2020-09-01
Ford To Sponsor Tour De Troit's Fall Virtual Rides
Four solo virtual rides depart from city parksFord and Michigan Central, the company's Corktown development, are helping to keep Detroit's biking tradition alive by sponsoring the Tour de Troit Fall Virtual Rides. The four virtual rides between 10 and 15 miles each will take place Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and can be done at the rider's convenience.  They will depart from Rouge Park, Alfred Brush Ford Park, Palmer Park and Roosevelt Park, in front of Michigan Central Station which Ford is restoring as the centerpiece of a new mobility innovation district in Detroit's oldest neighborhood. To sign up, visit www.tour-de-troit.org."We are excited that Tour de Troit found a safe way to continue the tradition this year that prioritizes riders' health," said Julie Roscini, head of external engagement for Ford's Michigan Central development. "It will provide a unique opportunity for bike lovers and families to explore some of Detroit's beautiful parks and historic areas in small groups, while supporting biking infrastructure in the City."The Tour de Troit virtual rides are $20 each and feature a limited edition Christopher Gorski Detroit GT t-shirt and an app to help people keep track of directions and landmarks.  Riders who complete all four rides will secure a free 2021 Tour de Troit registration."We're grateful to Ford for continuing their sponsorship of Tour de Troit during these unusual times, " said Tour de Troit Director Vittoria Katanski.  "Even without the big 5,000 person September ride, participants will love exploring the city streets and parks with the routes mapped out by Tour de Troit."  The mission of Tour de Troit is to promote a lifestyle centered around health and wellness, through activities such as running and cycling. To date, Tour de Troit has raised more than $400,000 to support non-motorized infrastructure in the Motor City since 2005, including Southwest Detroit Greenlink and the Green Taskforce.  For more information, visit www.tour-de-troit.org.Click here to view Tour de Troit's profile.Click here to view Ford's profile....
2020-08-31
Artemis Project Partners With Yamana Gold To Support Women Entrepreneurs And Advance Innovation and Diversity In Mining
Artemis Project, an organization established to accelerate business outcomes for female entrepreneurs in the mining and metals industry, is pleased to announce Yamana Gold ("Yamana") (TSX: YRI) (NYSE: AUY) as its Founding Industry Sponsor. Yamana, a senior gold mining producer with five operating mines in the Americas, will collaborate with companies in the Artemis Project network, gaining access to high value female entrepreneurs and cutting-edge ideas that advance innovation and sustainability at Yamana and increase the diversity of its supply chain. "We are delighted to welcome Yamana Gold as our Founding Industry Sponsor for Artemis Project," said Heather Gamble, Co-Founder of the Artemis Project and CEO of Women on the Move. "Artemis Project counts on the support of Industry Sponsors like Yamana to provide high profile support and engagement for our mission to raise awareness and opportunities for collaboration between mining companies and female entrepreneurs, which will help drive innovation and diversity and increase return on investment for mining companies." Laura Mottola, Co-Founder of Artemis Project and CEO of Flow Partners, added, "We look forward to continuing to work with Yamana and pursuing unique areas to support its innovation strategy. It is important for organizations like Artemis Project and companies such as Yamana to work together to improve access to innovative solutions and accelerate competitive equity for Canadian mining companies." Yohann Bouchard, Senior Vice President of Operations at Yamana, said, "We're pleased to support Artemis Project as the Founding Industry Sponsor, and we welcome the opportunity to develop further business relationships with these outstanding entrepreneurs. This will help build their profile and capacity and strengthen our innovation program and diversity within our supply chain. On an industry level, we believe that partnering with organizations like Artemis Project will help raise industry standards by increasing support for female entrepreneurs, an innovative source of talent whose products and services can only make our industry better." Click here to view Artemis Project's profile.Click here to view Yamana Gold's profile....
