27th September, 2010
ATP launches art series by world's top tennis players - to be auctioned for charity
The ATP has commissioned the world's top tennis players to create a series of one-of-a-kind self-portraits in celebration of their qualification for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at The O2 in London from 21st-28th November.
The world's leading players have used their tennis skills to create individual masterpieces by hitting paint covered tennis balls against large art canvases. Each canvas was overlaid with a stencilled image, which, when removed, revealed a unique self-portrait showing one of the player’s signature moves on court.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals sees the Top 8 men's tennis players in the world battle it out against each other for the last title of the season. Players compete for South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the $1.6m prize money on offer for the winner.
The artwork created by the final eight players will be exhibited for public viewing in Central London in early November, and during tournament week at the new Fan Zone at The O2. The artwork then will be auctioned off for charity with tennis fans around the world getting the chance to bid on a rare piece of art created and signed by their favourite player.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have already qualified for the tournament. The remaining six places are still up for grabs, as a chasing pack featuring the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick continue to battle for rankings points at ATP World Tour events during the remainder of the season in order to finish among the Top 8.
Nadal, the 2010 Wimbledon, Roland Garros and US Open champion, is looking forward to returning to London in November. "Making the artwork was fun and something I've never done before. It's a great way to celebrate the World Tour Finals coming back to London. Last year the crowd and the stadium were amazing although I didn't play my best tennis.
"Hopefully this year I will arrive playing well again and will try to do my best in front of the London fans who add such a special feeling to the event", said the World No.1.
Federer, a four-time winner of the season-ending tournament, has qualified for the event for a ninth consecutive year. "They staged a fantastic event at The O2 last year and I look forward to returning in November and finishing the season strong. It was great fun being invited to create my self-portrait and I'm excited to see how the finished artwork looks hanging in the gallery", said the Swiss.
The tournament is the world's biggest indoor tennis event, where each of the top eight players are drawn to play a minimum of three round-robin matches to determine which four players advance to the knockout semi-finals. Tickets are available online at www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.
27th September, 2010
Aviva to sponsor second season of National Theatre Live
Aviva, the world's sixth largest insurance group, has announced a major new partnership with the National Theatre as sponsor of National Theatre Live in cinemas in the UK and worldwide.
The sponsorship agreement will run for three years and is a significant investment in the National's groundbreaking initiative to broadcast live performances of plays to cinemas and performing arts venues around the world. The first season was seen by 180,000 people on 320 screens in twenty-two countries.
The second season of National Theatre Live begins this autumn and features new NT productions of Hamlit, Fela!, Frankenstein and The Cherry Orchard. For the first time, the season will also include two collaborations with other British theatre companies: Complicite and the Donmar Warehouse, whose productions of A Disappearing Number and King Lear will be filmed respectively at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and at the Donmar.
Sally Shire, global brand development director, Aviva plc said: "We’re delighted to be supporting National Theatre Live, bringing the best of British theatre productions to international audiences in the comfort and convenience of their local cinemas. As the world's sixth largest insurance group, Aviva is well-placed to share the National Theatre's ambition to grow this innovative programme in scale and stature. We look forward to seeing audiences increase over the coming season and enjoying the 'National Theatre experience' on the big screen".
Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, said: "We are hugely grateful to Aviva for their support. We could not have initiated the experimental pilot season of National Theatre Live without Arts Council investment; its success has now enabled us to attract a generous corporate sponsor. I very much look forward to a long and exciting international collaboration".
National Theatre Live performances are filmed live in high definition and broadcast via satellite to over 300 cinemas around the world, live in Europe and some US cities, and time-delayed in countries further afield. There are over ninety venues in the UK alongside venues in the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Scandinavia and Europe. The performances at the National are nominated in advance to allow cameras greater freedom in the auditorium.
24th September, 2010
Avon sponsors the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards 2010
Avon Cosmetics is sponsoring the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards 2010.
Celebrating "Fun Fearless Females", the awards honour inspirational real-life women and "ultimate" celebrities. Since their launch in 2006, the awards have grown beyond recognition to become one of the most prestigious events on the celebrity calendar.
Avon's sponsorship includes full integration into the awards logo, branding at the event and within the December 2010 and January 2011 issues of Cosmopolitan and ownership of one of the real-life awards. In addition, Avon will have presence across the Ultimate Women of the Year channel on Cosmopolitan.co.uk with branding on all picture galleries, interviews with the winners and the video from the awards night.
"Avon is dedicated to empowering women and is therefore a natural fit as the headline sponsor for the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards", said Anna Segatti, Group Vice President for Avon Western Europe & Middle East. "We're thrilled to be working with Cosmopolitan. This partnership brings together two inspirational women's brands".
