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29th June, 2012

British Grand Prix sponsors Santander inspire thoughts of a Formula 1™ street race in London

While London is undoubtedly the focal point of global sporting endeavour and the attendant groundswell of international attention this summer, Santander has articulated the fizzing excitement surrounding the capital with the release of a spectacular concept film featuring Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to speculate how the city could cement a claim to be the world's pre-eminent sporting capital.


With London not just the host city for the 2012 Games, but also for its premium catalogue of blue riband sporting events that are followed around the globe from Wimbledon to Royal Ascot or the summer calendar of test cricket, Santander - as title sponsor of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - has explored how a Formula 1 race against the backdrop of one of the most familiar urban skylines, might look.

The London Grand Prix by Santander is presented as an ultra-high fidelity short CGI film (see below) founded on a detailed feasibility study undertaken by expert project architects, Populous, who have first hand experience of delivering Formula 1 infrastructure projects for Silverstone and a range of other venue clients of international stature from London's O2 Arena to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Stadium.

By embracing the detailed logistical expertise that has delivered the spectacular new Silverstone circuit and allying it with the unique cockpit insights of Britain's two F1 World Champions, Lewis and Jenson, Santander's London Grand Prix film provides the most comprehensive answer yet to the much-vaunted question of how a Formula 1 street-race in the capital might one day look.

Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group, said: "The idea of an F1 street-race in London is something I have had for many years. It would be magnificent. A couple of years ago we came very close to an agreement with the City of Westminster and The Mayor's office but we ran into the small problem of cost. A few years back over half a million people turned-up to watch F1 cars parading through the streets of the capital. The public's appetite for a London Grand Prix is huge as I am sure it is with the F1 teams and sponsors".

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have been extensively consulted in the development of the detail for the fourteen corner, 5.1km circuit which features a start grid on The Mall, a 192mph Santander Straight in the run up to Buckingham Palace and with perhaps one of the most audacious corners anywhere on the sport's twenty race global calendar, the London Grand Prix route circuit will steer twenty-four cars from Trafalgar Square into Admiralty Arch. Conceived as a night race, the lifelike quality of the CGI includes a driver perspective from the cockpit of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 F1™ car as it races through the streets of London, making for compelling viewing.

"Having been immersed in this project, having helped to shape this track, it feels as real to me as anywhere I've raced. Jenson and I have worked in the simulator to provide some useful feedback to inform the circuit design, so this is far more than whimsical thinking out loud. The film that encapsulates all of this work is massively detailed as well as logistically achievable. And I have to say, this is an utterly epic track and would produce the most stunning and compelling Formula 1 race. If you add an event of this complexion to London's staggering roster of world-class sporting events, it surely would have to own the title of the ultimate sporting metropolis?", said Lewis Hamilton, the winner of the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix.

As much as show the onlooker how a London Grand Prix might look, the futuristic CGI treatment has also been applied to a spectacular driver's point of view edit, providing a second spectacular view of the route from the perspective seen from the driver's cockpit.

Jenson said: "Both Lewis and I are hugely conscious of how integral the UK is to Formula 1 right the way from our fan base that is highly knowledgeable and engaged to the technology culture and engineering enterprise that makes us the pre-eminent source of racing innovation anywhere on the planet.

With all of this background, Silverstone is a natural celebration of the UK's contribution to Formula 1. It is nice to add to this rich tapestry the notion of a London street-race, and I agree with Lewis, it is a great hypothetical track to drive, and is as appealing as the reality of the Silverstone circuit".

In order to fashion a credible foundation for the concept, Santander commissioned Populous to undertake an extensive and wide-ranging approach to its feasibility plan for a London Grand Prix, embracing all logistical considerations from pits and paddock, grandstands, run-off areas, to kerb profiling, access roads for safety and and medical access, catch fencing design, noise attenuation strategies, a 3 megawatt night race lighting system with 1,200 projectors, bespoke garage pods to house the teams in lightweight, eco-friendly and modern temporary buildings such as the media centre.

Click map below for a pop-up showing greater detail

The integrated travel plan includes spectator entry and exit points which are all accessible via public transport. "Delivering an event within an existing city is a lot more sophisticated than just sitting down with a copy of the A-Z", says Populous architect John Rhodes.

"We mapped out some of London's most recognised places and landmarks and then worked out how we would integrate them within the layout. The design process was driven by the dual requirements of creating an exciting circuit and giving the best view of the iconic places associated with it. We surveyed the site very carefully so that the plan would be achievable for real. To provide some notion of the level of forensic detail we have considered, we accounted for no less than 27,000 trees in our plan and I am glad to say the race would not impact a single one".

