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Samsung School of Rio/Step into Rio, entered by M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, was revealed as Sponsorship Of The Year at the 23rd UK Sponsorship Awards, hosted by comedian and writer Viv Groskop at the London Marriott Hotel on Tuesday, March 28 2017. The Award was presented to the winning team by Manchester United Football Club legend and former England Captain Bryan Robson OBE.
M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment also celebrated being named as the Large Consultancy of the Year. Other agencies to win Consultancy categories were Right Formula and WeAreFearless.
There was cause for celebration at the England & Wales Cricket Board as well. The ECB won the inaugural Rights Holder category and its commercial director Sanjay Patel was given the Outstanding Contribution to the Sponsorship Industry Award, recognition of the great job he has done since taking over the role in 2015.
Commenting on the event, which was sold out well in advance, UK Sponsorship Awards organiser Rosemary Sarginson said: “This was another excellent year in terms of the quality, range and innovation of our entries. It was extremely exciting to see so many examples of sponsorship campaigns that build brands, generate social media conversations, create engaging content, drive sales and support life-changing community programmes. I’d like to congratulate all our winners and shortlisted sponsorships.”
Samsung was not the only Olympic sponsor celebrating. Other brands to demonstrate the power of the Olympic and Team GB platforms included DFS, Nissan, Fitness First and The National Lottery, all of which took home Awards.
Sport provided the platform for a number of high-profile winners this year. Land Rover secured the Sport £2 million+ category for its America’s Cup adventure with BAR while Evian, Hilton, Barclays, Carlsberg and O2 showcased superb partnerships with tennis, golf, football and rugby.
As in previous years, the spread of winners illustrated how sponsorship can be a potent communications platform for businesses across a wide array of sectors. They ranged from drinks brands such as Chambord and Frontera to financial services companies such as Aviva, Barclaycard and Lombard. Also among the winners this year were PlayStation, JD Sports, the NHS and Colgate, winner of two Awards. Other brands to win multiple Awards included O2, which won three Awards on the night, for England Rugby, O2 Touch and O2 Relive The Night (Digital Activation Non Sport). Hilton added the prestigious Arts Award to its Sports Sponsorship Under £2m Award, for its support of the Underbelly Festival.
Diversity was a key theme at the 2017 Awards. A new diversity category was won by Aon and Manchester United while SSE won the Women’s category for a second year in succession. It was also a night of celebration for Vodafone and the British Library which won both the education and innovation categories.
According to Sarginson, “The sophistication of the work on show at the 2017 UKSA Awards is an illustration of how strategic sponsorship is now second nature to brands. At the same time, sponsorship is a powerful force for social inclusion – something that will be incredibly important to us all in the coming years. I look forward to seeing more exceptional work at next year’s UK Sponsorship Awards.”
To view the winners and finalists, please click here
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