O2 won the silver award for the best sponsorship of the last 25 years for its partnership with AEG at the UK Sponsorship Awards last night, with AEG taking away a total of three awards at the ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel.
The UK Sponsorship Awards reward effectiveness across all sectors of the sponsorship, partnership and brand activation industries with campaigns judged by a panel of experts in each field.
Sponsored by CSM Live, the silver award follows a public vote on ten shortlisted partnerships, with the top five campaigns making the final shortlist which included British Airways’ sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics and Carling’s partnership with the English Premier League.
The awards committee described the O2-AEG partnership as “more than a sponsorship”, saying the deal had made O2 “an indelible part of the London landscape”.
O2 and AEG agreed a deal to turn the Millennium Dome into the O2 in 2005. An early example of the modern naming rights deal, the partnership has been renewed ever since the venue opened in 2007, most recently in 2017.
“As part of the team who negotiated the original deal in 2005 when working for O2, this is one of the biggest highlights in my career so far”
“As part of the team who negotiated the original deal in 2005 when working for O2, this is one of the biggest highlights in my career so far,” says Paul Samuels, executive vice president of AEG Global Partnerships.
“This partnership is so much more than just a naming rights deal. It’s a successful collaboration of likeminded brands with a shared vision for delivering the best in customer experience and benefits,” states Samuels.
Samuels was also named 2019 sponsorship champion for entertainment at the awards ceremony, principally for his work on the O2 naming rights partnership, which “will be his legacy, both at AEG and O2.”
AEG Presents also won the live entertainment and event sponsorship award for Barclaycard presents British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park, which enables the sponsor “to engage with audiences, through a journey of awareness, purchasing and on-site experiences.”
“This trio of wins is testament to the strength of AEG’s global partnerships team,” comments Samuels. “I am of course delighted to be named as a Sponsorship Champion, but that doesn’t happen without the backing and support of an immensely talented team that I am proud and honoured to work with.”
“This trio of wins is testament to the strength of AEG’s global partnerships team”
AEG Presents also reached the shortlist in the brand sponsorship category for its BST Hyde Park Barclaycard partnership and for the first time sponsor award, for its partnership with All Out Beauty at All Points East.
AEG rival Live Nation took home the special award for the best rights holder, for its “unique ability to leverage the power of live music for brand owners.”
Live Nation was also shortlisted in the live entertainment and event sponsorship award and best use of social media and online platforms categories for its festivals partnership with Co-op, which became the first UK retailer to have a supermarket at four UK festivals.
Other music industry shortlisters included Boardmasters festival for its Voxi Beach Cleans campaign (best use of sponsorship to encourage sustainability, effective use of a smaller budget) and Global and Smirnoff’s Equalising Music campaign (best sponsorship of women’s activities). Victorious Festival received special commendation in the live entertainment and event sponsorship category for its “simple, low cost sponsorship” by comedy TV channel Dave, the official commentator of the Portsmouth-based music festival.
A full list of winners can be found here.
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