target the UK market with innovative, high quality, design-oriented products and is particularly seeking to build brand awareness amongst young, design-conscious families.

Marianne Rance, Head of Corporate Relationships, Science Museum, commented: "We are so pleased to be working with Haier, as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technological solutions it is a very fitting partnership for us. It is the aim of the Science Museum to be the best place in the world to enjoy science and we can only do that with the support of our partners. We look forward to working with Haier over the next two years and beyond to engage young people in the science that shapes their lives".

As part of the agreement, Haier will sponsor a dedicated space in the Launchpad – a gallery dedicated to encouraging children and young people to explore science first-hand with fifty hands-on exhibits and shows. Launchpad is the most popular interactive gallery in the museum and since opening in 2007, five million people have visited this gallery making it the most visited hands-on gallery in the world. The space within Launchpad that Haier is supporting aims to encourage children and young people to engage with science and to use their creativity to become the innovative designers of tomorrow.

Plans for other activities over the next two years are rapidly taking shape, says Haier - this support of a key British museum would seem to be a clear demonstration of Haier's commitment both to the UK market and to sharing and encouraging its values with the visiting public.

* Source: Euromonitor International Limited; retail volume sales in units based on 2011 data


26th July, 2012

Chevrolet signs four year sponsorship deal with Liverpool FC

Chevrolet has announced that it is entering into a four-year agreement with Liverpool Football Club to become its Official Automotive Partner.

The partnership runs to the end of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League and European campaigns, and includes visibility for the brand at Anfield, Liverpool's home ground, editorial opportunities within the club's print and digital publications and fan sites and player appearances for commercial opportunities.

Chevrolet is also an official sponsor for the club's Pre Season Tour, one of the most popular in the world, which has already seen Liverpool play Toronto FC last Saturday. Liverpool will play Italian giants, AS Roma today at Fenway Park in Boston and on 28th July they will play English Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Baltimore.

Chris Perry, Global Chevrolet Marketing Vice President said: "Liverpool supporters from around the world are known for their undying love of their side. Our relationship with Liverpool FC extends beyond the traditional boundaries of sponsorship and is about engaging with supporters. Everything we do will be aimed at keeping them at the centre of the game".

Ian Ayre, Managing Director of Liverpool Football Club said: "Much like our club, Chevrolet has a long, rich history with a growing, global brand and this landmark partnership once again demonstrates the value of Liverpool's international appeal.

"Partnerships with blue chip brands like Chevy will help ensure the long-term growth and success of our club, both on and off the pitch. We look forward to working closely with Chevy to help reach and engage our supporters, who are among the most passionate and educated fans in the world".


25th July, 2012

Britons oblivious to sponsors' Olympic branding: Third City

One week from the Games and more than half the UK population can't confidently name a single Olympic sponsor.

That's according to new findings from Third City, who suggest that multi-million marquee sponsorships aren't cutting through, as consumers are bombarded with unsupported brand messages.

Just under a quarter (24 per cent) of Britons could not name a single Olympic sponsor, while a further one in three (33 per cent) say they could guess, but would be 'unsure' if they were correct.

In London, cut-through barely improves, with four in five (80 per cent) unable to name more than two of the Games' fourteen headline sponsors, who have spent nearly a billion pounds between them.

The agency's founding partner Mark Lowe commented: "People still trust brands more than they trust politicians, but marketers now need to work a lot harder to win them over. Advertising that offers no promise, support or reason-to-believe looks like wallpaper.

"Unfortunately, too many Olympic sponsorships fall into this category. Just badging a major event, no matter how high profile, just isn't enough anymore".

Third City is a finalist in this year's PR Week Best New Consultancy.


25th July, 2012

eBay partners British Fashion Council (BFC) to sponsor BFC Fashion Forward initiative

eBay have announced a new partnership with the British Fashion Council (BFC) in a multi-season sponsorship of the BFC Fashion Forward initiative.

