Friday, February 25, 2005

Awards Success Offers Marketing Boost

They say 'Nothing Succeeds Like Success', and we're all familiar with the promotional phrase 'award winning', but how's this for some real world examples of the marketing boost an award can bring. The late Ray Charles is currently top of the US music charts with his last album, Genius Loves Company, after it won eight Grammy Awards. In the week after the awards ceremony, the album sold 224,000 copies. At number two in the Billboard 200 list are Green Day, who won best rock album in the Grammys. And the surge in sales for these awards winners comes despite the TV audience for the 2005 ceremony dropping to the lowest for ten years. Of course, the heavy in-store marketing of albums and artists, both before and after the Grammys, will have helped to promote the nominated and winning artists in all genres and categories. So there we have it - everyone's a winner! Awards winners, awards nominees, the awarding body and their sponsors, and the retail outlets selling the award-winning product.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Nobel Peace Prize Coverage Boosted by Leaked Nominations

The Nobel Peace Prize, the prestigious global award from the Nobel Foundation, received a timely boost yesterday some eight months before the 2005 winner is due to be announced. According to a 'leaked' list, the pop star Bono is one of 166 nominees for this year's honour. Other names on the list include Ravi Shankar, Pope John Paul II and for US Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to reports, none of these global personalities is likely to be among the top contenders; rather, it is expected that the prize will go to an individual or group in Asia, in the wake of the Tsunami disaster.

Nonetheless, the leaked list does help to keep the awards in the public domain. It is the second time that Bono has been nominated. The Third World debt relief campaigner was also in the running for the prize in 2003. The Nobel Peace Prize has traditionally been awarded to individuals or groups who persue humanitarian work and/or human rights issues. The first (joint) winners, in 1901, were the founder of the Red Cross group, Henry Dunant, and international pacifist Frederic Passy. More recent winners have included Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards Announced

The British theatre industry celebrated one of its most prestigious awards last night as the winners of the Laurence Olivier Awards were announced at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel. The event was sponsored by Hilton Hotels and is organised by The Society of London Theatre. A total of 21 categories were rewarded, ranging from Best Actor and Best Actress to Best New Opera Production and Outstanding Achievement in Dance. The Awards were established in 1976 as The Society of West End Theatre Awards and became the Laurence Olivier Awards in 1984. The actual award trophy consists of a magnificent solid bronze statuette weighting 1.6kg. It depicts the young Laurence Olivier as Henry V at The Old Vic theatre in 1937 and was commissioned by the Society of London Theatre from the sculptor Harry Franchetti.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Case of the Disappearing Sauce

Sighs of relief all round at World Snooker as people's favourite Jimmy White bombed out of the Masters tournament at the semi-final stage yesterday. As we reported previously, White had legally changed his name for the tournament to James Brown, in reference to a promotion with the sport's new sponsors, HP Sauce, who make brown sauce. But snooker's governing body was not amused and refused to accept the new name, also instructing the media and TV commentators not to use it. Funnily enough, after an early flurry of references to this story, it died a sudden death as the tournament got underway. Media censorship, or just the natural shelf life of a quirky pre-tournament story that is quickly replaced by match reports? Who knows, but it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had White / Brown succeeded in the tournament.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Music Awards in Full Swing

So, the annual music awards are in full swing. Following on the heels of the BRIT awards and the Grammys last week, this week we have the NME Music Awards and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Next week sees the East Coast Music Awards in Canada, and in two week's time that country celebrates Canadian Music Week 2005 with no fewer than four awards: The Independent Music Awards (The Indies), The Canadian Industry Music Awards, the Fans Choice Awards and the Canadian Radio Music Awards. A month later, Canada will then host its annual Juno Awards from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In the US, the 19th Annual Soul Train Music Awards are due in March. Back in the UK, the Music Week Awards will be held on 3rd March in London and the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music will hold a Poll Winners concert in Gateshead on 5th March. In Ireland, the annual Meteor Music Awards take place on 28th February. So many awards, so little time. Almost makes you feel sorry for those recording industry executive who just have to attend. Almost.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Barclays Works Hard to Maximise Awards Benefits

So you're the lead sponsor of one of the world's highest profile soccer leagues. How do you maximise your media coverage? In 1993, Carling, then sponsors of England's top Premiership league, introduced two monthly awards - Player of the Month and Manager of the Month. These have continued over the past 12 years, with the current sponsors of the league, Barclays, presenting their own custom made trophies to the two winners each month. It is a sure fire way of keeping their brand in the sports news. Nice one Barclays.