2020-08-28
4 Instagram 'micro' influencers explain how much money they charge brands for sponsorships
You don’t need millions of Instagram followers to start earning money as an influencer. Some influencers with tens of thousands of followers can make thousands of dollars from brand sponsorships.Industry insiders say that while follower size is important to a degree, it is a creator’s engagement (which includes reach, likes, comments, and DMs) and how their audience converts that are most important to leverage when negotiating brand deals. Business Insider spoke with four “micro” influencers about how they price their rates for paid sponsorships.To earn money as an influencer, you don't need millions of followers on Instagram like Kylie Jenner. Some "micro" influencers — those with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers on Instagram — make thousands of dollars from brand sponsorships. Hiring this category of influencers, many of whom work on their digital businesses part time, has become popular among brands. Brands seek out micro influencers because they often have high engagement rates. This follows a broader trend toward hiring online creators with smaller audiences, who can sometimes appear more authentic and cost less to hire than macro, mega, and celebrity influencers. Industry insiders say that while follower size is important to a degree, it is a creator's engagement (which includes reach, likes, comments, and DMs) and how their audience converts that are most important to leverage when negotiating brand deals.  Micro influencers, however, face some obstacles as creators because they don't have huge followings and business teams behind them. Some micro influencers told Business Insider that they were often low-balled with compensation and sometimes only offered "gifting" or free product in exchange for content. One method two micro influencers said they used to combat this was setting standard rates they charge for sponsored content as a starting point for brand negotiations. "I always tell my clients that when you are in negotiating with brands, you want to make sure that you aren't low-balling yourself," said Britney Turner, a micro influencer with around 27,000 Instagram followers, who is also a content creator coach. A client of Turner's with around 10,000 Instagram followers was recently offered a sponsorship from a brand that would entail a blog post and Instagram in-feed post, she said. While the influencer had planned on asking for a rate of $150 for the partnership, Turner advised her to ask for more: $500 for a blog post and Instagram package. The brand agreed to the $500 package deal. These influencer rates are often a starting point for brand negotiations and can vary based on the specifics of a brand campaign, like usage rights and exclusivity. Usage rights refers to the ways the brand can use the influencer's content, while exclusivity is when the influencer can't work with a brand's competitor for a certain period of time. Business Insider spoke with four influencers who had under 50,000 Instagram followers about how they set their rates when negotiating paid sponsorships with brands. ...
2020-08-28
Riot reveals multiyear partnership with Spotify
Riot Games announced that it has signed a multiyear partnership with Spotify, making the worldwide service the official audio streaming partner for League of Legends esports global events.“Our partnership with Riot Games will create a first-of-its-kind audio universe for the millions of Spotify and League of Legends fans across the globe,” Spotify’s June Sauvaget said. “As the exclusive—and first-ever—global audio service partner for League of Legends Esports, we plan to create the best possible audio streaming experience for our users, making discovering both music and podcasts easier than ever before.”With this partnership, Spotify and Riot will produce a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Worlds anthem. They will also develop various podcasts, including one called “Untold Stories: Top Moments from Worlds,” which will highlight one story from each year of Worlds.“Music and story-telling have become an intrinsic part of our sport and game, so we are excited to partner with Spotify to provide our fans with another platform where they can enjoy a new manifestation of League of Legends esports,” Riot’s head of global esports partnerships Naz Aletaha said.Spotify will also release curated playlists inspired by the League community, and launch a new League Esports Music Hub. Spotify also will serve as the presenting partner of every game five that is played at the World Championship and Mid-Season Invitational.Currently, League of Legends is available on Spotify with nine seasons of the game’s character and event theme music, as well as the various themes for the World Championship, All-Stars, and MSI.Article by Tyler Esguerra as posted on Dot Esports.Click here to view Riot Games' profile.Click here to view Spotify's profile....
2020-08-28
National Iceball League
Iceball Association has a long-term goal to create a professional league for iceball called the National Iceball League. The NIL is still a few years away from starting competition and the number of teams in the NIL hasn't been confirmed yet but Iceball Association will be organizing events leading up to the start of the NIL and the first season will be played with a minimum of 4 teams and the first two teams being planned will be organized by Joel Waddell in Toronto, Ontario and Scott Waddell in Ottawa, Ontario. The NIL will also help Iceball Association in its mission to raise awareness for misophonia as the league and its teams develop a fan base growing the platform to raise awareness. Iceball Association is currently looking for sponsors for Iceball Association in general, the NIL, or for NIL teams currently being organized to prepare for the inaugural NIL season....