The fashion arm of the UK's biggest online marketplace will help to support emerging British design talent through the programme, starting at London Fashion Week SS13 this September.

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC said: "Fashion Forward is one of the British Fashion Council's talent support initiatives, designed to help emerging British designers show and develop their businesses here in London. In its sixth year it has grown to encompass both womenswear and menswear designers and now supports seven designers each year - making this the perfect time to announce eBay as its new sponsor. eBay's sales statistics are overwhelming and we hope they will help to bring opportunities to the designers they support".

"eBay is more than just an auction house, it's a shopping destination like no other", said Melanie Smallwood, Head of eBay Fashion Brands. "You'll find high street brands selling direct alongside smaller boutiques and international businesses as well as consumer sellers. eBay Fashion unites style seekers and enables you to shop anytime and anywhere. Partnering with the British Fashion Council provides an opportunity to show our support to emerging British fashion talent, helping them to develop the long-term success of their businesses".

This year's Fashion Forward designers include six-time NEWGEN sponsorship winner Mary Katrantzou, pattern and colour guru Louise Gray and Henry Holland and James Long (menswear), known for his signature knits and embroidered pieces. Melanie Smallwood from eBay will sit on the panel that decides the next round of designers to be supported within the programme; these will be announced in January 2013.

SS13 will mark the start of the partnership, with eBay Fashion planning a series of activities. This will include eBay supporting Born to Shop, claimed to be the biggest ever online fashion auction which forms a part of Save the Children's No Child Born to Die campaign. Designers, celebrities and UK fashion media will donate up to 200 desirable items for the auction, which takes place over London Fashion Week and aims to raise £50,000 for the charity.

Image: Fashion Forward womenswear winners Mary Katrantzou, Louise Gray and House of Holland spring/summer 2013 at London Fashion Week, February 2012.


24th July, 2012

World Snooker announces Betfair backing for the Snooker Shoot-Out

World Snooker has announced Betfair as the new title sponsor of quick-fire tournament the Snooker Shoot-Out.

The innovative one-frame knockout event, which was introduced in 2011 and features a shot-clock and random draw, will be known as the Betfair Snooker Shoot-Out. It will run from January 25th to 27th at the spectacular Tower Circus Arena in Blackpool.

The tournament, won last season by Barry Hawkins, will feature sixty-four of the world's best players, chasing a top prize of £32,000, and will be televised live by Sky Sports.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are thrilled to be working with Betfair, the world's biggest international online sports betting company, on the most exhilarating event on the snooker calendar.

"This tournament is all about thrilling and fast moving snooker action. It's great fun for the players and for the fans who come along, and when the arena is packed out, it generates such a buzz. The Betfair Snooker Shoot-Out has become one of the most widely anticipated events of the season so everyone should get their seats booked straight away".

Matt Robinson, International Director at Betfair, was equally upbeat: "We're proud to sponsor such a unique event, one which is like no other. The Betfair Snooker Shoot-Out has revolutionised the game and I'm confident our customers will take to its fast paced nature. The tournament is a welcome addition to our growing list of sponsorship properties".


23rd July, 2012

Brand Finance report: Olympics' brand is worth more than those of all of its major sponsors

The Olympics "brand" is valued at USD $47.6 billion - about £30.5 billion - with an 87% increase since the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, where it was valued at USD $25.4 bn (about £16.26 bn), according to a new study from brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance.

The report's findings provide an intriguing comparison of the value of the Olympics as a 'property' compared with many of the major companies which support it via sponsorship.

Amongst its key findings, the report suggests that:

     The Olympics' 'brand' is the second most valuable brand in the world, beaten only by Apple which is valued at USD $70.6 billion (about £45.2bn).

     The Olympics' brand is worth more than those of all of its major sponsors, including Samsung, GE and Coca-Cola.

     The Olympics is the most valuable brand of Greek origin and worth 134 times more than the National Bank of Greece (which is worth just USD $354 million or around £226 million).