The garages and hospitality suites are multi-purpose items which can easily be packed up and used elsewhere. It's a truly groundbreaking idea; and since the vast majority of emissions associated with Formula 1 races are produced by people travelling to the circuit rather than the operation of the racing cars themselves, a real-life London Grand Prix by Santander has been planned as an environmentally sustainable event.

The London Grand Prix film by Santander was premiered in the company of Bernie Ecclestone, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button last night at the spiritual home of motor racing in the capital, the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall.

Having celebrated the 100th anniversary of its Pall Mall Clubhouse in 2011, from the advent of the horseless carriage to the age of the stretch limousine, the Royal Automobile Club has been the "Parliament of Motoring" and thereby a fitting focal point for Santander's hypothesis of the London Grand Prix. The event brought together key opinion formers from motor racing, including the sport's visionary impresario, Bernie Ecclestone, the international media and the capital's glitterati with a professed interest in Formula 1.


27th June, 2012

Delta Airlines and Chelsea Football Club strike sponsorship deal

Delta Air Lines has made its first signing of a UK soccer club by striking a multi-year deal to become Chelsea Football Club's official airline sponsor.

The deal brings together two major international brands: Delta, a leading global airline; and Chelsea FC, the champions of Europe. The partnership will commence in July 2012.

Delta will be exclusively designated as the "Official Airline Partner of Chelsea FC" and the agreement will give Delta numerous benefits including LED exposure at each home game and exposure on the Chelsea FC website. The Delta logo will also be included on media backboards for interviews conducted at Chelsea's stadium around Premier League home matches.

Additionally, Delta will benefit from entitlement space at Stamford Bridge's Millennium Hotel, enabling the airline to entertain guests at Chelsea's home in a Delta-branded environment.

Delta is synonymous with sport in the United States where the airline is the official airline sponsor of leading U.S. sports teams, including baseball's New York Yankees, hockey's Los Angeles Kings and American football's Minnesota Vikings. This summer, Delta will welcome the Chelsea FC team as they tour the United States. In July, they will play the French team, Paris Saint-Germain, at the new Yankee Stadium, which is also sponsored by Delta.

"We're delighted to sponsor Chelsea FC, a top-flight London club with a fan base of millions throughout Delta's worldwide network", said Perry Cantarutti, Delta's senior vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Partnering with a leading club in the English Premier League is an exciting way to strengthen our brand both in the UK and around the world while a tie-in with Delta will help build Chelsea's brand in the U.S."

This year's winner of the Champions League and The FA Cup, Chelsea FC is one of the best-supported clubs worldwide and allows Delta to reach an international audience of more than one billion.

"It is a fantastic opportunity for Chelsea Football Club to partner ourselves with Delta Air Lines, an industry leader in aviation," said Chelsea FC Chief Executive Ron Gourlay. "Their passion for innovation and first-class service around the world make them a perfect match for us and we look forward to working together as we continue to develop the Chelsea name across the globe".


26th June, 2012

Fund managers Castlefield sponsor Dig the City, Manchester's new urban garden festival

Manchester-based fund management company Castlefield are to sponsor Dig the City, the first urban garden festival of its kind in a major UK city.

In partnership with other key public and private sector organisations within the city, including Manchester Cathedral, Manchester Arndale, Manchester City Council and the National Football Museum, Castlefield will be championing a week-long festival in celebration of music and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The end of July will see Manchester's Medieval Quarter transformed into a sea of green and colour, festooned with stunning displays of floral art. Over 200 volunteers will create a huge spectacle of 40,000 cut flowers inside Manchester Cathedral depicting music across the ages. The festival will extend to the surrounding areas with pop-up allotments, flower markets and gardening activities.

The city's Exchange Square will have its own Olympic theme, and the now pedestrian Victoria Street will feature HRH Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Garden, which will be rebuilt for visitors to enjoy. Visitors will be able to enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea courtesy of Harvey Nichols inside the Diamond Jubilee Marquee. Castlefield themselves will have their own dedicated floral display inside the Cathedral.

It is hoped that the festival will become an annual event, attracting many thousands of people into the city centre to celebrate horticulture, gardening and the changing city.


25th June, 2012

Invest In Africa partners with Sunderland AFC

Invest in Africa has been unveiled as the Sunderland AFC's principal partner and shirt sponsor for the 2012/13 season.