"We're delighted that Avon has decided to partner with us for our Ultimate Women of the Year Awards", said Justine Southall, Publishing Director at Cosmopolitan. "Like Cosmopolitan, Avon is an iconic brand with a rich heritage, but has innovated and evolved for its generation to be completely relevant to today's young woman. We're looking forward to making this year's Ultimate Women of the Year Awards the best yet".
The Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards take place on 2nd November at Banqueting House, London.
23rd September, 2010
PHS Direct launches new sponsorship project with The National Forest
PHS Direct has announced a new sponsorship project with The National Forest.
The National Forest is a forest in the making, transforming 200 square miles of central England, spanning parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. Already more than seven million trees have been planted and woodland cover has been increased from 6% to 18% since the Forest was established in the early 1990s.
The eventual aim is for a third of the area to be covered by woodland to create a mosaic of farmland, open space, towns and villages, transport corridors, industrial use, waterways - all framed by woodland.
PHS Direct's sponsorship support will help to create a particular woodland within the Forest. The project involves the planting of six hectares of land at Overseal, just a few miles from the PHS Direct site, with the option to plant further in due course.
PHS Direct is keen to demonstrate its social responsibility, and wants to work with the forestry industry who are key in creating the paper products that it sells.
However, the idea behind the project goes deeper than that. James Clark, Managing Director of PHS Direct, explains: "We wanted to support a project that will have a positive effect on the environment, but that also was able to engage with our staff, suppliers and customers in a very real and tangible way.
"The majority of our staff at our Dordon operational centre live within ten miles of the Forest, and this enables them to really see the impact of the project, and allows them to make great use of the Forest over the years. We have already seen our staff enjoying and using the Forest with their families, and we are confident that PHS Direct's involvement will deepen that connection."
PHS Direct specialises in the provision of quality washroom, hygiene and other workplace consumables on a direct supply basis, throughout the UK. Its product range includes paper towels and toilet tissue and their dispensers, soap products and their dispensers, vending consumables including feminine and general hygiene products, air freshening, cleaning products, paper products, antibacterial and first aid products, wipes and cloths, bags and other consumables. The company will make a contribution to The National Forest for every box of paper it sells, which will result in 5,000 trees being planted every year for at least three years.
PHS Direct's involvement is also galvanising their suppliers, who are contributing to the sponsorship activity as well. Clark says "We work with responsible suppliers who share our outlook, and we're delighted that they are able to come on board with The National Forest project as well".
Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, said: "We're really fired up by the enthusiasm of PHS Direct for the Forest. It's a wonderfully creative company to work with and it will be great to have the benefit of their suppliers' involvement too".
The site is currently being prepared, with planting due to start in Spring 2011. Clark says "It's an exciting project that will develop over the years, and we are looking forward to creating a woodland that can be utilised and enjoyed for generations to come".
Photographer Christopher Beech © The National Forest Company
20th September, 2010
M J Baker Foodservices extends shirt sponsorship deal with Somerset CCC
Newton Abbot-based business M.J.Baker Foodservices Ltd have announced that they have extended their shirt sponsorship deal with Somerset County Cricket Club.
The company first became involved with Somerset in 2008 and in that season the team ended fourth in the top division of the championship, having gone into the final round of matches with a chance of winning, while in the fifty over one day competition they lost out in the quarter finals.
Last season Somerset were third in the County Championship, quarter finalists in the 50 Over competition and runners up in the Pro40 over and Twenty20 Cup.
Last week Somerset were pipped at the post in the race for the championship title by Nottinghamshire and lost out by the narrowest of margins in the T20 final against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl last month.
Speaking prior to the county's disappointing loss to Warwickshire (on Saturday) in the final of the CB40 at Lord's, M.J.Baker's managing director Malcolm Baker said he was proud of his involvement with Somerset: "I think that since I have been involved with Somerset they have just seemed to have got better and better. We are all hoping that we can win some silverware this season".
He went on: "Somerset are a fantastic club to work with right the way down from chief executive Richard Gould to the commercial department and the kitchen and waiting staff - they are all very friendly, so we are delighted to be able to continue our shirt sponsorship for another year".
The club's chief executive said: "It's great to have a regional sponsor involved on our shirts who takes such an interest in the cricket".
The Somerset boss went on: "M.J.Baker are great supporters of the club and I am pleased that we have been able to provide them with a platform for their business to grow as it has done over the past few years".