     The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has running costs of less than 10% of revenue, leaving USD $4.6 billion (around £2.95 bn) for distribution and investment in sport worldwide.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commenting on the report's findings, said: "There is no doubt that the Olympics 'brand' is a formidable revenue generator and has huge value. It has recently been criticised for heavy-handed brand control, however it should not be forgotten that in the current four year cycle USD $4.6 billion has been generated for initiatives to develop sport worldwide. It is also expected to produce a net benefit to the UK economy of more than $25 billion (£16.5 billion)".

In arriving at the Olympics' brand value, Brand Finance valued everything operating under the Olympics' 'brand', using the IOC's) financial statements. These include revenue from broadcasting, sponsorship, licensing, merchandising and ticket sales. Costs associated with running the brand are minimal, says the company, leaving vast sums to be invested back into sport.

The Olympics brand has seen a huge surge in value since the Beijing Games in 2008. According to the report, this four year period has seen:

     Total revenue growth of 38% to USD $5.1 billion (about £3.3 bn)

     Broadcasting revenue growth of 51% to USD $3.9 billion (about £2.5 bn)

     Sponsorship revenue growth of only 10.5%, perhaps reflecting tough trading conditions in the worldwide recession

     Broadcasting contributing two-thirds of the IOC's revenue.

The high levels of growth achieved by the Olympics should be sustainable, as emerging markets remain largely untapped, the report concludes. Currently Asia accounts for only 12% of broadcasting revenues, which compared to the Americas (59%) demonstrates a key area of potential growth for the Olympics' brand.

Sponsors also believe Olympic sponsorship to be a sustainable marketing investment. P&G expect to generate an extra USD $500 million (about £320m) in sales from London 2012, having already generated USD $100 million (about £64m) from Vancouver 2010. GE, who reportedly paid USD $200 million (about £128m) for TOP sponsorship rights covering London and Vancouver, already believes it has earned back its investment. GE uses its Olympic links to win big contracts in the host nations, particularly in developing nations such as China (after Beijing 2008) and the upcoming Winter games in Sochi, Russia for 2014.


19th July, 2012

The Open University sponsors IF: Milton Keynes International Festival

The Open University (OU) has been announced as partner and sponsor for the second IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, opening on Friday, 20th July and running until Sunday, 29th July.

Collaborating with local government, business, civil society and other academic institutions, The Open University says it expects its latest partnership to help raise the national and international profile of Milton Keynes.

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival programme includes large-scale spectaculars, family events, international theatre, film, pop-up events, comedy cabaret and live music, bars, food – and lots more. The Festival takes place in Campbell Park and in other public spaces and temporary venues across the city and is already listed as one of the top 100 festivals by The Sunday Times.

As part of an ongoing programme of partnership and support, the OU is supporting two of the Festival's events: the first, As The World Tipped, is an epic and ambitious multi-media performance which features film visuals and a glorious soundtrack combined with actors suspended on wires to tell a powerful tale of ecological crisis. Suspended above the audience in the night sky, the performers struggle to control their increasingly precarious world as they do battle with the effects of drastic environmental catastrophe.

The Cabaret of Ideas is described as a live Wikipedia event where the public can meet fascinating thought leaders, experts and mavericks from, or who have a strong connection with, Milton Keynes. A selection of lucky OU academics with fascinating or unusual knowledge line up with others who have been nominated to take part in the "Cabaret of Ideas", in which the audience will 'lucky-dip' pick four 20-minute conversations with people of interest.

Lucian J. Hudson, Director of Communications, said: "The Open University is thrilled to be a partner and sponsor IF: Milton Keynes International Festival. Milton Keynes and the OU are global players, renowned for creativity, innovation and inclusivity. This is a rich festival programme that everybody can enjoy. It's another inspiring example of Milton Keynes' energy and enterprise".

