Last month, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race made history when Australian sailor Wendy Tuck, became the first female skipper to win the Race. Spring client, Elliot Brown Watches, became official timekeepers for the Race back in 2015. A partnership that was extended for the 2017-18 Clipper Race.
Are you thinking about using sponsorship to promote your business? Here’s Elliot Brown Founder, Ian Elliot’s, TOP TIPS on how to maximise the opportunity:
DECIDE ON THE AUDIENCE YOU WANT TO TARGET.
“We thought long and hard about tapping into the Clipper audience and decided they are exactly our kind of customer. They all share a sense of adventure rather than being categorised by age, sex, sporting interest or other marketing category.
“For this reason we got involved and we also created a deal that was in the interests of Clipper Ventures to push Elliot Brown as a brand – perfect to be able to use their media machine as well as Spring PR and all the good work they achieve for our brand.”
FIND SOMETHING WITH LONGEVITY.
“We liked the event because its exposure lasts for a whole year. The trick is then creating interesting stories during the period and for that we took two ambassadors on board who could send us blogs and images expressing their feelings about our watches and the race. Our brand thrives on how activities make people feel – it’s real, gritty exposure that people want to read.”
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.
“The first year we sponsored the event we felt all spent out by the time the race started and scrimped on event branding like flags and starter buoys. The second time around we invested in battle flags for every yacht to display in port and much better branding position on the main sails – we even made subtle adjustments to our logo to work better for media exposure.
“Arrange at the outset to have a commercial round-up meeting and openly discuss benefits and shortcomings. If everyone knows there’s a judgement day coming, everyone works hard and is prepared to put the work in. One thing we missed out on because we’re still a small business was to take advantage of having brand activations in every stopover port.”
COULD IT WORK AS A TESTING GROUND FOR YOUR BRAND?
“The race allowed us to hatch a plan to carry out the world’s toughest watch test by mounting a watch to the bow of a yacht and seeing how it coped with a year at sea smashing into every wave. It’s a very public way of testing but we were happy with that and even happier that we now have a watch that has made it around the world that we are in the process of making into a big story.”
TRY YOUR LUCK!
“In every negotiation for every bit of promotional activity – be cheeky and humble. Eek out the additional opportunities that aren’t on the table but could be. If you can get people on side with a half decent relationship and meeting of minds at the outset – you’ll get far more out of it.”
Last month, Nikwax’s DoMoreWithNikwax campaign aimed at getting more of us walking, running, cycling and climbing – enjoying the great outdoors in a responsible way.
But it had an equally important trade angle – to get more and more businesses to sign up to the European Outdoor Conservation Association – a group of businesses in the European outdoor industry who’ve come together to raise funds to put directly into conservation projects worldwide.
Nikwax’s Head of Campaign Content, Tom Willox, told us, “Only 139 brands within the outdoor industry are members of EOCA yet more than 700 companies exhibit at the major trade shows. This isn’t good enough. With more support, organisations like EOCA can help conservation efforts worldwide.”
We spoke to General Manager for EOCA, Catherine Savidge to find out the difference campaigns like this make to them:
“EOCA enables outdoor companies to give back to the great outdoors. To fund conservation projects designed to protect threatened habitats, species and landscapes, whilst also having a link to outdoor enthusiasts.
“The industry is passionate about – and dependent on the outdoors. EOCA provides the opportunity to members of the industry to fulfil their responsibility to look after it.
“EOCA is very grateful to Nikwax for running this campaign to raise awareness of EOCA and its importance to the industry. By working together as an industry, so much more can be achieved. To date, members have committed €2.5 million to conservation in 12 years. The more members EOCA has, the more that can be achieved.”
Any company linked to the European outdoor industry can join EOCA by filling in an application form here.
Or email EOCA to discuss bespoke membership opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org
Behind the Scenes with Beth French
Beth French is an ocean swimmer, open water swimming coach, inspirational speaker and mum. She’s also an ambassador who works with a number of outdoor brands, including Elliot Brown and Hydro Flask. But how can we work better with our ambassadors to ensure they stay happy and we get the results we’re looking for? Here’s what Beth had to say:
“I have been approached by some companies who really weren’t a good fit – they hadn’t done their research into who I am and what I’m about. As athletes or adventurers, we are our own business cards – who we are and what we stand for means a huge amount to us. The more authentic the connection to a brand, the more we can do for you. If it feels like a blanket approach, it doesn’t feel genuine – which is the same as a cut and paste email landing on your door looking for sponsorship!
“We all have different approaches to getting the word out there about what we do and love. Having a standard requirement from ambassadors can be overwhelming and off putting if it doesn’t resonate with how the ambassador’s life works. And genuine content is easy to spot. Finding out the unique catch of ambassadors – even by asking them what makes them different – or what banners they are waving at the moment – can really help drive a strong relationship forward.”