Picture: Malcolm Baker (second from left), the MD of M.J.Baker Foodservices Ltd in Newton Abbot, is pictured with Alfonso Thomas, Craig Kieswetter and Marcus Trescothick.
14th September, 2010
Boutique sponsorship agency brandmeetsbrand wins Royal Shakespeare Company account
Boutique commercial rights and strategic sponsorship agency, brandmeetsbrand, has been appointed by the Royal Shakespeare Company to help build its brand around the preview and re-opening of its theatres, the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Theatre and the RSC Tower, from November 2010.
"We are delighted to win the Royal Shakespeare Company account", says Karen Morris, Director, brandmeetsbrand.
"It is the UK's most well known theatre with an extremely important cultural heritage. The plans for the new theatre openings offer fantastic opportunities to sponsors with expected media coverage valued at over £28m. Today the Royal Shakespeare Company performs to over 600,000 people a year worldwide and these new developments will see those audiences figures rise".
Kirstin Peltonen, Head of the Annual Fund, The RSC, said: "brandmeetsbrand really demonstrated through the pitching process that they have the ability to see the sponsorship opportunities, add value and drive our new business programme forward during this momentous time in the RSC's history. We are delighted to be working with Karen and her team".
The Royal Shakespeare Company will also be celebrating its fiftieth birthday in 2011, is planning a six-week season in New York in that summer and is playing a lead role in the London 2012 Festival, presenting the World Shakespeare Festival.
brandmeetsbrand was set up by Director Karen Morris in 2003, since then it has gone on to help media owners, charities, venue operators, event organisers and governing bodies to develop commercial strategies which deliver long-term partnerships.
The company has enjoyed a spectacular 2010, with the news that the partnership they developed between Jazz FM and Southern Comfort had yielded a prestigious Sony Radio Academy Award. The Southern Comfort Big Easy on Jazz FM won a Sony Silver for Best Use of Branded Content.
They have also created partnerships between Jazz FM and a range of other international brands, including Cunard, Fred Olsen Cruises, Financial Times, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Pizza Express and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Richard Wheatly, Jazz FM's Chairman, commented: "Karen was involved with us from the beginning and secured some great launch partners including the FT, Pizza Express and Yamaha. I found Karen and her team to be professional and committed to helping us create a sustainable revenue stream. Sponsorship and promotions now account for a significant proportion of our overall revenue. I would definitely recommend Karen's work and would be happy to work with her in the future".
Other brandmeetsbrand clients include rock radio station Planet Rock, whose Head, Malcolm Bluemel said: "We are delighted to be working with Karen and her team at brandmeetsbrand. They have a winning combination of great experience with a unique approach to sponsorship that is a perfect fit for our station. Planet Rock could not have found a better agency to broaden the scope of our brand".
brandmeetsbrand has also partnered SEAT with SNO!Zone, the UK's premier real snow slopes at Xscape. SEAT will provide a fleet of twelve vehicles to SNO!Zone and run a number of events on the slopes in Milton Keynes, Castleford and Braehead. This is the latest in a range of partnerships BMB has developed for the X-Leisure Group, having previously delivered long-term agreements with brands including Coca-Cola, Eurosport, Relentless, AA Travel Insurance and Walls.
13th September, 2010
ScottishPower sponsors first academic alliance to focus on carbon capture and storage
ScottishPower has announced its sponsorship of the UK’s first alliance between industry and academia to focus specifically on carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS is the ground-breaking technology designed to remove CO2 from the exhaust gases at fossil-fuelled power stations. The alliance will be known as the ScottishPower Academic Alliance or SPAA.
SPAA has been designed to match the needs of the UK’s fast developing CCS industry with the research capacity of some of the country’s leading academics from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh.
It will focus specifically on technical innovation around the capture and offshore storage of CO2, the policy and regulatory aspects of CCS and look at what the UK needs to do to capitalise on the commercial opportunities the technology offers – especially in developing a national skills capacity.
ScottishPower is investing almost £5 million over the next five years, which will fund up to twelve full-time researchers working at University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London. ScottishPower will seek to leverage this funding through further contributions from Government and international sponsors which it hopes will consolidate the UK’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence for this embryonic industry.
Nick Horler, ScottishPower’s Chief Executive, said: "This is a terrific step forward for ScottishPower and will help us in our ambitions to make CCS a reality in the UK by 2014. I am enormously proud to be associated with the work of some of the world’s leading authorities on CCS. Their input will be vital to improve our understanding of this essential technology and help us to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle climate change".
Professor Stuart Hazeldine, ScottishPower Chair of CCS at University of Edinburgh, said: "Developing a CCS industry in the UK will capitalise on our established offshore and engineering expertise and make a significant contribution to the economy of the country, creating new jobs and skills.