Dr Ann Limb, Chair of the International Festival, underlined the significance of the OU's sponsorship: "No major international festival is complete without the support of the university sector. I am thrilled, both as Chair of the SE Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and as Chair of IF: 2012, that The Open University, one of the world's most innovative international universities - based in Milton Keynes - has led the way for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2012".

Under the leadership of Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Blackman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Scholarship and Lucian J. Hudson, Director of Communications, The Open University is engaging actively with partners in Milton Keynes, sponsoring and supporting numerous events in recent months. The University is a member of both DestinationMK and the Milton Keynes Economic Development Forum, recently hosting and chairing the Milton Keynes Inward Investment Workshop and the Vice-Chancellor's Knowledge Economy Dinner, and sponsoring the CBI regional dinner. Just last week (13th July), the University sponsored the MK Business Leaders Quarterly Dinner, attended by John Bercow, MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons.


17th July, 2012

Now Chelsea FC sign oil giant Gazprom as Global Energy Partner

Chelsea Football Club has announced that Gazprom has become the club's official Global Energy Partner.

Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest company in Russia.

The announcement follows recent sponsorship announcements signalling that Audi, Sauber F1 and Delta Air Lines have all become partners of Chelsea FC. Gazprom last week also confirmed an agreement with UEFA to become an official partner of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup for the next three seasons.

This latest, three year deal will see Gazprom Energy supply gas and electricity to the club, as well as being involved with its award-winning global CSR activities.

Chelsea FC chief executive Ron Gourlay commented: "This is another very exciting global partnership for the club, and demonstrates the ever-growing appeal of Chelsea FC. As a global supplier of energy with a commitment to the environment and social responsibility, Gazprom is a perfect match for the club. Our huge fanbase around the world will help Gazprom reach their key markets in Europe and Asia, while we will benefit from their support in developing further our wide-ranging CSR programmes".

Vitaly Vasiliev, chief executive officer of GM&T, was equally upbeat: "The Gazprom group is delighted to be associated with such a well known and successful brand in international football.

"Gazprom supplies secure and clean natural gas to clients all over the world and this energy partnership with the European champions gives us an outstanding global platform to further raise our profile across our European and global markets. We very much look forward to working together over the coming three seasons".

In autumn 2005, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich liquidated his biggest asset, selling his 72.6% stake in oil giant Sibneft to Gazprom for $13 billion.


15th July, 2012

Olympic sponsors BA show Olympians' favourite sports films

British Airways is showing a selection of the best sports films as voted by Team GB and ParalympicsGB, for customers flying during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The athletes nominated over thirty titles, including their favourite – Coach Carter - a basketball film featuring Samuel L. Jackson, ahead of Cool Runnings, which took second place.

Oliver Stone's award winning Any Given Sunday took bronze, and was nominated by a number of athletes, including gymnast Louis Smith. Triathlete Helen Jenkins voted for the boxing classic Rocky, while three times Olympic champion Ben Ainslie swapped water for the track with his preference for the recent Formula One documentary Senna.

The athletes nominated a wide range of sports from football to Formula One. Other nominations included Chariots of Fire, Dodgeball, Goal, Bend it like Beckham, Remember the Titans, Million Dollar Baby, Wimbledon, Jerry Maguire, Invincible, Happy Gilmore and Rumble in the Jungle.

Some of the more unusual titles nominated included Teen Wolf, Space Jam, Blue Crush, Robin Hood and The Water Boy!

Team GB rower Zac Purchase said: "I don't think you can get better then Al Pacino's "inches" speech in Any Given Sunday. It's such a poignant moment, with many true parallels with the way each and every sports person across the world prepares for the performance of their lives".

In comparison, British Airways Facebook users voted for Chariots of Fire as their all time favourite sports movie, closely followed by classics Cool Runnings and Rocky.

British Airways sponsorship manager, Luisa Fernandez, said: "We know that customers love catching up on films when they fly, and now they have the opportunity to re-live some of the classic sports films of all time in preparation for the London 2012 Games".

