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Think!Sponsorship connects the sponsorship industry through a broad offering that includes conferences, training, events and our online sponsorship marketplace. We support organisations in maximising their commercial potential through our data, intelligence & consulting services. We are committed to providing affordable information and ideas to all types of organisations looking to develop best practice.

Conference Agenda

Think!Sponsorship conferences are a rich blend of networking opportunities, idea-sharing, interactive discussion and sponsorship intelligence.

Our content agenda, timings and confirmed speakers for the last edition of the conference on the 25th April 2017 can be downloaded in full by 


clicking here 


The 24th edition of the Think!Sponsorship conference examined how a changing social and political landscape impacts on the sector through the examination of 10 key themes.

Trend One: Rewarding Sponsorship

Engagement, Experience & Rewards are becoming established cornerstones of great sponsorship programmes. In this session we explore this concept in more depth and consider how customer acquisition and retention are supported through meaningful sponsorship activity.

Gillian McCormack, Managing Director, Material MC

Colin Banks, Head of Sponsorship & Rewards, SSE

Trend Two—Industry Update

The  Sponsorship Industry has spoken! Our second group session of the day shares outtakes from the recently conducted industry survey and identifies how the sports, entertainment, culture and charity sectors are evolving in a changing sponsorship climate.

Sandra Greer, Insight Director, MKTG

Trend Three—National Ambition

Sponsorship mirrors societal trends and encouraging health and well-being is at the top of the government’s agenda. Employees have recognised the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle to employees and in this session we consider how this is trend is playing out in the sponsorship sector.

Steven Ward, Executive Director, UK ActiveProject: National Fitness Day in partnership with Argos

Trend Four—Sponsorship Educates

Connecting with young people through education initiatives has seen increased popularity over recent years as many brands strive to ensure they can demonstrate brand purpose. This trend looks firmly set to continue and in this session we consider how programmes like this deliver, how they are measured, and what long-term outcomes are achieved through effective partnerships of this type.  

Alex Michaels, Corporate Relations Manager, The British Library

Amanda Andrews, Group Head of Communications & Strategy, Vodafone. Project: Digital Library

Trend Five—The Participation Effect 

Mass participation events have become increasingly popular with businesses looking to connect with individuals taking part in initiatives and challenges – and these are often completed with a charitable endeavour as motivation. In this session we contemplate how good fit and ‘good sponsorship’ is achieved in this space and how this sector may evolve.

Panel Discussion:

Ellie Carter-Silk, Fitness and Training Manager, Reebok

Clive Sanders, Head of Events, Cancer Research UK

Mat Bell, Commercial Director, Tough Mudder

Rick Jenner, Insights & Strategy Director, Limelight Sports 

Trend Six—Social Sponsorship

Purposeful partnerships can deliver huge impact and reach - bringing societal and political issues to the fore and acting as a catalyst for greater social awareness and change. In this session we consider how much impact relevant, collaborative partnerships can have and consider the evolving structure of these social initiatives in turbulent social and political times.

Paul Shulver, Head of Sponsorship, O2

Liana Mellotte, Head of Music, Entertainment & Development, War Child UK

Project: War Child BRITs Week, together with O2

Trend Seven—Passion Power

Team sponsorship maintains its enduring popularity as a mechanism to harness the passion of fans to commercial effect. A changing digital world offers possibility to businesses looking to engage with consumers in their passion space. How can sponsors navigate a path to successfully immersing themselves in the modern fan experience to best effect?

Panel Discussion: 

Chris Hurst, UK Head of Digital, Nielsen

Nicholas Mott, Head of Sponsorship, QBE Insurance

Owen Laverty, Head of Planning & Insight, Ear to the Ground

Richard Mason, Chief Operating Officer, Volvo Ocean Race 

Trend Eight— Futurescaping 

The ability to tap into future trends and anticipate behaviors around developing technology is something many organisation's aspire to have. Forward thinking brands are increasingly recognizing the value of harnessing new talent and fresh ideas by using futurescaping to create design scenarios that bring the near future to life in a way that stakeholders can buy into. This session looks at what happened when Renault sponsored a design project with Central Saint Martins students focused on the future of autonomous driving and how this provided unexpected visions of the future and new possibilities.

Nick Rhodes, Programme Director, Product Ceramic & Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins

Charlotte Terry, Sponsored Student Project Manager, Innovation and Business, Central Saint Martins

Colette Casey, Manager - Brand Communications, Renault 

Anthony Lo, Vice President, Exterior Design, Renault 

Trend Nine— Sponsorship Integrates  - Sponsorship Talks - Q&A Session

Barclaycard were one of the first businesses to use their sponsorship assets to showcase new technology and innovation - integrating their brand into the fabric of the platforms that they aligned with, and adding value to the customer experience. In this one-to-one sponsorship talk we get the chance to talk to Dan Mathieson about his experiences in working across the sponsorship sector and find out how Barclaycard's marketing and sponsorship strategy has - and is - evolving in changing social and technological times.

Daniel Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship & Experiential, Barclaycard

Trend Ten— Cause & Effect

Cause-related sponsorship and marketing offer a campaign-led proposition to businesses looking to align against societal issues. However, these initiatives often do not provide traditional sponsorship ‘rights’ and turnkey solutions to typical sponsor objectives. Nevertheless, the potential for ‘good outcomes’ via these types of collaborations is strong and in this session we debate how cause partnership opportunities can compete against more traditional sponsorship platforms to attract & sustain sponsorship.

Panel Discussion:

Samantha Preece, Head of Corporate Responsibility, LV =                  

Olivia Whitlam, Corporate Citizenship Manager, Siemens

Nick Wiggin, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Royal Horticultural Society (RHS),

Lisa Ramsell, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

Liz Watts, Research & Consultancy Director, Edcoms




Thank you so much for such a great event yesterday. I think the diversity of the attendees is excellent and makes for a very friendly and collaborative environment

Sophie Morris, Millharbour Marketing (April 17)

Thank you very much for a superb conference last week. I found every aspect of the day really interesting, useful and took away a lot from it. The event was incredibly well run throughout.

Jeremy Way, Chief Executive, Greenpower Education Trust

I really enjoyed the conference. It had a really lovely feel to it – very friendly and welcoming.

Matthew Leopold, Head of Sponsorship, British Gas

If you're not at Think!'re not in the loop'

Josie D'arby, Screen Nation

Thanks for pulling together a great conference. It was really interesting and great networking

Lee Dryden, Siemens

I really enjoyed it, I thought it was really well delivered.

Chris Rawlings, Commercial Director, Rugby Football League (RFL)

Just a very quick note to say what a wonderful day it was yesterday – I got so much out of it!

Kate Rhodes, Blue Shadow Marketing

Many thanks for a great Think Sponsorship event. Really interesting event and great networking.

Sarah Neill, Head of Partnerships, London & Partners

It was very good event, I very much enjoyed it!

Harriet McDonald, Head of Sponsorship, Transport for London

It was a great event and it was useful for me in terms of a number of contacts I made.

Jon Walters, Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

I wanted to drop you a line to congratulate and thank you for pulling together such an inspiring bunch on people on Thursday! I really enjoyed the conference

Hayley Huckin, Wales Millennium Centre

I think very highly of this event. Well organised and well put together

Dan Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship, Barclaycard