2021-01-28
Huk To Sponsor MLF Big5
 Major League Fishing (MLF) announced that Huk, the maker of fishing apparel, has signed on as the exclusive apparel sponsor of the MLF BIG5 for the 2021 season. As the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, MLF provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete across five tournament circuits featuring a five-biggest-fish format, including the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League, Abu Garcia College Fishing, and High School Fishing. “Marolina Outdoor is excited about our partnership with the Major League Fishing BIG5,” said Pete Angle, CMO of Marolina Outdoor Inc., the parent of Huk. “Aside from sharing many common goals like new angler recruitment and access to outdoor recreational opportunities, both brands are committed to showcasing the authentic passion for bass fishing and innovation. We look forward to the 2021 MLF BIG5 tournament season and the exciting opportunity to engage with all followers of our partnered brands.” Said MLF president and CEO Jim Wilburn: “Huk has been a great partner of MLF for five years and we are happy that they have continued their partnership with us on the BIG5 side of our company. These are exciting times in bass fishing and we are thrilled to bring Huk into the fold of our extensive tournament network and the thousands of anglers that fish the MLF BIG5 circuits.” Photo courtesy Huk Source: https://sgbonline.com/huk-to-sponsor-mlf-big5/Organizations:Marolina OutdoorMajor League Fishing...
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2021-01-27
Torys the Top Tech Law Firm Choice for Canadian Startups
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPALO ALTO, California, January 27, 2021 — Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator, announces a new Canadian legal partnership with the international business law firm Torys LLP to help progress the Canadian startup tech ecosystem.Founder Institute is also the largest pre-seed accelerator in Canada, launching more new incorporated tech startups than any other accelerator, as they launch over 100 startups a year across the country. The accelerator conducted a legal sponsorship bid process in late 2020 where Torys was selected as the successful law firm.Founder Institute worked with alumni graduate Sponsor Circle to complete the national search for a firm with a Canadian office. The requirements were they needed a partner who understood the needs of tech startups and shared a vision of building a vibrant startup community across Canada.We worked with Founder Institute to identify the top 30 law firms with offices in Canada. Using our platform we had firms submit their proposals for what they could do to help build the Canadian tech ecosystem," said Sponsor Circle founder Mary Beth Kyer. "Without question, Torys proved they understood the startup landscape better than any other firm."Firms were requested to submit proposals on why they were the best-suited law firms to represent the needs of tech startups. Legal firm priorities included the ability to understand intellectual property (IP) requirements for both hardware and software startups, the coordination of large fundraising rounds, and the need to help startups quickly scale globally.Many law firms pretend they understand the unique needs of emerging and high growth technology companies but few can actually prove they do," says Founder Institute Waterloo-Toronto Director, Jordan Jocius. "It was really important for us to identify an international full-service law firm that shared the vision of seeing Canada as among the best places in the world to launch a startup. By investing in the grassroots Canadian tech ecosystem, I predict that Torys will become the best law firm in the country in a decade.As part of the Canadian partnership, Torys has launched a new incorporation portal specifically for Founder Institute startups with special resources available and a seamless incorporation process. The partnership will make Torys the largest new incorporation law firm for emerging and high growth technology companies in the country.For full-service legal support, from incorporation and building an IP strategy right through to raising financing rounds and beyond, Torys LLP is positioned to help tech startups," says Ryan Unruch, Counsel at Torys. "We are excited to be the exclusive legal partner for Founder Institute from Western Canada to the Innovation Corridor, Toronto, and beyond."Torys LLP is an international business law firm with offices in Toronto, New York, Calgary, Montréal and Halifax. They are more than legal advisors and act as strategic partners in helping founders determine when to raise money, how much to raise, how to achieve the right economic structure, how to think about board and control issues, and how to navigate successfully through the different stages of growth.Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 200+ cities worldwide, the Founder Institute provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the devoted support network and structured growth process needed to get to traction and funding. Participants in the 4-month core program also get access to a lifetime of support through the Founder Institute's industry-leading post-programs.Media Contact:Jordan Jocius, Director, Founder Institute Waterloo-Toronto CorridorFounder Institutejordan.jocius@fichapter.com...