Customers on board BA flights this summer will also be able to enjoy an exclusive Olympic-inspired menu created by Michelin star chef Simon Hulstone, who worked with Heston Blumenthal on the project. To complement the menu is a specially commissioned on-board soundtrack which customers can tune in to, featuring uplifting music and commentary from iconic British moments from previous Games, to enhance the dining experience.

Along with classic sporting films, the airline is also showing Fast Girls – a new British film following the women's 4 x 100 metres relay team. There is also a dedicated sports channel, which includes a number of Olympic and Paralympic related programmes, such as the Journey to London 2012.

Finally, customers flying over the summer will be able to watch the short film BOY, produced exclusively for British Airways. It was written by up-and-coming writer Prasanna Puwanarajah, who was mentored by Richard E. Grant in the BA Great Britons programme. It features much-loved British actor Timothy Spall and was filmed in the Velodrome in the Olympic Park (see above left).

Picture credit: Description - Riders at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup at the Velodrome, Olympic Park, London. Copyright Notice - LOCOG by Justin Setterfield. Credit - LOCOG by Justin Setterfield


12th July, 2012

SSE to power up Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Leading electricity and gas company SSE plc has today been revealed as the Official Energy Partner of Glasgow 2014.

The link-up with Scotland's largest company sees it join the Glasgow 2014 sponsor family with an 'Official Partner' status – the highest rank within the Organising Committee's commercial programme.

Headquartered in Scotland, SSE is the leading generator of renewable energy in the UK and the second biggest energy retailer. The company supplies electricity and gas to more than 9.5 million household and business accounts under brands such as SSE, Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric, SWALEC and Airtricity.

The company is the first UK-based Tier One Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games sponsor and joins an already impressive and growing list of commercial partners.

Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive David Grevemberg commented: "Glasgow 2014 is excited to be working in partnership with such a highly-regarded energy company, headquartered in Scotland and with a presence in every community of the UK.

"We look forward to collaborating with SSE, its customers and staff throughout the UK in developing exciting engagement and activation opportunities that bring our partnership to life and offer the experience of the Commonwealth Games to as many people as possible".

Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of SSE, said: "We're proud to be associated with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. SSE has customers and employees in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and we are really looking forward to helping make these Games come alive for them and their communities.

"At SSE we take our work very seriously but try not to take ourselves too seriously and we're aiming to make this sponsorship innovative and quirky, not boring and corporate. We're already involved in sport in local communities through sponsorships of shinty, golf, cricket, football, sailing and rugby so we’re excited about the possibilities that lie ahead between SSE and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games".

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of SSE plc and Glasgow 2014, added: "I am very pleased that the Glasgow 2014 and SSE teams have reached this agreement and welcome the announcement that David Grevemberg and Ian Marchant are making today. David and Ian have made it clear that both organisations see a real opportunity to build a strong, mutually-beneficial partnership between Glasgow 2014 and SSE over the next two years, culminating with the Games themselves, and this is positive news for both organisations".

Clearly both SSE and Glasgow 2014 are keen to maximise the opportunities this partnership presents. Active discussions are on-going and plans for positive and interactive engagement across the UK will be launched soon.


12th July, 2012

ITV Commercial unveils comparethemarket.com as new sponsor of Coronation Street

ITV Commercial has today announced that comparethemarket.com will be the new sponsor of the nation's best loved soap, Coronation Street.

The fully integrated three-year sponsorship package was negotiated by ITV Commercial and Newcast, ZenithOptimedia's sponsorship and content division, on behalf of comparethemarket.com. The exclusive on and off-air partnership will include broadcast, online, mobile and licensing elements, bringing both brands to as many fans as possible.

Coronation Street is the UK's most popular soap, sitting at the heart of ITV1's peak time schedule, attracting an average audience of 9.4m viewers for each of its five episodes every week. In 2012 a peak audience of 12.5million viewers, or a massive 45% of the available TV audience, tuned in on January 23rd to watch Becky McDonald's dramatic exit from the show.