"I am pleased to be building on the CCS research results the University of Edinburgh has already achieved with ScottishPower, and to welcome Imperial College London as partners. The expertise of all three organisations will help to maintain the UK's leading position in CCS".
Professor Nigel Brandon, Director of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London, added: "CCS is a technology that has a real potential to reduce CO2 emissions globally, but there remain a number of technological, political and economic challenges to be overcome if this technology is to be widely adopted. I am delighted that ScottishPower is working in partnership with the College and the University of Edinburgh to tackle these important issues.
"Our aim is to help ScottishPower achieve its targets for CCS technology, and to provide our staff and students with exciting opportunities to translate their research into real industrial impact in this important field".
10th September, 2010
12bet.com takes on the World through sponsorship of snooker's World Open
World Snooker has just announced online betting firm 12bet.com as the new title sponsor of the World Open.
The one-year deal will see the tournament, which runs from September 18th to 26th at the SECC in Glasgow, named the 12bet.com World Open.
The world ranking event will feature star players including Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Mark Selby and World Champion Neil Robertson. It carries a total prize fund of £502,500, with the winner to receive £100,000.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "This is a fantastic piece of news for our sport at just the right time. We've made giant strides forward in the commercial success of snooker in recent months and this keeps the momentum going. The new World Open, with a new format, new venue, and new arena, is one of the cornerstones of the new era so we're thrilled to have a title sponsor on board.
"With over fifty hours coverage on BBC and a combined global audience reaching over 100 million, the tournament will give vast exposure to 12bet.com's brand so it's easy to see their motivation behind getting involved with snooker. We hope they enjoy what should be a great tournament and look forward to building a strong relationship with them".
Rory Anderson, CEO for Europe at 12bet, said: "We are delighted to add the World Open to our fast growing sponsorship portfolio. This event will give our brand fantastic exposure not only in the UK but throughout Europe. We are glad to be on board and are excited about the new best of five format".
Masters champion Selby added: "It's always exciting to have a new sponsor and it seems a long time now since we had a ranking event without one. I am sure the World Open will be a great tournament. All the players are looking forward to it, myself included. We'll all be trying to win it and play our best snooker".
The nine-day tournament will feature quick-fire best-of-five frame matches and a random draw for each round.
Tickets are still on sale: for details call 0844 395 4000 or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets
The 12bet.com World Open receives equal funding and support from EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
10th September, 2010
Jewson renews as Gloucester Rugby's main sponsor
Jewson have announced that they have renewed their agreement with Gloucester Rugby for another three seasons.
Jewson, the UK's leading supplier of timber and building products to the trade and general public, entered into a partnership with Gloucester Rugby to become the club's main sponsor in July 2007.
John Bampkin, Regional Director for Jewson in the West and Wales commented: "Jewson and Gloucester Rugby is a big part of the local community. The continuation of our sponsorship with the club is a reflection of our commitment to an elite sport close to our customers' heart.
"We look forward to becoming more involved with the club through initiatives such as The Jewson Match Day Experience and the Jewson half time competition which will give the fans a chance to interact even more with us and the club going forward!"
Gloucester Rugby's Head of Sales and Marketing, Pete Grzonka, was happy to confirm the ongoing partnership between the two parties. "We're obviously delighted that Jewson have agreed to continue as Gloucester Rugby's main sponsor. In the current economic climate, the decision to continue the sponsorship shows that top flight sport demonstrates an excellent return on investment.
"Jewson is a major UK brand and one which we share a lot of core values with. The partnership over the past three seasons has been a mutually beneficial one and we're looking forward to continuing to work with them".
6th September, 2010
Panasonic announces British Triathlon tie-up
Worldwide Olympic Partner, Panasonic, has announced a new sponsorship deal with the British Triathlon Federation, becoming an Official Supplier to British Triathlon.
The sponsorship of British Triathlon – the governing body for triathlon in the UK – will last for an initial one year period and will see Panasonic supply a range of equipment, including plasma screen TVs and camcorders, which can be used for the creation of digital content and enhanced athlete profiles, giving an insight into the training and preparation of British triathletes.
The sponsorship will provide Panasonic with a series of exclusive video diaries filmed by British triathletes as they prepare for major championships. The sponsorship will also provide Panasonic with product testimonials from British Triathlon for promotional purposes, exclusive photography as well as branding at the British Triathlon headquarters, National Performance Centre and on the British Triathlon website.