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2021-01-26
ASICS RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS TO UPLIFT THE WORLD THROUGH SPORT
As the world faces the risk of a mental health pandemic, ASICS renews its commitment to move minds through sportAs the world faces the risk of a mental health pandemic, ASICS today announces its renewed commitment to use the power of sport to uplift the world. In 2021 and beyond, ASICS will support more people to experience the transformative power of sport, not just on the body but on the mind. Through research and innovation, and by supporting projects that get people moving for positive physical and mental wellbeing, ASICS is committed to moving body and mind.Moving Minds Since 1949ASICS, an acronym of the Latin phrase Anima Sana In Corpore Sano or a Sound Mind in a Sound Body, has always believed in the positive impact of sport on the mind. ASICS’ founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, saw that sport had the ability to bring hope and lift spirits in 1940’s Japan. Today, ASICS’ founding philosophy is perhaps more relevant than ever before. Which is why the company is returning to its roots and putting “Sound Mind, Sound Body™” at the core of its business.Moving Minds Through Research and InnovationIn 2021, ASICS will undertake a landmark research project into the positive impact of sport on mental wellbeing. It will use cutting-edge biometric technology to capture the true effect of sport on the minds of thousands of participants around the world.Ahead of the research project’s full roll-out, ASICS has also conducted an initial feasibility study involving a group of elite athletes – including British Olympic runner and European Triathlon Champion Beth Potter – and everyday athletes as a basis for comparison.Moving Minds MeasuredOverseen by Dr. Brendon Stubbs, a leading exercise and mental health researcher based at King’s College, London, the study measured a series of brain pathways known to influence the emotional and cognitive elements of mental wellbeing. And it found that after a short amount of physical activity, the everyday athletes experienced an overall emotional uplift, including up to a 29% improvement in their ability to cope with stress and up to an 18% increase in their relaxation levels. They also reported a significant drop in negative emotions like frustration (up to 135%) and were up to 28% less prone to making rash decisions and reacting negatively to challenges or disruption.When it comes to the brain pathways associated with cognitive performance, the everyday athletes again demonstrated a significant uplift after a brief amount of sport. This included up to a 26% increase in brain processing speed, up to a 21% improvement in memory and as much as a 58% reduction in their levels of cognitive stress, some of the symptoms of which are anxiety, forgetfulness and disorganisation.Interestingly, both the emotional and cognitive uplifts were greater among the everyday athletes than among the elite ones.Following this initial feasibility study, ASICS is continuing to conduct the experiment with both everyday and elite athletes. The findings of this research project will be used to develop future innovations that unlock the mental benefits of sport and exercise for athletes of all levels.Moving Minds at Sunrise to Spread PositivityFrom today, ASICS is coming together with its athletes – including Kiryu Yoshihide, Noëlle Roorda and Henri Shoeman, – to issue an open invitation to people around the world to join their mission to uplift the world. Using sunrise as a symbol of hope, ASICS is encouraging people everywhere to kick start the New Year by moving at sunrise to spread positivity, and raise awareness of the importance and impact sport has on the mind. From today, hundreds of ASICS athletes, ambassadors and employees will move at sunrise. To get involved:· Get up, get out and move at sunrise by going for a run, walk, or taking part in any sport or activity· Take your sunrise selfie and upload to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #SoundMindSoundBody; or· Take part in a Move With The Sun Challenge using the ASICS Runkeeper™ app; and· Nominate up to three others to do the same and continue spreading the word· ASICS will celebrate every image shared through local market initiatives around the world throughout January and February 2021Dr. Brendon Stubbs, a leading exercise & mental health researcher, based at King’s College London says: “It is impossible to overstate just how significant the impact sport and exercise have on our mind. It’s absolutely vital that people regularly move their body to experience those all-important cognitive and emotional benefits for themselves. Never has there been a more important time to become active and experience the mental health benefits sport and movement bring.”[President & Chief Operating Officer of ASICS Yasuhito Hirota] said, “We know COVID-19 has put even more pressure on the wellbeing of millions of people. We also know and believe that sport and movement can lift spirits and help people feel better. For us, 2021 is about unlocking the unique power of sport to uplift our minds. That starts with encouraging people everywhere to move with us at Sunrise and will continue throughout the year as we demonstrate our commitments to our founding philosophy of a sound mind, sound body.”ASICS has also released a special Sunrise Red Collection designed to move body and mind. The Sunrise Red Collection features key ASICS styles – including GEL-NIMBUS™ 23, GEL-KAYANO™ 27, NOVABLAST™ and GEL-QUANTUM™ 360 – all in the striking Sunrise Red colorway to spread positivity through movement.Source: https://csga.ca/asics-returns-to-its-roots-to-uplift-the-world-through-sport/Organizations:ASICS...