Simon Daglish, Group Commercial Director, ITV said: "We are delighted to be working with comparethemarket.com as a partner for Coronation Street. This is a long-term commitment from both parties around two of the most exciting and loved brands in the UK, which we believe will become the benchmark for partnerships going forward."

Paul Galligan, Managing Director of comparethemarket.com said: "Coronation Street is one of Britain's most entertaining and best loved TV shows and so we are delighted to be partnering with such a prestigious programme. We will be working closely with ITV to ensure this is a model partnership, utilising both on and off-air opportunities to take our brands to customers in new and exciting ways".

Paul Constantine, Managing Partner at ZenithOptimedia said: "Coronation Street is the jewel in the crown of the ITV schedule and we are extremely pleased to have secured this partnership for comparethemarket.com in this highly competitive sector."


9th July, 2012

Jones Lang LaSalle named as 2012 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Sponsor

Jones Lang LaSalle has become the title sponsor of this year’s Bristol Balloon Fiesta, the largest family event in the West.

The Bristol-based property consultants were one of four businesses selected to become major sponsors of the event by the Lord Mayor of Bristol at a gala dinner last night. All thirty-five members of the Fiesta's 100 Club were eligible to become a key sponsor of the event.

Jones Lang LaSalle will be the title sponsor for the entire 2012 event, a package worth over £120,000. The Fiesta is now the Jones Lang LaSalle Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and a hot air balloon will carry the company's brand at the event, which attracts half a million people over the four days.

Bath Ales will sponsor the Thursday Night Glow and Kellaway Building Supplies will present the Saturday Night Glow, while the patron of the brand new Sunday Blades display will be Goodridge.

For an investment of £2,000 all 100 Club members receive a valuable package of benefits, including corporate hospitality, balloon flight vouchers, presence on the website, which boasts three million hits a year, a banner displayed in the main arena and VIP tickets to the event, plus the chance to become a major sponsor.

Jeremy Richards, head of the Bristol office, Jones Lang LaSalle, commented: "We're delighted to be named the title sponsor of this year's Fiesta. We've been part of the 100 Club for several years now as Jones Lang LaSalle and previously as King Sturge. Like the Fiesta, we have a strong presence in Bristol and an international profile - the synergy is great.

"We have a new hot air balloon and we're really looking forward to maximising this opportunity and showcasing the Jones Lang LaSalle name at Bristol's most iconic event and to its international audience".

Chris Hathaway, chairman of this year's organising committee said: "We are really pleased with the support we've received from businesses and grateful for their contribution. We look forward to working with our main sponsors and all of this year's members to deliver another spectacular ballooning event for the hundreds of thousands of people that visit the Fiesta each year".

This year's Jones Lang LaSalle Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will take place from the 9th to 12th August, 2012.

Photograph: press call for main Fiesta sponsors


6th July, 2012

Littlewoods to sponsor ITV's new entertainment format Superstar

ITV Commercial has today announced that Littlewoods, one of the largest online and home shopping retailers in the UK and part of Shop Direct Group, will be the sponsor of ITV's new entertainment format, Superstar, in a package conceived in partnership with Carat.

The fully integrated sponsorship deal, negotiated by ITV Commercial and Carat on behalf of Littlewoods, includes broadcast, online and mobile sponsorship. It kicks off on Saturday, 7th July, 2012, in parallel with the programme launch at 7.25pm on ITV1.

Superstar is a brand new ITV series, which follows Andrew Lloyd Webber on his nationwide talent search to find the rock superstar.

The winner's life-changing prize will be the leading role in a new arena tour of the legendary rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar which will open at London's O2 arena. Auditions have taken place across the country and the most promising new talent will go through to the live shows when the British public decide who they want to be their next Superstar. Amanda Holden will host the series, and Dawn French and Jason Donovan will join Lloyd Webber as judges for the live shows.