2020-08-27
PepsiCo Becomes Proud Sponsor Of UEFA Women's Football
Pepsi®, Lay's® and Gatorade™ are in for UEFA Women's football through to Summer 2025Ahead of the UEFA Women's Champions League final on August 30th, PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) has announced its multi-year premier partnership with UEFA Women's football, further strengthening its presence across the elite football landscape. PepsiCo's UEFA Women's football partnership will sit alongside its current multi-year sponsorship of the Men's UEFA Champions League."PepsiCo is proud to unify and strengthen our global partnership with UEFA to now include UEFA Women's football," said Ram Krishan, Global Chief Commercial Officer, PepsiCo. "This is an energizing moment in the evolution of the sport – and for our business around the world. We look forward to helping accelerate the vibrant women's game and are committed to the future of women's football."The five year partnership will see PepsiCo support women's football at all levels through to Summer 2025, with PepsiCo a main partner of the UEFA Women's Champions League, the UEFA Women's EURO, the UEFA Women's Under-19 and Under-17 Championships, and the UEFA Women's Futsal EURO, as well as UEFA's Together #WePlayStrong program, which is aimed at encouraging more girls and women to play football."The popularity and interest in women's football is increasing with every year and this is why we are delighted to have such a trusted partner as PepsiCo to join us on this exciting journey," said Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA. "Over the last five years, PepsiCo has been an innovative and influential partner of the UEFA Champions League and we are looking to draw on this energy and experience in order to take the women's game to new heights."Since becoming a key sponsor of the UEFA Champions League in 2015, PepsiCo has partnered with UEFA to excite and bring fans closer to the athletes and game they love, including leading women players such as Lieke Martens."Having a major sponsor like PepsiCo sign on to UEFA Women's football is the influence and recognition women's football and its athletes and fans need and deserve," said Martens. "I've loved partnering with PepsiCo and their iconic brands like Lay's and look forward to how they'll spotlight women's football – because this is not just a version of the men's game; it's a league that's all its own."More than 100 markets worldwide have delivered impactful activity annually that harnesses the combined power of the UEFA Champions League and PepsiCo's iconic brands. PepsiCo will deploy an inclusive UEFA activation strategy across the Men's and Women's platforms, with the Pepsi® trademark, Lay's® and Gatorade™ brands continuing to take the lead.Click here to view UEFA's profile.Click here to view Pepsi's profile....
2020-08-26
Rakuten’s Rahul Kadavakolu on what Covid means for sport sponsorship
Rakuten’s director of global marketing and branding explains how the Japanese ecommerce giant is optimising its partnership strategy for a new reality, and discusses how the pandemic could change the way contracts are drawn up in the future.Few brands have spent as big on sport sponsorship in recent times as Rakuten.Already armed with franchises of its own, the Japanese ecommerce firm set about using sport to grow its brand and awareness globally in 2016 when it signed a four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Spanish soccer giants Barcelona worth at least €220 million (US$258 million). That was soon followed up by a jersey patch partnership with the Golden State Warriors and a broader, US$225 million agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA) itself, making Rakuten the league’s exclusive distribution partner in Japan for live games.Given the amount of money Rakuten has committed to gain exposure from those partnerships, one would be forgiven for thinking that the pause of live sport would have been a big concern for the Tokyo-headquartered company. But according to Rahul Kadavakolu (right), who heads up Rakuten’s sports business globally, there was no sense of panic.“We had to apply different strategies to the sponsorship side of things as well as the team side of things,” he tells SportsPro. “We moved to using digital platforms very effectively as soon as we knew that sport was going to be going away for some time – a lot of the staff was going to start working from home, establishing those process, not only in our company, but also the peers we work with on the partnerships side.“At Rakuten we’ve always been ahead of the learning curve as far as technology is concerned. We’re connected globally to pretty much all our offices and connect our employees around the world using the best in class technology. So as far as our partnerships are concerned, we moved to our digital platforms very effectively.”The J.League's Vissel Kobe are a key domestic element of Rakuten's sports investments portfolio Indeed, with more than 70 businesses in its portfolio spanning online retail, financial services and media, it would be fair to say that Rakuten was better positioned than most sponsors to extract value from its sports partnerships even while games weren’t being played.In fact, with large groups of spectators still unlikely to be able to attend sporting events for the foreseeable future, Kadavakolu actually believes this is an opportunity for leagues, teams and athletes to reach fans in new markets. One such example is ‘Be part of the Big Picture’, Rakuten’s latest activation with Barcelona which invites fans around the world to send in pictures of them cheering the team. Those images will form part of a new giant mosaic that will decorate the façade of the La Liga club’s Camp Nou stadium next season.SportsPro caught up with Kadavakolu to hear how Rakuten has adapted its sports partnerships strategy amid the disruption caused by the pandemic, and to discuss why he believes this could be an opportunity for the sponsorship industry to reinvent the wheel. How is Rakuten optimising its sponsorship strategy for the new reality with games being played behind closed doors?I think Covid essentially accelerated some of the conversations that we’ve been having over the past two years – that’s what a crisis does. In the case of Covid it’s not incremental innovation that is expected now, but it’s exponential innovation. Let’s not forget that sports and brands who have been investing in sports have always known that we need to look for new fans outside of the arena. It’s not the 20, 30, 40 or 90,000 in the case of soccer that you’re going after - it’s the 200, 300, 400 million fans who are all around the world trying to enjoy their favourite sport or athlete competing in a game.  