Zara Hyde Peters, Chief Executive at the British Triathlon Federation, commented:
"We are delighted that Panasonic has decided to become an Official Supplier to British Triathlon. Raising the profile of our sport using the latest communications technology is very important to triathlon right now. Our communications and performance teams for triathlon rely on high quality display technology for presentation and feedback so it gives us great confidence that through our partnership with Panasonic we will be using the best equipment on the market to support our athletes in competition and on their way to London 2012 and beyond".
David Bonney, advertising and sponsorship manager at Panasonic UK, said:
"At Panasonic we put the same commitment, focus, desire and meticulous preparation that goes into winning a triathlon into the development of our products so this relationship is a great fit for us. We're delighted to be working with the British Triathlon and proud to support the entire team on their way to London 2012".
Panasonic's announcement follows successful partnerships with British Rowing, British Sailing and a number of Olympic athletes.
2nd September, 2010
Bodog to sponsor the Bodog.com World Grand Prix darts championship
BODOG, the largest online betting brand in the world*, have been confirmed as the new title sponsors of the Bodog.com World Grand Prix darts championship.
The poker, casino and online betting website is the new sponsor for the £350,000 event, which will be held from October 4th to 10th at the Citywest Hotel Convention Centre in Dublin, Ireland.
Screened live on Sky Sports in the UK and also around the world, the Bodog.com World Grand Prix boasts a position as one of the sport's most exciting events, with the unique double-start format meaning that players have to begin and end every leg with a double.
Reigning champion Phil Taylor will be bidding to win the event for an incredible tenth time in October, with the 32-player field of competitors being confirmed in mid-September.
As part of their online gaming, darts fans will be able to place bets on the World Grand Prix via the Bodog.com website, as well as at the Citywest Hotel's on-site betting facility.
Patrik Selin, CEO of Bodog Europe, the licensee of the Bodog brand in the UK, commented: "We have made some giant strides in establishing the Bodog brand here in the UK recently with our sponsorship with Fulham Football Club and this is another important landmark for us.
"Darts and Bodog are a perfect fit on every level".
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are delighted to welcome Bodog.com as the new title sponsor for the World Grand Prix.
"They are an exciting brand who are emerging in the UK and we look forward to working with them in the coming months".
Four Players Championships remain for players to win a spot in the tournament, with the PDC's top sixteen players joined by the leading four Irish or Northern Irish qualifiers from the Players Championship Order of Merit and twelve further qualifiers.
Tickets for the Bodog.com World Grand Prix are available now from TicketGroup on 00353 (0)818 33 33 44 or by clicking http://www.ticketgroup.ie/World_Grand_Prix_Darts_tickets.
* Independent research suggests Bodog is the biggest online gaming brand in the world according to Google Alerts: http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=275580
2nd September, 2010
SEAT celebrates twenty-five years of success in the United Kingdom
September 1985: England regain the Ashes at the Oval, the Super Mario Bros. video game is released by Nintendo and, in momentous motoring news, SEAT UK opens for business.
Twenty-five years ago this month, the Spanish brand's fledgling UK operation opened its doors for the first time and a handful of dealers across the country introduced British motorists to the delights of the original SEAT Ibiza.
A mere quarter of a century later, with a little under 500,000 sales to its name, SEAT UK is a thriving business with a strong and growing market share - currently running at a record 1.6% - an enthusiastic band of loyal customers and an ambitious plan to further expand its sales success.
Sponsorship and marketing activities have been as varied as the brand's products with, in the UK, notable successes around Colombian pop star Shakira's UK concerts, Red Bull Air Races and, today, SEAT's extensive sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League.
Motorsport has been integral to SEAT's success both here and across Europe, with various race and title wins over the past twenty-five years in both World Rallying and World Touring cars - the latter with the globe's most successful diesel-powered WTCC car.
In the last ten years, SEAT's sales have continued their broadly upward trend peaking, along with the market, in 2007 when 34,790 SEAT vehicles found their way onto British driveways.
Today, aided by one of the broadest product ranges in its history, comprising Ibiza SC, Ibiza 5dr, Ibiza ST, Leon, Altea, Altea XL, Exeo, Exeo ST and Alhambra, and led by dynamic brand boss Peter Wyhinny, SEAT UK is targeting further ambitious expansion.
Indeed, 2010 could even see the brand equal its best ever sales total, while grabbing its biggest slice of the UK car market to date.
Commenting on the Spanish firm's successful first quarter century of operation here, Peter Wyhinny said: "It's been an exciting, eventful and above all successful first twenty-five years for SEAT in the UK.
"With almost half a million cars registered here over that time, and with an exciting range of new models in the pipeline, I truly believe there's never been a better time to be associated with the brand".