The Invest in Africa brand will be displayed on the team's kit for a minimum of two seasons and seen around the globe to the Premier League's audience of 4.7bn viewers.

Invest in Africa is a not-for-profit business initiative that will promote Africa as a leading investment destination and challenge misconceptions about investing on the continent. Invest in Africa's stated mission is to show that Africa is open for business and that its further development is dependent on private sector investment and partnerships with local businesses.

The partnership with Sunderland AFC provides a high profile platform for the brand to take Invest in Africa's message to a worldwide audience, the first time a not-for-profit initiative of this nature has appeared on a Premier League shirt.

Invest in Africa is building a partnership of leading companies working in Africa with the aim of helping to inspire more investors to do business in Africa. Invest in Africa is seeking likeminded potential founding partners and companies interested in joining the initiative. Africa's largest independent oil company, Tullow Oil plc ('Tullow'), is the initial Founding Partner of Invest in Africa.

Speaking at the Stadium of Light, Chief Executive of Tullow Aidan Heavey said: "At Tullow Oil we've known for years that Africa is a thriving and great place to do business. But potential foreign investors are still missing out because of outdated perceptions of what it's like to work in Africa. Invest in Africa wants to bridge this gap by challenging misconceptions, showing that Africa is open for business and helping more investors into Africa in partnership with local businesses.

"Ultimately this will make Africa a more stable and attractive place to work, which is in everyone's interests. Which is why we're delighted to be partnering with Sunderland AFC who share Invest in Africa's ambitions and desire to reach a global audience".

Ellis Short, Chairman, Sunderland AFC said: "We are very proud to have augmented our relationship with Invest in Africa through this wonderful agreement. It is a partnership which sets a new benchmark for the club commercially but what stands out is while doing so it truly gives something back to both our own region and to a continent which has become a firm part of our club's success story over recent seasons.

"Extending our relationship will enable us to put the club's knowledge and experience – allied with its immense global reach as part of the Premier League – fully into practice. It fits perfectly with our own aims as we continue showcasing Sunderland AFC to a global audience which simply loves football".

Sunderland AFC chief executive Margaret Byrne commented: "Africa has a wonderful passion for the game, something which is mirrored here in our own North East region. Both places are renowned for examples of how football can engage people and organisations to the extent where it changes lives. Sunderland AFC has established a reputation as a club which champions that idea. We take immense pride in using the power and pull of football responsibly to ensure it is driven towards strengthening our community and improving people's lives.

"The club's Foundation of Light has shown the benefits of encouraging new business partnerships and investment in the North East. With the Invest in Africa initiative, the club will continue to deliver the same positive impact to the local business community as well as communities across Africa".

Invest in Africa and Sunderland AFC launch pioneering partnership (L-R) Aidan Heavey, CEO Tullow Oil plc, Founding Partner Invest In Africa, Ellis Short, Chairman Sunderland AFC, David Milliband, Vice-Chairman Sunderland AFC, Craig Gardner First Team player.


24th June, 2012

London Assembly calls for ban on high calorie Olympic sponsorship

London Assembly Members have called for a ban on sponsorship of the Olympic and Paralympic games by companies which produce high calorie food and drinks.

A motion passed at a recent meeting of the full Assembly urged the Olympic movement to adopt strict criteria for sponsorship of the Games which would exclude companies associated with products linked to childhood obesity.

The motion also calls on Mayor Boris Johnson to encourage the organisers of future major sporting events on London to adopt a similar approach.

The full text of the motion agreed at the meeting reads as follows:

"The Assembly calls on:

1) The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to recommend that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) introduces criteria for the selection of world wide sponsors for future Games that exclude food and drinks companies strongly associated with high calorie brands and products linked to childhood obesity, and to encourage national organising committees to adopt similar criteria;

2) The Mayor of London to encourage the organisers of future major sporting events in London to adopt criteria for appointment of sponsors that exclude such food and drinks companies; and

3) The Government to consider introducing restrictions on advertising and exclusive marketing at major sporting events by such food and drinks companies".

Jenny Jones AM, who proposed the motion, said: "London won the right to host the 2012 Games with the promise to deliver a legacy of more active, healthier children across the world. Yet the same International Olympic Committee that awarded the games to London persists in maintaining sponsorship deals with the purveyors of high calorie junk that contributes to the threat of an obesity epidemic.

"The advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar is already restricted on children's television. These Games will subvert those regulations by providing a glut of sponsored messages for high calorie food and drink that are at odds with the Olympian athletic ideal".

