UK Sponsorship Awards 2020 - Early bird deadline one day away - December 6th 2019
The early bird deadline for the 2020 edition of the UK Sponsorship Awards (UKSA) is just a few days away. If you want to take advantage of the special early bird discounted rates make sure your entry or entries are in by close of play on Friday, December 6th, 2019.
The 26th Anniversary edition of the Awards retains many of its popular categories (arts, sport, consultancy, media, etc), but has also introduced a range of innovations and enhancements to reflect the dynamic nature of the market. These include a one-off Craft & Creativity Award (2020 Vision) and a special category targeting all World Cup sponsorships that were activated in the last year. In addition, there are opportunities to win in areas such as social purpose, PR, mass participation, research and innovation.
With the issue of gender equality still prominent in wider society, one of this year’s most significant categories will be Best Sponsorship of Women’s Activities. No less important however are the Sustainability Sponsorship category and Best Use of Sponsorship To Encourage Diversity & Inclusion. For a full list of categories go here.
UKSA organiser Rosemary Sarginson said: “This has been another intriguing year for the UK sponsorship industry as brands seek to navigate the Greta Thunberg effect, the rise of the streamers and the never-ending Brexit saga; all while trying to get inside the heads of the Insta/esports/festival-loving youth audience. Our categories are designed to try and tell the story of the industry, while celebrating the hard work and creativity that goes into a great campaign.”
While the early bird deadline is UKSA’s first call to action and offers a discounted rate, there is still plenty of time in the New Year to enter the Awards. The final deadline is January 17, 2020 and the Awards Gala Dinner itself is on March 24 at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square. We're delighted that our host will be BBC Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond.
How To Enter
For more information on How To Enter the 2020 UKSA Awards contact Rosie Sarginson or follow this link to registration. Don’t miss out on one of the industry event highlights of the year.
Why You Should Enter
Here is a background article that spells out some of the reasons for getting involved. You could also look at this article in which some of our experienced UKSA judges explain their likes and dislikes.
How To Win
The awards aim to reflect current trends in the industry as closely as possible and are judged by leading execs from across the sponsorship sector, including several on the client-side. To get an idea of what they will be looking for, here’s an article that provides a few tips about how to win or get on the finalists’ shortlist. And here's an article that relates to the consultancies categories.
Craft & Creativity in Sponsorship - 10 Standout Campaigns Across The Years
Many elements go into making a great sponsorship, but often the things that leave a lasting impression on people are the ingenious craft and creativity at the heart of a campaign. That’s why the organisers of the UK Sponsorship Awards have introduced a special one-off award for the event’s 2020 edition.
The new 2020 Vision Award is looking for outstanding executions where sublime craft has brought an exceptional creative idea to life. The category is open to every area of the sponsorship sector and will focus on areas such as design, craft, artistry, technique, expertise, talent, vision and iconic imagery. It runs alongside UKSA’s innovation award, which is concentrated more on the use of future-facing, game-changing or unorthodox technology.
Unlike campaign results, of course, craft and creativity are relatively subjective terms. So to some extent it will be up to entrants to present a persuasive case as to why their chosen campaign deserves to win this new category. But to help frame people’s thoughts, here are ten examples of past campaigns that UKSA thinks captures the spirit of the 2020 Vision Award. Click here to see the 10 standout campaigns.
The UK Sponsorship Awards 2020: Question Of Judgement
As the early bird deadline for the 2020 UK Sponsorship Awards fast approaches, the UKSA team asked a few of last year’s judges to share some insights about what they look for in an entry and why they get involved. Below is a distilled summary of their answers…
“Objectives, insights and innovation”
Jeremy Edwards, founder and director of content at Activative, has been ploughing through UKSA entries for years. Summarising what he looks for in a shortlisted entry, he says it all boils down to: “Objectives, insights and innovation – and, of course, it helps if the campaign works too!”
Pet hates include “retrofitting”, where brands have attempted to rewrite their objectives to fit the results they end up with. However, he is a fan of entries “that are activated with bravery, creativity and originality. I’m looking for initiatives with clear strategic/tactical objectives, built on fresh and contemporary socio-cultural insights.”
As for why he gives up his free time to judge entries every year, he explains that it is an opportunity “to learn from the best work and to debate what that means with key industry leaders”.