But the hard work doesn't stop there. Barclays also run a number of other sports initiatives, most notably their Sports for Spaces programme of investment in community sports facilities across the UK. As part of this initiative, they run a Local Hero Award, created "to honour the unsung heroes who work endlessly to support grass roots sport in the communities across the UK". People can be nominated for these awards, and the winners receive a cash award to the team or charity of their choice, along with a limited edition silver medal. We particularly like the idea of seeking nominations - what better way to generate publicity and goodwill towards the initiative than word-of-mouth recommendations and active participation by ordinary people. Nice one again, Barclays.

Finally, the plug. If you are seeking to run your own awards programme, whether it be a monthly award such as the Barclays Player and Manager of the Month Awards, or an honour such as their Local Hero Award, we'd like to recommend our partner Awards-Trophies-Supplier.co.uk as a source for your silver awards trophies and awards medals. For an outstanding collection of crystal awards, we recommend our partner Crystal-Awards-Supplier.co.uk.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Snooker Bosses Unamused by Saucy Stunt

The governing body of the sport of snooker, World Snooker, has turned its nose up at a publicity stunt involving leading player Jimmy White and the sport's new sponsors HP Sauce. Despite a major sponsorship deal between World Snooker and HP Sauce, which includes the household food brand sponsoring the brown ball during the current Masters tournament, the ruling body has failed to ketchup with the spirit of the promotion. They have refused to recognise the change of name by Jimmy White, to James Brown, for the tournament. White (Brown) changed his name by deed poll as part of a promotion between himself and HP Sauce. The deal will also see him replace his traditional black dinner jacket for a brown one. But World Snooker insist that the player registered for the Masters tournament under his old name and therefore that is the name that organisers and TV commentators will use. It also means that if White/Brown were to win the tournament, there is no chance that the name James Brown would be inscribed on the winners trophy. The story about the name change - coupled with the player's excellent progress in the tournament - has led the media coverage of the Masters, surely a result for HP regardless of the stance of World Snooker.

Monday, February 14, 2005

BAFTAs and Grammys Awards Announced

Another weekend, another batch of top level awards to be announced. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held its glamorous awards ceremony on Saturday, with media coverage of the event again leading with the Oscars angle - that is, reports on who won which BAFTA Award were focussed on whether this award offered any clues as to whether they would also be successful in the Oscars. Also, as we highlighted previously, sponsors Orange seemed to get little value for their money. Most leading media organisations seem to have simply dropped the sponsor's name from the official title, The Orange British Academy Film Awards. The only mention they seemed to get was in reference to the specific prize, the Orange Film Of The Year, which was voted for by the public.

Across the pond, the recording industry held its annual Grammy Awards last night. The Grammys are awarded by the Recording Academy's voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. They pride themselves on offering a truly peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement rather than sales or chart positions. The Grammys current have 105 categories within 30 genres of music. Winners receive the Grammy award trophy, a golden gramophone statuette. These trophies are hand crafted by Billings Artworks. For a selection of quality awards trophies in the UK, we recommend our partner site Awards-Trophies-Supplier.co.uk.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

UK Industry Awards - February 2005

Just wanted to plug some forthcoming industry awards in the UK. On the 28th February the Professional Beauty Industry Awards 2005 will be announced at a gala dinner. Now in its fifth year, this awards programme was produced and sponsored last year by Professional Beauty, Professional Nails & Professional Spa Magazine in asscociation with Zest magazine. Its aim is to recognise the hard work and commitment of those in the Health & Beauty Industry. As well as the honour of the title, winners also receive a bronze style statuette of a female figure.

Also this month (24th February) the UK Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) will host its annual UK Internet Industry Awards. Introduced in 1999, these awards have come to be dubbed 'the ISPAs' and seek to recognise innovation and best practice in the Internet service provider industry. This year will see awards in 20 categories, each one sponsored by a major brand or company within the sector. Winners receive a bevelled crystal award similar to the jade crystal trophies in this range of flat glass awards from Crystal Awards Supplier.

The Fitness Industry Association is seeking entries for its 2005 FLAME (Fitness Leadership and Management Excellence) Awards ahead of a deadline of 25th February. The FLAME awards recognise and applaud excellence and best practice in the fitness industry in the UK.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Catherine Zeta Enters Into Spirit of Awards

How's this for an example of an Awards Programme - or, rather, the organisers and sponsors of the award - punching above their weight: the student theatre group Hasty Pudding Theatricals has just honoured the Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones in a public ceremony, the latest in a long tradition of leading name actors who have accepted the Hasty Pudding Awards. Later this month actor Tim Robbins will receive the Man of the Year Award.

Of course, this is no ordinary student theatre group. Hasty Pudding has been presenting student-written theatre in Cambridge, Mass, since 1891. The group has its origins as far back as 1795. And, of course, it is based in the upper-crust university of Harvard. Perhaps using the industry connections of Harvard alumni (ooh, so cynical!), the group introduced its Woman of the Year awards in 1951. Past recipients have included Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Meg Ryan, and Sandra Bullock. In 1967 the Man of the Year awards were introduced, and winners of this accolade include Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins and Bruce Willis.