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, who seconded the motion, said: "As a doctor I know the damage that poor unbalanced diets can have on people's long term health and these habits are learnt in childhood. The consumption of too many high cholesterol and high calorie foods leads to obesity which is a major cause of diabetes and heart disease. It is time the IOC put greater value on its responsibility to the children of the world than it does on sponsorship dollars of agri-business multinationals".


20th June, 2012

British Fashion Council announces winners of NEWGEN sponsorship

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced the names of thirteen of London's brightest emerging fashion design talents, who have been selected to receive BFC NEWGEN sponsorship, supported by Topshop, to show at London Fashion Week in September 2012.

NEWGEN, established in 1993, boasts a position as the world's most globally recognised fashion design talent identification scheme, with 2012 seeing Topshop celebrating its tenth year of NEWGEN sponsorship.

NEWGEN recipients for Spring Summer 2013 sponsored by TopShop are:

     Catwalk sponsorship: Michael van der Ham; J.W. Anderson; Simone Rocha

     Presentation sponsorship: Christopher Raeburn; J.JS Lee; Lucas Nascimento; Marques Almeida; Nasir Mazhar; Sister by Sibling

     Exhibition sponsorship: Palmer//Harding; Huishan Zhang; Lim Cooper; Sophia Webster

All of the designers listed above will feature in the NEWGEN space of the Exhibition at London Fashion Week.

NEWGEN showcases the best emerging British based fashion talent and is central to the British Fashion Council’s talent identification, designer development and showcasing programme. Since its inception, its alumni include Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem, Meadham Kirchhoff, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, David Koma, Louise Gray and Holly Fulton. The scheme has become a key draw for the international fashion media and buyers attending London Fashion Week.

Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council commented: "We are delighted to support this exceptionally talented group of designers and would like to thank Topshop for their support as a sponsor that is now synonymous with NEWGEN. The calibre of design and talent in the UK fashion industry is outstanding and continues to grow from strength to strength".

Mary Homer, Managing Director of Topshop, added: "NEWGEN lies at the heart of London Fashion Week and over the last ten years has supported and developed some of fashion's most successful and greatest talents. I'm delighted that Topshop will continue to be involved in the sponsorship over the next ten years, and I wish this season's winners the best of luck."

NEWGEN offers the catwalk designers financial support towards their show costs and the opportunity to use the BFC Catwalk Show Space during LFW. Others receive a sponsored presentation or exhibition space to showcase their collections, offering these emerging UK-based designers an important introduction to influential press and buyers from around the world. NEWGEN also provides business and mentoring support through the BFC in partnership with Shoosmiths, Baker Tilley and Lloyds TSB.


14th June, 2012

Cubic to sponsor Tube anniversary

Cubic Transportation Systems, a business segment of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation and a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services for intelligent travel solutions, has announced that it is to be the lead industry sponsor for next year's 150th anniversary of the London Underground, the world's oldest underground railway.

Ticketing and fare collection for the four million passenger journeys made on the Tube daily are handled by Cubic as part of its role as prime contractor for the provision of revenue services, ticketing, information for transport ticketing and fare collection within the Transport for London (TfL) system, which includes the London Underground, London Overground, buses and river bus services.

Cubic has worked with TfL and its predecessor London Transport since the 1970s on developments in ticketing, not least of which has been the continued successful rollout of the Oyster card since its introduction in 2003. Today Oyster accounts for more than 80% of journeys taken on the TfL network and with over fifty million cards issued, it can boast a position as the world's most prolific and successful smart card ticketing system. Ongoing developments and new technologies, says the company, are focused on delivering increased value, choice and service improvements for London public transport users.

A wide range of events and activities is planned to mark the London Underground's 150th anniversary event, including a special exhibition, commemorative stamps and coins, plus a series of steam train runs.

Sam Mullins, director of the London Transport Museum, is playing a key role in driving the celebrations. "We have a close and long-term association with Cubic through its sponsorship of the Museum theatre and are delighted that the company has opted to broaden that association through sponsorship of this high-profile anniversary", he said.

Roger Crow, European managing director at Cubic Transportation Systems, commented: "We're delighted to show our ongoing support for London Underground during what will be an extremely special year. We work extremely closely with LU on the daily business of ticketing and revenue services and also on the modernization of the network.

"2013 will provide the opportunity to look back at the evolution of the world's busiest and most complex urban transportation system – and to marvel at the feat of moving millions of passengers around on a daily basis. And for Cubic, it's also an occasion to look forward to the new initiatives we're implementing with TfL to make taking the Tube as easy and convenient as possible".

