There’s just one week left until the final deadline (January 15th) for entering the 2018 UK Sponsorship Awards (UKSA), the industry’s largest and most prestigious awards event.

The Awards will be held at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on March 27, 2018, with writer and comedian Viv Groskop hosting proceedings. As in previous years, between 450-500 sponsorship industry executives are expected to attend the Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation.

“This is the 24th edition of the UK Sponsorship Awards,” says UKSA organiser Rosemary Sarginson, “and each year it provides a superb showcase for the most creative, innovative and effective work in the industry. The fact that it does so is down to the terrific support it receives from key players in the sponsorship industry, who turn out to celebrate friends and colleagues.”

As in previous years, the 2018 Awards will celebrate the best campaigns across areas such as sport, media, the arts, community and PR. But this year there are a number of new categories designed to reflect key developments within the business, says Sarginson: “Every year, we aim to make the UK Sponsorship Awards reflect the current trends in the industry as closely as possible. To a large extent, this is achieved through the entries we get to existing popular categories. But where we identify a gap in our programme we take genuine delight in introducing new opportunities to showcase great work.” 

One change is the inclusion of two new Football Sponsorship categories: Best Domestic Football Sponsorship and Best International Football Sponsorship: “The Domestic Category is all about sponsorships targeted at a UK audience, so that can be anything to do with clubs, leagues or cup competitions,” says Sarginson. “International is about sponsorships that target a multi-territory audience. This might cover UEFA and FIFA events as well as activities around national teams. But equally it could be a Premier League club with a global brand partner.”

While the long-standing TV Sponsorship category will remain unchanged, the 2018 event will also see the introduction of a Mobile category, reflecting the growing importance of small screen technology to millennial and Gen Z audiences. The popular Digital Activation category will also give way to two new categories that more accurately reflect the way in which sponsorships are activated through new media channels. Best Use of Social Media will reward sponsorships that are activated across channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. Best Online Sponsorship or Owned Media Activation will reward sponsorships that originate on digital publishing platforms or are activated via a brand’s own platforms (eg. company websites and channels)..

In addition, the Print and Radio category will be extended to cover Film, thus providing an opportunity for all non-TV and non-digital media sponsorships to compete against each other. As a further complement to the TV category, the breakthrough Branded Content section will be back for a second year. Other key changes sees the introduction of a new Gaming category..

The organisers of the UK Sponsorship Awards (UKSA) are also delighted to announce the launch of their new ‘Champions’ programme, an initiative designed to shine a spotlight on some of the most talented and influential figures in the business. The Champions programme will replace UKSA’s long-standing Personality of the Year Award from the 2018 edition of the industry-leading event. Going forward, Champions will consist of five awards covering the full gamut of sponsorship activities. .

Sarginson says: “The UK sponsorship community is such a broad church that it makes sense to expand the “personality” dimension of the Awards to reflect the amazing array of talent across different areas. Our Champions will be people who provide role models to the rest of the sponsorship business.” Please send your nomination and your reasons why to .

As always, the UKSA organisers are committed to supporting Diversity in the industry – which is why this year will see the continuation of the Targeting Women category and the Diversity & Inclusion category. Also back for the 2018 event are the popular Rights Holder and Agency Awards. .

Criteria for all Awards can be found on the UKSA website – or please do email us or call on 020 8891 1067. “Don’t miss your chance to enter,” says Sarginson. “The Awards are a fabulous occasion and it would be wonderful to see you there.” .

Winners and finalists for the 2018 UKSAs will be celebrated at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square. Always a sellout, we would advise early reservation. To get a taste of the evening, please click here.

Rosemary Sarginson