European Sponsorship Association reveals 2021 ESA Awards shortlist and announces virtual ceremony

Posted on Dec 10, 2020

The European Sponsorship Association is thrilled to reveal the nominees for the 2021 ESA Awards, the most coveted prizes in sponsorship. 

After a record number of entries, a judging panel full of industry leaders has selected a record number of shortlisted entries for the 21 ESA Awards categories. 

With COVID-19 restrictions meaning the industry will be unable to gather for its traditional gala dinner, ESA will hold a virtual award ceremony over two consecutive evenings in late February to celebrate the exceptional work created by the sponsorship community, despite difficult circumstances. 

Check out the full shortlist HERE! 

New awards have been created to acknowledge incredible campaigns in an unprecedented year, including Best Use of Virtual Experience – Fan Engagement, Best Use of Virtual Experience – Participation, and prizes for the most notable response to the COVID-19 pandemic in sport, entertainment and the arts. 

A record 48% of entries came from outside the United Kingdom, with 17 countries represented on the shortlist, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

Brands and sponsors to make the shortlist include Amazon Prime, BMW, Bridgestone, BT, Cadbury, DHL, FedEx, General Mills, Guinness, Infosys, Intersport, Kumho Tyre, Levi’s, Lidl,  NatWest, SAP, Toyota, Vodafone and Zurich. 

Rights holders represented on the shortlist include Ascot Racecourse, British Paralympic Association, Chelsea FC, England Rugby, European Tour, Liverpool FC, MotoGP, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Rugby World Cup, Team GB, Tottenham Hotspur, UEFA and the United Nations. 

Further details about the virtual awards ceremony will be announced in early 2021. Sign up to ESA’s mailing list to be the first to be in the know! 

ESA Chairman, Andy Westlake, said: 
“With the industry so heavily impacted by COVID-19, we really didn’t know what to expect when launching a much changed 2021 ESA Awards, but I’m thrilled to say that the quality, and number of entries from right across Europe has been bigger and better than ever.  

Such incredible and innovative campaigns are a testament to the tenacity of Europe’s sponsorship community. A place on the shortlist has been genuinely earned and I commend all those who have been nominated for Europe’s most prestigious sponsorship awards.” 

ESA Awards Committee Chair, Jackie Fast, said:
“Not only have we had a record number of entries this year, but the quality of those entries has blown our judging panel away. There’s no doubt the sponsorship community has risen to the challenges of 2020 with more creativity and innovation than ever before.”