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O2, AEG win big at UK Sponsorship Awards

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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Report: Little change for women in music industry

A recent report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has documented the prevalence of women in the music industry over seven years, showing that little has changed for women in music and, in some cases, representation has worsened over the years.

The study looks at the gender of content creators across 700 popular songs on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end charts from 2012 to 2018, as well as the gender of Grammy award nominees from the past seven years.

Across all seven years, the report finds that only 22% of artists appearing on the year-end list are female. This figure hit a six-year low in 2017, with negligible improvement in 2018 (17% of artists). In 2018, not one woman in a duo or band appeared on the end-of-year chart.

The story is much the same for songwriters, with only 12% of writers credited on the chart being female. Only 2% of producers were female.

With regards to the Grammys, only 10% of all nominees across five categories over the past seven years have been female. The report also shows that female artists are more likely to be nominated for song of the year or best new artist, than for record or album of the year.

“The music industry is still embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity”

“The music industry is still embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity,” says DJ and presenter Annie Mac, recently appointed to head up a new gender equality initiative, the Equalising Music Pledge.

“We are all acutely aware of the enormous contribution women make to this business, and yet there’s still so much work to be done to ensure they’re embraced and championed,” says the DJ.

The pledge is the latest initiative from Smirnoff Equalising Music, a three-year, global campaign to accelerate gender parity in the music industry. The campaign is supported by UK booking outfit Coda Agency, and is endorsed by PRS Foundation’s Keychange Initiative, which encourages festival line-ups to achieve a 50/50 gender balance.

Many artists, executives and music industry professionals have brought attention to the lack of women in the music business over the past year, sparking campaigns and initiatives to address the gender imbalance, such as Smirnoff and Rinse FM’s all-female stage at Wireless festival, the inaugural Women in Live Music awards and the Latin American music associations’ gender equality declaration.

The report is the result of work compiled by the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative  and its founder and director, Professor Stacy Smith. A think tank linked to the USC Annenberg school for communication and journalism, the Inclusion Initiative examines diversity and inclusion across the entertainment industry through original research and sponsored projects.

 


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Rinse FM and Smirnoff team up for all-female Wireless stage

London based radio station Rinse FM and Smirnoff have teamed up to tackle gender inequality in the music industry at this year’s sold-out Wireless festival. This marks the latest move for Smirnoff’s Equalising Music campaign, which is seeking to redress the gender imbalance on club and festival lineups by 2020.

The news of an all-female lineup is particularly welcome after a rocky start to the year for Wireless. In January, the festival, promoted by Live Nation, faced backlash after only three women appeared on the lineup. Smirnoff and Rinse FM’s all-female lineup is a direct response to this. Sam Salameh, head of Smirnoff, comments: “This is about giving under-represented talent a platform, inspiring the next generation of women headliners and influencing the industry to enable genuine, long-lasting change.”

This new lineup will see a variety of female talent from across a number of urban music genres. It sees local talent from DJs like Barely Legal, Jyoty and Eliza Rose perform alongside talent from around the UK. Taking on hosting duties will be Rinse FM’s own presenters Julie Adenuga and Emerald.

“This is about giving under-represented talent a platform, inspiring the next generation of women headliners and influencing the industry to enable genuine, long-lasting change.”

The promotion of female talent is not a new endeavour for the radio station. Sarah Lockhart of Rinse FM has spoken about Rinse’s commitment: “Since its pirate beginnings, Rinse has been nurturing talent and pushing boundaries.

“It’s fitting to be teaming up with Smirnoff Equalising Music and Wireless to celebrate a wealth of diverse female talent and promote a shift in urban culture.”

The issue of a distinct lack of women in festival lineups is not exclusive to Wireless, nor is it a new concern. FACTS, a bi-annual study of festival lineups across the UK and Europe conducted by Female:Pressure has recorded dismally low percentages of female performers for a number of years. At its lowest in 2013, only 5.6% of artists in festival lineups were women.

 


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