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2021-01-26
CannAmerica Signs Premier Sponsorship of Inaugural Okie Cup in Oklahoma
CANNAMERICA BRANDS CORP. is pleased to announce that on January 22, 2021, the Company signed a contract with Champlin Broadcasting (“Champlin”) for premier sponsorship to participate in its inaugural event, The Okie Cup, which includes an unlimited number of radio advertising, internet advertising, and print media across Champlin’s network of eleven radio stations in Oklahoma.The sponsorship includes all the standard marketing promotions for a competition cannabis event and includes over-the-airwaves radio spots beginning February 15, 2021 through the commencement of the events on May 1, 2021. This broad advertisement range allows the Company to be featured in promotional marketing on all eleven of Champlin’s radio stations for a total of 99 days. These marketing pieces are a first-of-its-kind promotion, directed to millions of Oklahoma radio listeners across multiple platforms that will feature CannAmerica Brands promotion in every radio and internet ad for the Okie Cup in the Oklahoma market.Dan Anglin, CEO and founder of CannAmerica Brands said: “The Company continues to see increased demand of its branded CannAmerica product lines in Oklahoma and this year is the perfect opportunity for a statewide marketing campaign to increase the Oklahoma consumers awareness of the Company’s brands. Management could not be more excited to sponsor this new event and promote the Company’s amazing products to the entire state of Oklahoma during the radio and internet campaign leading up to the Okie Cup. As the Okie Cup’s first premier sponsor, the Company has an opportunity to generate excitement not only for the event but also to create thousands of opportunities for Oklahomans to learn about our products and be inspired to try them.”Anglin continued: “Through our sponsorship of the Okie Cup, we intend to meaningfully connect with patients across Oklahoma and help them discover our brand and our continued commitment to their freedom to choose cannabis as their medicine. Our vision is to build on the momentum of recent legalization through ballot measures in four more states to help convince Congress and the Biden Administration to live up to its promise to permit more Americans to have access to cannabis.”Organizations:CannAmerica Brands...
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2021-01-26
Molly Seidel and Aisha Praught-Leer sign with Puma
The Jamaican-American Commonwealth Games champion and the breakout marathon star have both officially signed a new sponsorship dealTwo U.S. athletes recently announced they have signed sponsorship agreements with Puma heading into the 2021 Olympics: Olympic Marathon Trials second-place finisher Molly Seidel and Olympian and 2018 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medallist Aisha Praught-Leer.Seidel surprised everyone with a second-place finish in her debut marathon at the Olympic Marathon Trials last February. She completed the race a time of 2:27:31, earning her a spot Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics. The following October, she lowered her PB during the elite-only London Marathon, finishing in sixth place in a time of 2:25:13.After her first sponsorship deal as a professional athlete with Saucony came to an end, she officially announced on January 22 via Instagram that she has signed a new contract with Puma. This new sponsorship comes on the heels of a fantastic year for the Turkey-Trotting runner, and should the Olympics go forward as planned, we look forward to seeing what Seidel can do.Jamaican-American Praught-Leer competed for Jamaica in the steeplechase at the 2016 Olympics, won gold in the event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and holds the national record at the distance. She had been sponsored by Under Armour since 2017 but announced via Instagram on January 1 that her partnership with the company had come to an end.Since that day, running fans everywhere waited to see where she would be going next, and on January 18 she made the official announcement that she would be partnering with Puma for the next few years. She and Seidel will be joining other notable Puma-sponsored athletes, including Canadian sprinter Andre Degrasse, two-time world record-setter in the 100 metres Asafa Powell and of course nine-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt.Article by Brittany Hambleton as posted on https://runningmagazine.ca/the-scene/aisha-praught-leer-signs-with-puma/Organizations:Puma...