Our plan was always not to just address the community sitting inside the stadium. Of course, in-stadia experience is extremely critical, but we’re predominantly a services company driven by technology and digital solutions. So, our plans right from the start included a good balance of online and offline, so it was a little bit easier for us to switch the balance and focus more on the online mediums that are available to still connect with fans around the world, and keep actively engaged.What we’ve had to do without is the LED exposure that we get when matches run, the actual fan experience that you can connect and engage with in the stadium, but we’ve found alternate mediums to keep that going. Is that ideal? I don’t think so. Obviously we need to have a good balance between online and offline, but we know this is not a permanent situation.I think every business, brand - both on the brand side and the partnerships side - has had to adapt. These are not times where you go after active sales, but you stick to the basic values behind which you have done this partnership, which is empowering communities. Sport has a larger purpose and it’s that vision that keeps these partnerships alive, and that’s what it’s done for us.Rakuten and Barcelona are set to use a total of 46,000 photos from around the world for the ‘Be part of the Big Picture’ campaign. What is the thinking behind this activation?This is a very good opportunity. Some of these initiatives might dial down once you have fans starting to come in, where you’ve used some of these mediums just as a temporary replacement for not having fans in the stadium.But some initiatives, though they’re temporary, can easily be extended beyond this whole situation, simply because you are connecting with more fans around the world. You’re able to bridge the gap between the real and the virtual world and give fans a more in-stadia experience wherever they are sitting. So I think this is a huge opportunity for brands, leagues, teams and athletes to capitalise on even beyond the Covid situation.What role do you think sponsors can play in rebuilding the live sports experience both at home and in stadiums?The way I see it, partnerships have changed significantly in the past five years. This is like the moment of truth where you see all of this coming to life. I think about ten, 15 years ago partnerships were about a bunch of administrators who came and sold commercial assets. They had an asset sheet and they said, “this is the value if you took these ten things, this would be the value if you wanted just these three.” But I think over the last three to five years that model has been significantly changing. I feel it’s actually two brands talking to each other and saying how they can help each other.It’s not the 20, 30, 40 or 90,000 in the case of soccer that you’re going after - it’s the 200, 300, 400 million fans who are all around the world trying to enjoy their favourite sport or athlete competing in a game.So I think this whole thing of how brands and clubs and teams and athletes can start working together, and do something for each other, co-create something special, we absolutely saw these partnerships that way, which is why I think we were able to move on these partnerships fairly quickly. If you see the ways in which we launched our partnerships, suddenly people saw Rakuten on some of the most powerful jerseys in the world of sport, but the reason we were able to move that quick is because we built our partnerships on shared values and clear objectives on what we want to achieve using each other. I think when you have that, a good connect at that level, it’s a lot easier to build a framework around the activities that you need to bring that vision alive.Now is the time when you stand by each other, and you still try finding ways. If you look at some of the conversations we’ve had with our partners during this Covid situation it’s not to say, “can I just replace this asset with A, B or C?” It’s us sitting across the table and saying what can help us as a brand to navigate during these tough times, and then the team going back, working a model and coming back to us and saying, “OK, we’ve worked a kit that could help you.” It’s more co-creation than anything else – I think that’s the way we’ve looked at this.In the wake of Covid-19, how would you as a sponsor like to see rights holders package their sponsorships? Is it an opportunity to get out of the habit of the old way of doing things and collaborate more to identify the mix of assets that fit the sponsor’s objectives?100 per cent. It’s those partnerships that were built on that framework and that mindset that will survive this test of time. For those that haven’t taken that very seriously it’s testing times. If you build a partnership on a real vision and true values you wouldn’t have to go and justify it in these testing times, the partnership should be working to your advantage in this time, and that’s how I see it. We should not underplay this moment, it is a tough situation, but I 100 per cent