Steve Shewmaker, president of Cubic Transportation Systems, added: "The entire Cubic Corporation is fully behind the 150th anniversary celebrations. This support underscores Cubic's complete commitment to London and to helping make public transportation in one of the world's greatest cities as simple and convenient to use as possible".


12th June, 2012

Hertz becomes Title Sponsor of the British Grand Prix (MotoGP) at Silverstone

The Hertz Corporation, the world's largest general use car rental brand, has become the title sponsor of the 2012 British MotoGP, which will be held at Silverstone between 15th and 17th June.

The move follows the successful collaboration between the MotoGP™ rights holder Dorna Sports and Hertz, which has been the car and equipment rental supplier for the premier motorcycle racing World Championship since 2010.

"Britain is certainly on the world stage for sports this year, and I’m very proud that Hertz is the title sponsor of the exhilarating British Grand Prix", said Michel Taride, President of Hertz International and Executive Vice President, Hertz Corporation.

"The adrenaline-fuelled MotoGP event will have fans on the edge of their seats as they marvel at the feats of the riders and their motorcycles alike, and it is a privilege to be part of the action".

The world-renowned MotoGP is an eighteen-race series visiting thirteen countries across four continents. The Hertz British Grand Prix edition of the MotoGP will see Britain's Cal Crutchlow and James Ellison battle it out with the likes of Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner for the winning title.

As title sponsor of the British MotoGP, Hertz will benefit from significant media exposure through a range of branding opportunities at the circuit, including at the trackside, bridge, starting point, winners' podium backdrops, and clothing of the Paddock Girls.


6th June, 2012

Andrews Sykes announces Charlton Athletic shirt sponsorship deal

Andrews Air Conditioning, the specialist air conditioning division of the Andrews Sykes Group, has today announced that it will become the new official shirt sponsor for League One champions Charlton Athletic Football Club (also known as the "Addicks") as they move into the Championship for the 2012/13 season.

The one year contract will see the Addicks' new red home strip adorned with Andrews Air Conditioning branding - the company specialises in the hire of portable air conditioners and the installation of fixed air conditioning.

Other Andrews Sykes' divisions (which include heater, chiller, boiler, dehumidification and pump hire) will also benefit from elements of the deal including sponsorship of the club's stadium.

The sponsorship deal is a culmination of a long-standing relationship between the Charlton-based neighbours - both having being located in or around Charlton for over a hundred years: Andrews Air Conditioning currently maintains the air conditioning and heating equipment at both The Valley (Charlton's stadium) and the club's Sparrows Lane training ground in New Eltham.

While the immediate benefit to their south east depots is obvious, Andrews Sykes believes the deal will also be advantageous to the UK and worldwide brand due to the profile, prestige and potential audience figures associated with televised Championship football.

Andrews Sykes Group managing director Paul Wood explained: "We hope that 2012/13 will be a successful year for both Charlton and ourselves. Like the club, we're extremely ambitious and are aiming to considerably grow our market share during the next twelve months. We believe this sponsorship deal is a great opportunity to take the Andrews Sykes name to a wider audience".

Charlton chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said: "I am delighted that we have concluded an agreement with Andrews Sykes. We have worked with them for a long time, and it's great to have a successful local business on board".

The Andrews Sykes Group has used sponsorship previously, including a partnership with Russell Brookes, the highly successful rally driver, whose 'Andrews Heat for Hire' liveried car was a well known feature in motorsport for many years.

Source: PR Web


1st June, 2012

Capital One Cup unveiled, as Football League signs major new sponsor

The Football League has announced that the League Cup is to be sponsored by leading credit card company Capital One.

The deal will run for four years, beginning at the start of the 2012/2013 season.

The League has expressed delight at the new partnership, which comes after they failed to agree terms with previous incumbents Molson Coors, owners of the Carling brand. The Carling Cup competition ran for fourteen years.

Originally known as the League Cup, the competition was founded in the 1960/61 season. It wasn't popular at first, but after automatic entry to the UEFA Cup was guaranteed to the winners, all members of the Football League opted to take part.

To an extent, the competition in its various guises has always been something of a 'poor relation' amongst what are percieved to be more glamorous competitions, such as the FA Cup (with a history stretching back to 1870) and the Champions League.

But increased media interest and the footballing public's ever-growing hunger for competitive events and trips to Wembley Stadium have raised both its profile and its perceived stature in recent years.



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