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2021-01-25
Skipping The Super Bowl, Budweiser Is Donating Its Ad Dollars To Covid-19 Vaccine Awareness Efforts
After 37 years of Super Bowls, Budweiser won’t be in this year’s Big Game.Anheuser-Busch’s flagship beer brand is instead donating its advertising dollars to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to raise awareness of the Covid-19 vaccines.To explain why it’s skipping this year’s game, Budweiser today is releasing a 90-second video—narrated by actress Rashida Jones and set to the song “Lean On Me”—that features footage from the past year of the pandemic. There are people singing out their windows, a car parade surprising elderly neighbors, a dog making a surprise appearance on Zoom, NBA players kneeling while wearing “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts inside of an empty stadium, masked grocery shoppers dancing and people getting Covid-19 vaccines. According to Anheuser-Busch U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Marcel Marcondes, the decision is “good for society, it’s good for the economy, and it’s good for the brand.” Along with partnering on the creative that the Ad Council is developing to help people better understand the vaccines, Budweiser is also donating the air time that would have been during the Super Bowl.“We’re seeing one or another company saying they’re out of the game this time,” Marcondes says. “But for me, the thing is why? What's the purpose? So what are you going to do better instead? For Budweiser, it's not that we are out just because we're trying to save money or what, right? Our thing is we have a clear reason. We're not doing this, because we would rather do that. I think this is the right way to go. I still believe and we used to believe the Super Bowl is a powerful platform. 100%. The country still stops to start to watch the game, and moreover, they stopped to watch the ads.”Budweiser, The Ad Council and other partners have their work cut out for them when it comes to getting people to trust the vaccines. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer released earlier this month, just 33% of people surveyed said they’re willing to get the vaccine “as soon as possible” while another 31% said they'll get it in six months to a year. Edelman found that respondents with “good information hygiene”—or those who engage with news, avoid information echo chambers, verify information, and don’t amplify unvetted information—were more likely to take the vaccine within a year.Even before Budweiser made its announcement, the Ad Council earlier this month said it had raised $37 million of its $50 million for vaccine awareness efforts. Other companies that have contributed include Bank of America, Facebook, General Motors, The Humana Foundation, NBCUniversal, Walgreens and Walmart.This doesn’t mean Anheuser-Busch won’t be in the Super Bowl. In fact, several other brands will still air ads during the game. Several brands will still have a presence, but Marcondes says the ads won’t have quite the same tone as usual. In fact, he says briefs aren’t as much about game as usual since the ads are more about “meaning and relevance” than entertainment. According to Marcondes, the decision to have Budweiser sit out the game is allows the company to have “the best of both worlds” by doing contributing to society while also improving the business with efforts outside of traditional advertising.“Hopefully there will be how many Super Bowls ahead of us, and we can always be back,” he says. “But this time, there is something better than Budweiser can do for people.”Article by Marty Swant as posted on https://www.forbes.com/sites/martyswant/2021/01/25/skipping-the-super-bowl-budweiser-is-donating-its-ad-dollars-to-covid-19-vaccine-awareness-efforts/?__twitter_impression=true&sh=b6a037f3c17fOrganizations:Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch)...