Bhavit Chandrani, Group Sales Controller, ITV said: "Superstar is a fantastically exciting new show for ITV with true appointment-to-view potential. We are delighted to have agreed a fully integrated partnership with Littlewoods and look forward to making the campaign a huge success".

Gary Kibble, Brand Director, Littlewoods, said: "As one of the UK's best known family brands, Littlewoods is delighted to be supporting Superstar, which we predict will become must-see viewing for the whole household. The integrated sponsorship package that Carat has negotiated on our behalf fits perfectly with our market position as the UK's leading online and mobile department store".

Rob Honeywood, Sponsorship Manager, Carat said: "This fully integrated sponsorship is a fantastic opportunity for Littlewoods to connect with their target market as ITV debuts its new Saturday night with a strategic sponsorship programme that will connect with consumers at every touch-point from TV and online to mobile".

The sponsorship idents have been created by St Luke's.


5th July, 2012

Warranty Direct backs What Car? awards

What Car? has announced that Warranty Direct is to be headline sponsor of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2013, which will be held on January 9th. In addition Warranty Direct will sponsor the City Car category.

Andrew Golby, What Car?'s publishing director said: "We are delighted to be working with Warranty Direct, which is the industry's leading provider of direct consumer warranties".

The What Car? Car of the Year Awards boast a position as the most coveted accolades in the automotive industry. The Awards are presented to cars that set the highest standards in their sector, having been put through the toughest and most rigorous tests by the most experienced team in the business.

The benefits of the sponsorship deal include an alignment with the most authoritative and trusted brand in motoring, brand positioning and awareness, extensive PR opportunities, networking and brand association with the awards via a multi-channel promotional campaign.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct Ltd, said: "We are looking forward to working with What Car? to help deliver the best ever What Car? Awards. A What Car? Award is essentially a huge stamp of approval that car buyers can trust. Hopefully they will be so pleased with their new car they will want to keep it and care for it with a Warranty Direct warranty when the original warranty expires".

Golby continued: "Winning a What Car? Award is good for a car maker's business. The authority of the What Car? brand sells cars, plain and simple. It adds power to advertising and marketing campaigns and is a huge draw for customers".

The What Car? Car of the Year Awards event is attended by more than 1,200 leading industry figureheads alongsid influential motoring correspondents from the wider media.

The event is to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on January 9th, 2013.


2nd July, 2012

easyJet announces sponsorship with Pride

easyJet, the UK's largest airline, has announced that it will be a main sponsor of Pride's Brighton & Hove event this summer.

The airline, which operates its largest European base from London Gatwick Airport, will be the lead sponsor of the activities taking place on 1st September which are expected to attract 100,000 revelers from around the region and beyond.

Paul Simmons, easyJet UK Director commented: "We are thrilled to be one of Pride Brighton & Hove's main sponsors this year. The festival is an extremely popular event in the area and we're proud to be adding some extra orange to its colourful parade.

"easyJet will help to make this year's festival one the most successful yet by marketing the event to millions of our passengers and flying in thousands from all over the UK and across Europe, to join the celebrations".

Pride Director Trevor Edwards added: "easyJet are an excellent addition to a strong line-up of sponsors for 2012. We look forward to their involvement in Pride Brighton & Hove and giving them a warm Brighton welcome at the parade on 1st September".

The sponsorship deal will see easyJet bringing its cabin crew to support the highly popular Pride parade as it winds its way through the streets of Brighton & Hove to the ticketed Preston Park which, say the organisers, is set to host an unforgettable event.

easyJet will also be the lead sponsor of Manchester Pride 2012 for the first time, in partnership with Manchester Airport. The festival which takes place between 17th and 27th August will maintain the diverse activities of sport, arts, entertainment, heritage, campaigning and film during the Fringe Festival, culminating in the celebrations of the Parade and Big Weekend over the August Bank Holiday.



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