“Shining a light on inequality”
Another UKSA stalwart is Tove Okunniwa, the former CEO of Havas Sports & Entertainment who now runs London Sport. She recalls that one of her favourite 2019 campaigns was #ThisIsOurTime by Skoda, winner of the Best Sponsorship of Women’s Activities category. “It shone a light on the inequality women are tolerating in pro cycling and the amazing talent, grit, professionalism and grace of the women involved. Also the bravery of a brand like Skoda to take a position that may be at odds with the rights owner it sponsors. And it worked.”
“Tangible results” are key for Okunniwa – but like Edwards she places a premium on “creativity and breaking new ground”. Her harshest criticism is reserved for “overclaiming. Saying you were first when it’s been done before, or you’ve had more impact than you really did.”
As for why she keeps coming back for more, she emphasises the appeal of the work: “It’s a real privilege to be able to hear about the best work currently in the industry in the words of the creators”. MORE
Challenging Times For The Arts
Ever since the emergence of sport, music and media as preferred destinations for sponsors, arts institutions have found it challenging to secure commercial partners. But the job has become even harder in the last couple of years as a growing number of stakeholders within the arts community and beyond have started to question the company that some of the UK’s most illustrious arts organisations and events keep.
Oil giant BP, for example, has been a lightning rod for criticism, with opponents objecting to its links with the Royal Opera House, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Royal Shakespeare Company. Such is the pressure that has been brought to bear that the RSC decided, last week, to end its partnership with BP two years early. The National Theatre has followed suit by severing links with Shell. As the result, other institutions, already subjected to numerous protests and complaints, are likely to face strong calls to follow suit. MORE
How to win a UK Sponsorship Award 2020 - Winning Tips for Entrants
The UK Sponsorship Awards team is about to embark on the annual process of rounding up entries, selecting winners and finalists and preparing for the big night (March 24th 2020, London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square). For some companies, entering the Awards is a well-trodden path; but for anyone new to the process it can appear quite daunting. So to help those of you who aren't familiar with the format, we have pulled together a few insights into what it takes to win a UK Sponsorship Award. This, of course, is not a guarantee of success. But it should at least help hone your approach as you starting drafting your entry.
It's worth stressing at the outset that, for the most part, the sponsorships that win or get nominated do so because they are the best. Look down 2019’s list of luminaries and you'll see a diverse range of big and small brands from a variety of industrial categories. These companies are marketing-led organisations which understand brand communications implicitly. So it is not unreasonable to suppose they might be best in class – particularly after their entries have been scrutinised by judges from all sides of the sponsorship business.
But this point aside, there are a number of key observations that the judges have made over the years about the quality and composition of the entries they review. There's no question that, down the years, we have seen some entries that could have been category winners – if they'd stuck to the basic guidelines outlined below:
The Entry is Everything
It sounds obvious – but the judges can only make their decision based on the information you supply. As industry professionals, we all walk into the judging room knowing a reasonable amount about some of the more high-profile entries we have received. But it doesn't matter how good or ground-breaking your sponsorship is, you won't win if you don't get the key points across in the entry. There's a good reason for this. Many of our entries are not known to the judges in detail. So to bring pre-judgments into the process would create an un-level playing field and distort judging. The only way for any industry awards to be completely fair is to stick to the stories told in the entry forms. MORE
UK Sponsorship Awards (UKSA) Unveils World Cup Sponsorship Category For 2020 Edition Of Event
The organisers of the UK Sponsorship Awards (UKSA) are delighted to announce a one-off World Cup Sponsorship category for the 2020 edition of the event. Alongside all of the usual categories, the 'Best World Cup Sponsorship' category will celebrate campaigns connected to any World Cup played within the qualifying period.
High-profile events to have taken place this year include the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup (pending) and a breakthrough edition of the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup. However, any other sponsorship created around a sporting World Cup is eligible.
UKSA organiser Rosemary Sarginson said: “World Cup sponsorships are very complex – requiring lengthy pre-event preparation followed by an enormous burst of activity during the event itself. With on-field and off-field events both providing an air of unpredictability, such sponsorships demand commercial bravery and agility. In such a busy year of World Cups, the UKSA team felt that now was the perfect time to shine a spotlight on this dynamic area of sponsorship.”
To win this category, entries will need to meet all the usual criteria – clear objectives, creative executions and strong campaign results. Judges will pay special attention to the reasons why this mode of sponsorship made sense, and how the brand in question took advantage of the unique attributes associated with World Cups.