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2021-01-22
Lug Announces Athlete Sponsorship with LPGA Golfer, Madelene Sagström at the Diamond Resort International Tournament of Champions
Lug, the popular lifestyle brand of handbags and accessories, is pleased to announce the sponsorship of Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golfer, Madelene Sagström.Swedish-born Sagström, played college golf with the LSU Lady Tigers team at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was named 2015 SEC Player of the Year at LSU and a finalist for the ANNIKA Award. Sagström made her professional debut at the Helsingborg Open on the Ladies European Tour in Sweden in September 2015."We are honored and thrilled to have someone of Madelene's caliber as an athlete ambassador of the Lug brand," says Lug Co-founders, Ami & Jason Richter. "We've had the opportunity to meet Madelene several times, and we couldn't be prouder to have her as a member of the Lug team. We know that she will bring the highest level of professionalism and passion to each round she plays. We look forward to supporting and watching her career develop with the LPGA."Sagström will debut wearing the Lug logo on January 21st as she tees off at the Diamond International Tournament of Champions taking place at the Four Seasons Sports and Golf Club Orlando located in Buena Vista, FL between Jan 21-24, 2021 #DiamondLPGA."I'm honored and stoked to become a part of the Lug family," said Sagström. "We share the same passion for travel and drive for success...while, of course, looking great doing it! Ami and Jason are the most wonderful and supportive people out there, and I'm so excited to be a part of their team. I can't wait to bring all their loyal Lug customers on my LPGA journey!"The partnership with Madelene Sagström extends to Lug Co-founders, Ami and Jason Richter's passion for the game of golf and their interest in the emerging talent within the LPGA. As a brand committed to building relationships through shared experiences, Lug believes that the partnership will unite their current customer base with the game of golf and Sagström will demonstrate the endless versatility and convenience of Lug products while on tour. Organizations:Madelene SagströmLug...
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2021-01-20
MANSCAPED™ Designated Official Men's Grooming Partner of the Senators
Trailblazing Male Grooming Brand, Known for its Iconic Global Sports Sponsorships, Adds the Sens of the NHL to its Growing Partnership RosterSmooth as ice takes on a new meaning this NHL season. MANSCAPED™, the pioneer in men's below-the-waist grooming, has entered the rink and today announces its latest designation: Official Men's Grooming Partner of the Ottawa Senators.All eyes are on the young ice hockey team, which competes in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League ― and this season's unprecedented all-Canadian North Division. The Sens face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in their epic home arena Canadian Tire Centre, which now reps the bold MANSCAPED logo that has made its mark on sports worldwide."MANSCAPED is a team of sports lovers - many Canadian born and bred - so we're as riled up as anyone for the 2021 NHL season, and we couldn't be happier to be partnering with the Senators this year," said Joey Kovac, Senior Director of Marketing at MANSCAPED. "As with all of our strategic partnerships, we aim to enhance the experience of the fans, players, and our proud partners, and this one is sure to deliver on that. We're already feeling the excitement of this historic NHL season, and it's only just begun.""We're delighted to partner with the fastest-growing male hygiene brand for what's expected to be an exciting season of Senators hockey," said Anthony LeBlanc, Senators President of Business Operations. "MANSCAPED's revolutionary technology offers men a very comfortable, close shave, so it's fitting that we've shaved ice down at Canadian Tire Centre and placed their logo in a highly visible position. As such, Senators fans can look forward to receiving special MANSCAPED offers while earning opportunities to win their coveted products throughout the 2020-21 season."Already buzzing on social media and beyond is the cornerstone of the partnership ― MANSCAPED's corner ice logo at the Senators' world-class landmark venue in Ottawa, Ontario. Other components of the collaboration will entertain fans all over the world, fueled by the grooming brand's standout (and hilarious) advertising, sought-out social posts and contests, and can't-miss digital promotions. Further creative integrations will be implemented on the hockey club's website and Ottawa Senators app.MANSCAPED is adding double the spice to the 2021 NHL season, having also graced the ice of the Montreal Canadiens, who are also competing in the North Division, and will duel the Senators ten times. With these MAN-powered face-offs, only one thing is for certain: the players will be the most ballsy, and well-kept, in NHL history.Organizations:Ottawa SenatorsManscaped...
