Sponsorship case studies

Diageo: Premix Cans


Diageo wanted to persuade consumers to open a Premix can when they got home from work.

Solution: Diageo Premix can sponsorship of Geoff Lloyds Hometime Show

With their range of Premix cans Diageo sponsored the Hometime Show; a perfect fit for this day part as Premix were going after the everyday evening occasion, trying to persuade consumers to open a Premix can when they got home from work.
The sponsorship from September 2011 - March 2012 promoted the range of 7 cans including Gordon's Gin and Schweppes Tonic, Captain Morgan's Spiced and Cola, Gordon's Gin and Schweppes Slimline Tonic, Pimms and Lemonade, Bulliet Bourbon and Cola, Archers and Lemonade and Bell�s and Ginger Ale.

Over the course of the Sponsorship Geoff and The Hometime Team created various In Show Features to bring Premix messages to life.

This included replicating the Premix TV Creative with �The Drawing Room�, where Geoff put on his smoking jacket and retired to a different themed place each week. Annabel reeled off a quick fire conveyor belt of quirky items which listeners then has to repeat back to win great prizes.

What the client thought...

"Geoff Lloyd and the team at Absolute have been excellent throughout the whole premix sponsorship. Geoff, in particular, played a huge part in delivering our message and he has consistently been passionate and engaging with listeners.

The team invested a lot of time in understanding premix and our goals and came up with a lot of inventive ideas, week after week, which delivered very engaging content for listeners. We really enjoyed listening to the competitions and hearing the enthusiasm from both sides. The sponsorship has enabled us to interact with listeners and deliver on the premix message to consumers. Moreover, the whole team have been extremely helpful throughout and it has been great to work with such great people and have all their support along the way."

Alice Ponti, Innovation Manager at Diageo

Guitar Hero: World Tour


Guitar Hero were looking for opportunities to promote the latest game in the Guitar Hero range, Guitar Hero Greatest Hits.

The activity had to build excitement in the lead up to the release date of the game on the 26th June.

The release date also tied into presence Guitar Hero had at Hard Rock Calling from the 25th-27th June.

Solution: Guitar Hero Sponsorship of 'One Last Dream' Competition

The sponsorship proposal that Absolute Radio created for Guitar Hero was the opportunity to partner with our One Last Dream competition.

One Last Dream was a competition we?d run really successfully in 2008 and 2009 offered Absolute the chance to bring it back, bigger and better with a commercial partner. The competition was to bring the band back together targeting people who had missed their chance at fame one last bite of the cherry. The competition had been a great success in 2008 which enabled us to sell the opportunity in to the client as we knew it would be a hugely engaging platform for Guitar Hero to git involved in.

Guitar Hero are the perfect partner for this competition, as their tagline is ?unleash your inner rockstar? appealing to the inner rock star in all of us. Guitar Hero was a great brand to be giving our listeners the opportunity to get the band back together.

The competition featured heavily in the Christian O?Connell Breakfast show and the production team?s involvement in the partnership with Guitar Hero was a huge part of the campaign?s success and in the development of the partnership. In previous years the run up to the event had been a much quieter part of the campaign, but in order to meet Guitar hero?s brief of building activity in the final week before the game?s release the structure of the One Last Dream mechanic was re-worked. To create real build up towards the event at Hard Rock Calling and the games release the Breakfast Show team challenged the winning band to write a new song, perform a gig at a guitar hero party at the Hard Rock Cafe and to record a single at Abbey Road. All these activities enable the team to build momentum specifically for Guitar Hero?s campaign objectives.

The climax of the competition offered the winning reformed band the opportunity to perform a set live on stage at Hard Rock Calling, an event both Absolute Radio and Guitar hero are involved in, and Absolute worked closely with the event organisers to ensure that there was full synergy on all platforms and that the event was a fitting climax to the competition.

The partnership package provided Guitar Hero to get involved at every level of the campaign; from on-air and online to events, and we integrated special features specifically to promote Guitar Hero?s association, these included:

  • Sponsored pre-recorded promotional trails. 
  • Shorter sponsor branded credits throughout the competition on the Breakfast Show. 
  • A blipvert campaign on Absolute Radio Classic Rock.
  • In-show feature in the Breakfast Show for ?air guitar? kettle classic song requests.
  • Session at Abbey Road studios for the winners of the competition, Original Sinners.
  • Guitar Hero One Last Dream party at Hard Rock Cafe in London.
  • Online sponsorship of the One Last Dream microsite including competitions and interactive content, voting and videos from the competition.

The campaign was deemed such a great success for the Guitar Hero team that we were able to continue working with them and they came on board as Absolute Radio?s commercial partner for the V Festival.

What the client thought...

"Guitar Hero are fans of music, and so a partnership between us and Absolute Radio is a perfect fit.  With One Last Dream, what really impressed us was how integrated Absolute are with their campaign planning, and how the enthusiasm of everyone at the station translates something that is infectious with the listening audience.  

The campaign led to great sales results and re-enforced Guitar Hero's position as the music video game leader and the music video game that loves music variety wherever it can be found, and has also led to further partnerships between us and Absolute"

Ian McClellan, Senior Brand Manager, Guitar Hero



Sky have a longstanding history of working with the team at One Golden Square and their decision to sponsor the Christian O?Connell Breakfast Show is indicative of the faith that they have in the ability of Christian and the whole team at Absolute Radio to deliver their key messages effectively while engaging listeners.