believe this is when you see the true essence of what the word partnership means.Rakuten has gained global exposure through its partnerships with the Golden State Warriors (pictured) and BarcelonaHow do you think the way sponsorship deals are valued and how the success of those sponsorship deals are measured will change after this? It will change. I don’t think the fundamentals of measurement will change, but I think it is the frequency, the models that you use, how you value certain things, I think those metrics will change.As far as sponsorships are concerned, although I say that the fundamentals won’t change significantly, I think it is a reset in that sense. But it’s a good thing in my opinion. I think the concept of how much more you use the word partnership as a sponsorship, I think now’s the time, and that will define pretty much everything that you do going forward. It’ll be essentially trying to co-create the parts that both brands want to achieve as they go along.Some initiatives, though they’re temporary, can easily be extended beyond this whole situation, simply because you are connecting with more fans around the world.There will also be the evolution of new business models. For us our partnership strategy has been strongly centred around three pillars: one was of course brand awareness, two is how you convert some of the brand awareness and preference into loyalty, and the third pillar is new business models, which is can we go to a new market together? Can we create a new business that gives you new revenue streams?So I feel that the way people [draw up] contract[s] will also become new business models now, including the way people invest in the partnership – you will start seeing more risk-reward models come into play, more KPI-driven metrics coming into play.Will Rakuten be looking to grow its portfolio of sports partnerships any time soon?Sports has always been a part of our journey, going back to the Rakuten Eagles, Vissel Kobe, and the ATP tournament in Japan, they’ve always been part of our overall mix on the marketing side, branding side or running it as a business. So we believe in the power of sport and what impact it can bring to community, and the optimism that it brings. So yes, sports will continue to be an integral part of our mix.Article by Sam Carp as posted on SportsPro.Click here to view Rakuten's profile....
2020-08-25
Hurley Announces Long-Term Partnership with Black Girls Surf
The heritage brand intends to amplify the BGS platform and help continue the support of women in SurfHurley is proud to announce its new multi-year global partnership with Black Girls Surf, a Performance Training Program and organization that supports girls & women of color whose dreams and career goals are to compete in professional surfing. With locations in the US, Africa, Jamaica & Brazil, BGS invites surfers to both training camps and "board meetings", encompassing beginners all the way to female surfers at the expert level. It is an inclusive organization that works to further the future of females in surfing. BGS's goal is to make sure anyone who has ever wanted to surf is given the chance. In addition to having a solid roster of experienced surfers on their team, BGS ensures their athletes also have the opportunity to get an education through their sponsorship program. These women not only get to work towards their professional surf dreams, they're empowered through education along the way.Rhonda Harper, the founder of Black Girls Surf, has championed women in surf and worked to create a platform to unite people through the sport. As a longtime surfer with aspirations of becoming a professional surfer herself, she understands the need for coaches, mentors and trainers of color and is ecstatic about the partnership. "Today, my vision came to fruition. It hasn't been an easy road but nothing great comes from things being easy. I want to thank Hurley for allowing Black Girls Surf to be the example for the next generation of young women surfers. I see us working together and accomplishing great things in the future. As I always say, if you can't see it, you can't be it.""We are so excited to be able to partner with Rhonda and BGS! Her love for these young women, and vision for them to get to the world tour level is something we dearly want to be a part of, to help them to progress and achieve their dreams!" says Brett Simpson, US Olympic Surf Coach and Sports Marketing Director/Team Manager at Hurley.Hurley's marketing initiatives have consistently focused on the brand's core values - with an emphasis on inclusivity, being the "microphone for youth", as well as a brand with a core in surf, skate music & art. The Hurley Youth program has always been incredibly important, and the brand maintains a huge global roster of youth & professional athletes & ambassadors. "We have a very powerful Surf program, a global footprint, and world renowned coaches in the US, EMEA (Philippe Malvaux), Australia and more," says Simpson. "Philippe Malvaux is from Senegal, and Hurley is already tied to that community. It seemed like a natural fit for Hurley EMEA to help BGS with their African surfers, and for Hurley US to help with the other territories. We have the ability to be feet on the ground to support women/girls who want to surf, as well as amplify diversity in the sport through social media, marketing, etc."This partnership seeks to expand the inclusivity within the sport of surfing as a whole, as it relates to both race and gender. Together, Hurley and BGS will participate in events, co-sponsor athletes and share the mission of BGS with a larger audience than before. Hurley, with a long-time commitment to inclusion, is excited to be partnering with such an incredible organization and amplify the #solidarityinsurf movement lead by Black Girls Surf.Click here to view Black Girls Surf's profile.Click here to view Hurley's profile....