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2021-01-20
America's Original Hot Dog--Feltman's of Coney Island (est. 1867)--Named The Official Hot Dog Of The NHL Florida Panthers
Feltman's signs multi-year sponsorship with the Florida Panthers and BB&T CenterAmerica's original hot dog, Feltman's of Coney Island (est. 1867)—now one of the fastest-growing natural food companies in the U.S.—is kicking off the 2020-21 National Hockey League season as the official hot dog brand of the Florida Panthers. Following a significant growth year, which included the launch of their 100% natural all-beef dogs at Publix Super Markets throughout the Southeast, Feltman's debut as the official hot dog of the Panthers at BB&T Center marks its first sponsorship agreement with a national sports franchise—and an exciting milestone for the veteran-owned hot dog maker as it further expands throughout the rapidly-growing South Florida market.In 1867, Charles Feltman invented the hot dog on Coney Island, New York as a convenient way to enjoy quality sausages on a bun without silverware.  Nearly 150 years later, Brooklyn brothers Michael and Joe Quinn (U.S. Army) resurrected Feltman's boardwalk favorite to honor the brother they lost on 9/11—and thus, America's original hot dog was reborn.Today, Feltman's critically-acclaimed hot dogs are inspired by Charles Feltman's original Coney Island Frankfurter—made with no artificial ingredients and smoked in a natural casing for an explosion of old-world spices with every bite.Since entering into retail in 2018, Feltman's has experienced 300% year-over-year revenue growth, and is now the fastest-growing hot dog company in the U.S. with its products sold at over 3,300 supermarkets nationwide and at FeltmansofConeyIsland.com. "Our motto is to inspire families to eat natural food, one hot dog at a time, and we're thrilled that BB&T Center is now America's first arena to exclusively serve our all-natural hot dogs to visiting families and fans," said Feltman's CEO Joe Quinn."We couldn't think of a more natural choice than Feltman's—America's first hot dog!—in becoming the official hot dog of the Panthers," said Florida Panthers' CCO Shawn Thornton. "Hot dogs are the quintessential game day food, and we're proud to bring America's best to our fans at BB&T Center."Feltman's original hot dogs will be available for cashless purchase and contactless pickup at concession stands throughout the WELL Health-Safety certified BB&T Center.Organizations:Florida PanthersFeltman's of Coney Island...
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2021-01-19
The trend evolution: how lockdown changed the sponsorship landscape in 2020
 Every year ESA asks its members what they think the top three trends will be for the year ahead. Back at the beginning of 2020, at the turn of a new decade, we asked members what the trends would be to ensure continued growth for the decade ahead.  However, with the pandemic hitting in March, we knew that those trends were likely to have changed and so we asked our members what key trends would define the way in which the sponsorship industry would recover.  We asked the same question in October and will repeat it again in January 2021, to track how these critical factors changed as we reacted to the evolving pandemic situation.  Let’s have a look at how the top ten trends changed as the year went on. In January, you can see that Sustainability entered the list for the first time and went straight in at number 1. Fan engagement moved up in importance and Measurement maintained its position in the top three from the previous year. Digital transformation & innovation, personalised content and women in sport & entertainment, were all new entries set to define how the industry would grow in the coming years. Data moved down in importance, as did OTT and eSports, but Brand Purpose maintained its position. If we now compare April’s data to January, we can see the remarkable changes that happened in the industry’s initial reaction to the pandemic and the lockdown. Both Digital and eSports rose sharply from positions 4 and 10 respectively, to now both being in the top 3 factors. This was inevitable really as audiences stayed at home and the only way to reach them was online. Organisations who didn’t already have digital platforms had to work quickly to build them. Others who had platforms, but used them primarily for community engagement, now found them to be their main activation channel and the only way to be able to continue delivering sponsors’ rights. This is a switch that many will rely on until their events can return with audiences attending and for some the increased use of digital will become permanent. The digital transformation that we saw at position 4 at the start of the year, and that wasn’t even in the top 10 in 2019, was now supercharged through necessity into top place. Another trend borne through necessity is Community/CSR which re-entered the top 10 having been the No. 1 top trend in 2019 but not appearing at all in the first report of 2020. As individuals, we perhaps felt more connected to our community, looking out for each other, and as organisations, we understood our role in helping the community. Whether that was simply reinforcing health and safety guidance or reaching out to those most vulnerable to deliver essentials and provide a welcome face (at distance) to those most isolated. On the other hand, we saw some amazing innovation with companies pivoting their business to help the pandemic, producing hand sanitiser instead of beer, face masks instead of coats or mouthguards, and ventilators instead of engines. We all had to adapt and, whilst the need for community support might have lessened as we moved out of that immediate emergency state, the lessons we learnt during it will stay with us.  