Solution: Sky Sponsorship of The Christian O' Connell Breakfast Show

Sponsorship of the Absolute Radio breakfast show provided Sky with a great platform to target our listeners with their core marketing messages but also the opportunity to convey a variety of one-off messages or third party associations. Sky is a big fan of Christian O?Connell and recognises and admires his experience as a broadcaster and communicator. Over the course of the sponsorship the client?s own relationship with Christian as well as the team at Absolute has had a direct and very positive effect in ensuring the sponsorship works hard against their key objectives.

Since we became Absolute Radio in September 2008 the Sky sponsorship of the Breakfast Show has created a comprehensive response to big brand messaging briefs from Sky including: Smaller Bills, Bigger thrills, Come home to Sky this Christmas and Sky + HD ? Now its for everyone. The Breakfast show?s whole production team are involved in generating responses to these briefs whether in the form of pre-recorded taglines or promotional activity. The team?s involvement ensures that all elements of the sponsorship deliver commercial messages effectively but in a style that is very much Absolute Radio, and so engages the listeners and adds to their enjoyment of the show.

In addition Absolute provided solutions within the Breakfast Show sponsorship to raise the awareness among our audience of programming highlights such as 24, Battlestar Galactic and The Deadliest Catch. Sky knew that Christian was already a great advocate of these shows and so has personal background knowledge of this content which he is able to share with listeners and his enthusiasm for his sponsor is infectious.

The partnership also enabled Sky to support other areas of the business including Sky Movies, Sky Sports and Sky box Office with tactical activity. As part of the sponsorship Absolute Radio also provided Sky with several weeks of intensive promotional activity which Sky were able to use to provide added emphasis for their key marketing campaigns across the course of th sponsorship.

The solutions created for Sky used both on-air and online platforms to encourage full engagement with our audience and generation of data-share. The activity developed by the team at Absolute ensured that Sky received significant over delivery with added value provided through additional editorial engagement, giveaways and live read activity.

What the client thought...

?Over the past two years Christian and his team have invested valuable time in understanding our business and, as a result, they've delivered some of the most engaging and interactive radio mechanics we've ever had.

This has allowed the Sky brand to come alive for our audience, and has enabled us to fit seamlessly within the fabric of the show. Using the sponsorship as an 'umbrella', we've delivered against a huge volume of briefs, ranging from broader brand positioning (such as our See, Speak, Surf and Believe in Better campaigns) to tactical product and channel messages. We've also been able to amplify and leverage some of our 3rd party partnerships, such as our sponsorship of UK film premieres.

Importantly, it's worked! We've researched the property regularly, and the results speak for themselves: the partnership started from a high base, yet awareness has consistently grown. We've also seen positive results for each of the many emotional and rational messages we've wanted our audience to embrace.

Our partnership with the Golden Sq team has spanned more than 15 years, and it will continue. Absolute's Breakfast Show will play a part in our activity beyond our sponsorship in 2009 because it delivers results for our business.?

Bob Suppiah, Marketing Controller, British Sky Broadcasting



Align the new ?Rock Band? game, available on Xbox, with live music.

Solution: V Festival Sponsorship

Xbox sponsored our coverage prior to and during the V Festival. 

The campaign consisted of pre recorded trails, ticket giveaways, Festival updates, media player sponsorship, on air and online competitions and on site presence within our own VIP area at the festival site.

The pre-recorded trails were designed to give the feeling of creating your own festival in your living room whilst at the same time building excitement about the event.

During the weekend we gave away Xbox consoles and copies of Rock Band to those listeners who couldn?t be at the festival to let them rock out at home!

The campaign included major online presence including sponsorship of our ?sessions? media player which housed all of our previous festival videos of acoustic sets in our VIP area as well as that years videos from the V Festival.

On site we rigged up consoles to let our VIP guests experience Xboxs for themselves as well as turning our acoustic stage into ?Rock Band? Kareoke in the evening to let our guests live the dream and play at V?al be it on Rock Band!



Align Garmin Sat Nav with football content/programming.

Specifically target ?away fans on the road?.

Solution: Rock & Roll Football

Sponsorship of our flagship sports show ?Rock n? Roll Football along with weekly updated spotlight features.

The Sponsorship consisted of pre-recorded trails and in show credits which were positioned creatively to appeal to football going fans.

The show included the ?Football Update? in show feature each week in which Russ Williams gave a snapshot of the journeys ahead for away fans that weekend, highlighting the commitment and passion of fans and how far they travel to get to games.

Each weekend we also ran a series of Spotlight features in the same vein as the in-show feature which was Garmin branded and allowed for the delivery of key messages and calls to action.

Online, we created a tool where fans could type in the name of the club they were next visiting as an away fan and the programme would come up with hints and tips of the area?where to park, when to get there, routes to avoid etc.

What the client thought...

?We believe in creative minds and creative spirit both in the development of our products and how we communicate our brand. Absolute Radio are renowned in the radio industry for their creative and targeted campaigns and this is a shining example of a simple but highly effective idea.?

Chris Merrell, UK & Ireland Marketing Manager

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