2020-08-25
Nextdoor’s First Official Canadian Sponsorship a Local Slam Dunk
Nextdoor teams up with the Canadian Elite Basketball League to support live sports and local fans Nextdoor Canada entered the live sports sponsorship arena this past weekend, investing in Canadian sport and local fans by partnering with the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). As a Presenting Sponsor in the CEBL’s Summer Series, the partnership included LED on-court signage, brand exposure on game score updates on CEBL’s social channels, as well as 15- and 30-second commercial spots airing during broadcasts on CBC television, online at CBCsports.ca, in app on CBC Gem and streamed on Twitch. “Nextdoor is built on the power of community,” said Christopher Doyle, Country Manager, Nextdoor Canada. “Supporting sport at a local level is a natural fit for us and we are thrilled to kick off this sponsorship with the CEBL.” “The CEBL is excited to be working with Nextdoor, and thrilled to be their first entrée into the sponsorship space,” said Mike Morreale, CEBL Commissioner & CEO. “ Both entities depend on strong communities for their success, so working together in this manner is a slam dunk. We look forward to working on future community focused campaigns to raise awareness for the CEBL and Nextdoor.”Mike Morreale, CEBL Commissioner & CEOThe league includes teams in strong Nextdoor neighbourhoods including Hamilton, Fraser Valley, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Ottawa and Niagara.Click here to view the CEBL's profile.Click here to view Nextdoor's profile....
2020-08-24
Big oil need not apply: UK raises the bar for UN climate summit sponsorship
The UK government will not accept sponsorship from fossil fuel companies for next year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, Climate Home News understands. Like in previous years, the UK hosts of the two-week event are seeking corporate sponsors to shoulder some of the cost, initially estimated at £250 million ($330m).Unlike in previous years, which have seen large polluters use such deals to bolster their green credentials, sponsors of Cop26 are expected to have a credible plan to cut their emissions to net zero by 2050, the official website states. Climate Home News understands that oil and gas majors will not be considered.Rachel Rose Jackson, director of climate research and policy at the Boston-based NGO Corporate Accountability, has long campaigned for polluters to be “kicked out” of climate talks. She told CHN that, if confirmed, the decision to exclude oil and gas companies from sponsorship deals would be “a testament to the strength of the movement”.“For years, the UN climate talks have failed to deliver for people on the global frontlines of the climate crisis, yet has rolled out the red carpet for the world’s largest polluters,” she said.A decision not to allow oil and gas sponsorship “is long overdue,” she added. “It should be the bare minimum of any government hosting talks meant to avert the very crisis that the fossil fuel industry has fueled and profited off of for decades.”Dylan Tanner, executive director of Influence Map, which tracks corporate lobbying against climate action, told Climate Home News sponsorship of large climate conferences have been a part of the playbook for polluting companies for a long time.Governments hosting the talks have previously been criticised for giving a platform to those responsible for causing the climate crisis.Air France, gas and electricity company Engie and carmaker Renault were among the sponsors of Cop21 in Paris in 2015, when countries agreed to limit global temperature rise “well below 2C” by the end of the century.In 2018, Poland’s leading coal company Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa (JSW) sponsored the climate talks held in Katowice, at the heart of the country’s coal-producing region. The Polish pavilion memorably advertised coal-shaped bars of soap.Last year, corporate accountability groups accused Spain of allowing its biggest polluters to use the climate summit in Madrid to “wrap themselves in the green branding of the COP”.In a note on the Cop26 website, the UK presidency said it was looking for companies that “are making real contributions to the fight against climate change” to sponsor the event. Eligible businesses must have committed to cut their emissions to net zero by 2050 or earlier, including “a credible short term action plan” to achieve their goal, before Cop26.While applications are open to any company that can demonstrate strong climate credentials, priority will be given to UK-based businesses or with a large UK footprint. The call for sponsors does not explicitly rule out oil and gas companies from sponsorship deals.UK-based oil majors BP and Shell have both committed to achieve net zero emissions in their operations by 2050 or sooner. Their plans rely on large scale use of carbon offsets and technologies such as carbon capture and storage. A decision to rule out any sponsorship deal from fossil fuel companies would imply the Cop26 presidency does not consider such plans credible.Cop26, which is scheduled for November 2021 after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, is set to be the largest international event the UK has ever hosted, with 30,000 delegates from around the world expected to attend.The UK is hoping to leverage the resources, commitments and expertise of companies with ambitious climate plans to bolster international climate action and spur a “race to zero”.Britain’s Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz of Chile are leading the call for companies, cities and regions to “set the pace” and  pledge to cut their emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest.Article by Chloe Farand as posted on Climate Change News.Click here to view the UN Climate Change Conference's profile....