Better sponsorship relationships came straight into the top ten list at number 4. Many sponsorship relationships will have been strengthened as a result of needing to work better together, being more empathetic of the other party’s situation and seeing the opportunity to collaborate on meeting the needs of the shared audience. But many sponsorships will have also had critical flaws in the relationship brought to the surface and conversations around honouring agreements that were tense. It’s also not over yet, uncertainty remains over when many events will return, under what circumstances and with what sponsorship rights being delivered. Relationships are critically important for managing that uncertainty to achieve the best possible outcomes for both parties.  Flexibility followed after at number 5 and is linked to better relationships as this referred to flexibility in delivering sponsorship. Here we can also reference the first wave of the ESA Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker where 72% of brands were looking to extend sponsorship rights and 48% planning to add new assets to fulfil sponsorship contracts. Both of these required flexibility from rights holders and it appears that simply extending sponsorship contracts for another 12 months has been a common solution. Sustainability, which was the top trend at the start of 2020 only fell to 6th place and Purpose maintained its position at 7. All of this was reassuring for companies who were positioned for these longer-term trends pre-COVID, that they were still relevant even when immediate priorities changed. The pandemic required all companies to stop and reflect on what their true purpose is and, whilst sustainability might have taken a more ‘survival’ based definition for the short-term, there is an opportunity to reset and ensure we can operate in a truly sustainable way for the long-term. Creativity, Personalisation and Collaboration made up the rest of the Top 10 in April. Personalisation was higher at the beginning of the year at No.6 but Creativity and Collaboration entered for the first time. Collaboration is aligned with better relationships but also indicates new collaborations.  And finally, creativity will certainly be paramount when faced with so much content being distributed through a concentration of channels and, when more events return, we will quickly reach a saturation point. Creativity will be the key to stand out from the clutter of content. So, let’s see how those trends changed in October, as we understood more about the pandemic and how long recovery might take. Digital activation remains firmly at the top and we have specified activation here as encompassing digital assets and content but not the digital transformation and infrastructure aspect that we saw back in January. Audiences back in venues, sounds obvious but when we asked this question in April there was perhaps the perception that the lockdown might only last a couple of months. The situation now of when audiences can come back into venues and when they will want to is very uncertain. That then increases the uncertainty for rights holders, venues and sponsors, particularly if agreements need to be renewed but we can’t say for sure on what basis they will be able to be delivered. Measurement is very interesting returning back to no. 3, as if this dropped from the priorities in the short-term reaction but is now very much back on the agenda in proving sponsorship’s effectiveness when budgets will be under more scrutiny than ever. Flexibility has crept up as Community & CSR (which now include Sustainability and Purpose) has moved down, but still quite remarkable to be in the top 10 and at no 5, which shows its importance in the face of some extremely difficult market and business conditions.  Innovation is another trend that disappeared in April. It has come back in slightly lower than it was in January, but we have seen a lot of innovative initiatives in new collaborations and content as companies have had to adapt and build new platforms in order to still deliver to their audiences. Better sponsorship relationships still in the top ten but down 3 places after those initial moments of truth happened when things really counted. It’s pleasing that this is seen as a longer term trend as rights holders in particular need to look to sponsorship for revenue that has perhaps been lost through ticket sales and broadcast.  Virtual experiences and events had not made it onto the list in April but have gained importance now as we look to replace events that are cancelled or delayed for more than just the few months perhaps first thought. eSports still on the list but a big drop since April. That could be because rights holders are expecting their sport to return soon and perhaps can’t resource both. Or it is seen as an alternative but not a replacement. We don’t really have enough data to speculate on the actual reason and so it will be interesting to see where this one lands when we repeat the annual trends survey early in the New Year. Finally, Content/Social Media has come in as a few of others – creativity and personalisation – have dropped out. Article by Sophie Morris has posted on https://sponsorship.org/the-trend-evolution-how-lockdown-changed-the-sponsorship-landscape-in-2020/...
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