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Revealing The Winners Of The 2021 UK Sponsorship Awards

By Taruka Srivastav | April 8, 2021

Earlier this week the 2021 UK Sponsorship Awards took place digitally, here is a recap of the winners on the night.

Paddy Power Save Our Shirt, entered by Octagon, was named as Sponsorship of the Year 2020 at the 2020/2021 edition of UK Sponsorship Awards, delivered digitally. The ingenious campaign also walked away with four category awards and a highly commended prize in the new 2020 Vision category. The Winner of the 2020 Vision category, created to celebrate sponsorship craft, was Hyundai, for Forward Thinking Drama on ITV (entered by Innocean UK and Havas Media UK).

Also celebrating was M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, named as the Large Consultancy of the Year for 2020/21. The Medium to Boutique Consultancy category was clinched for the first time by Ear to the Ground, while the Consultancy Innovation Award went to Bright Partnerships.

Other winners on the night included O2 Wear The Rose, which won the one-off Best World Cup Sponsorship of 2019 category. The ‘Champions of Sponsorship’ programme saw three names inducted into the UKSA Hall Of Fame: Virgin Media’s Gill Bennett, Everfi (UK)’s Nick Fuller and FA director of the professional women’s game Kelly Simmons.

The 2020/21 edition of the UKSA Awards consisted of two elements. Firstly, its traditional categories – which would have been unveiled at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square last Spring if it weren’t for the onset of Covid-19. Secondly, a new set of categories entitled Rising To The Challenge, designed to recognise work that has overcome the crisis – through creativity, innovation, agility, grit and determination.

Winners in the first segment included Boots and Barclays, both of which earned recognition for their work with women’s sport. In a year where issues such as inclusion and sustainability came to the fore, other winners that captured the zeitgeist included Hennessy, Nespresso and Mind.

Big brands that triumphed in the 2020 categories included Mitsubishi, DHL, Axa and PayPal. However there was also recognition for niche brands such as Hillarys Blinds and Maldon Salt, which won in two categories. As in previous years, the range of winners showcased how sponsorship can be a potent communications platform for businesses across a wide array of sectors. As always, financial services was well-represented, with BNP Paribas and Deloitte among the winners. Marriott Bonvoy had a great night, winning two categories, while there was also success for Aldi, Cunard, Never Fully Dressed and Sony Interactive Entertainment.

In addition to the above, eight awards were handed out in the Rising To The Challenge section of the Awards. All of these campaigns related to work that was activated amid the Coronavirus crisis. Winners included Bauer Media, Carlsberg, Hummel, Versus Arthritis and Virgin Money. Continuing a good night for sponsors of women’s sport, the Škoda V-Women’s Tour 2020, entered by Fuse, came out on top in the Sports Partnerships & Projects category. There was also good news for LNER, winner of the Best Team Collaboration and Contribution Award in this section.

Commenting on the event, UK Sponsorship Awards founder and organiser Rosemary Sarginson said: “We were very disappointed not to be able to meet our friends in the industry in person at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, but we are proud to provide a showcase for such a remarkable range of work. Despite everything that the current pandemic has thrown at the industry, brands, rights holders, agencies, arts institutions and community-facing organisations have all continued to deliver work of the highest calibre. I’d like to congratulate all of our winners and finalists – and I hope we will be able to catch up properly at UKSA-backed events in 2021/22.”

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