For her acceptance ceremony this year, Catherine Zeta Jones was surrounded by an entire troupe dressed in drag costume. Entering into the spirit of the occasion, she sang an impromtu verse of a song from Chigaco, the screen musical for which she was awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Just one further point we'd like to raise regarding these extraordinary awards. It seems that some of the language used on the Hasty Pudding web site clearly doesn't travel too well across the Atlantic. We had to stifle a chuckle when reading these extracts from the group's page on the Man and Woman of the Year 2005: "Following the parade, the President of the Theatricals, Matt Ferrante '05, and the Vice President of the Cast, Sam Gale Rosen '06, will roast the celebrity and present her with her Pudding Pot...". They continue: "On Thursday, February 17th, Man of the Year will take place. The producers of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Romina Garber '06 and Charles Worthington '06 , will roast the winner and present him with his Pudding Pot...". You British readers can see where we're going with this, can't you? Need I mention Premiership footballers, hotel rooms and tabloid newspapers? Oh dear, Catherine being roasted by men in drag. These really are a surreal set of awards.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

So Many Awards, So Little Time

So, the awards season is well and truly underway, with the Golden Globe Awards a couple of weeks ago, the Screen Actor's Guild Awards at the weekend, and the UK's BRIT awards last night. So many parties, so little time! But as the tuxedos and frocks are dry cleaned and put away for next time, the awards statuettes and trophies polished and a suitable place found to display them, where do the various top level awards stand after another year?

It is often commented that both the Golden Globe awards and the SAG awards are seen as an indicator of possible success in the Oscars. That may be true, but is the balance of power shifting slightly? Both the Golden Globes and the SAG recognise and reward achievement in both television and traditional cinema, whereas the Academy Awards are traditionally for the silver screen only. With the increasing popularity of 'home cinema' systems, huge flatscreen displays in the home, and the proliferation of TV channels via cable and satellite, which Awards are best placed to attract the public interest in years to come? As production values for top quality broadcast TV drama continue to rise, will the public still be as fascinated with an awards ceremony - no matter how glittering - that only rewards cinema releases? It won't happen for a while, but I just wonder what the future holds for these top level awards.

The BRITs, meanwhile, just seem to go from strength to strength. A quick look at their Web site today - www.brits.co.uk - shows all the various syndication partners for the screening of the star-studded show. Despite its somewhat parochial title - the EUROs anyone? - these music awards outshine all the other domestic programmes in the UK and compete on a world stage with other top level events. Way to go, BRITs!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Scottish Legal Awards An Exemplary Case

The Cuthbert Scottish Legal Awards 2005 were announced last week in Edinburgh, providing us with an outstanding example of a well-run industry awards programme. The Awards are produced by Scots legal recruitment company Cuthbert and the headline sponsors for the 2005 awards were Bank of Scotland Corporate, who have now supported the programme for three years. The Scotsman newspaper was involved for a second year, ensuring a maximum of coverage for the Awards. Other sponsors and supporters include Scott & Company, Springfords, TFB plc, LexisNexis UK, DX, Cavanagh, Aon Professional Risks, Laveron, Crombie Anderson, First Title and Castle Computer Services.

The winners of the 2005 Awards were announced at a prestigious lunch event held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, with an after show party in the same venue (sponsored by Aon). Many of the awards categories are sponsored by businesses with an interest in that specific niche - for example, the Best Legal Website award was sponsored by Laveron, a Glasgow-based design studio and consultancy.

In previous years the winners of each category received an engraved curved glass award as a symbol of their achievement. Of course, the prestige of the title was the real and lasting award, but no decent awards ceremony or event is complete without a presentation. A custom engraved crystal award or trophy provides a focal point for the winners both on the day, for publicity photographs, and as a physical symbol of their achievement for display in their offices.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Heineken Renews Sponsorship of European Rugby Competition

Global brewing brand Heineken is to continue as the title sponsor of the European club rugby tournament organised by ERC. Heineken has been involved in the competition since its inauguration in 1995. In that first Heineken Cup tournament 12 teams from five countries played a total of 15 matches. In the current competition there are 24 teams from six nations (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) taking part in a total of 79 matches. Many of these games are televised across some or all of the six countries. The final of the current competition - The 10th anniversary final - will take place in Murrayfield, Edinburgh, on Sunday, 22 May 2005. Close to 25,000 tickets have already been sold for that match. The Heineken Cup trophy, awarded to the winning team, is a magnificent large silver trophy cup featuring the sponsor's logo and a map of Europe featuring gold plated highlights. For a selection of rugby trophies and silver trophy cups, we recommend our partner site Awards Trophies Supplier .co.uk.

Jacco van der Linden, Marketing Manager Heineken, said: "Over the past decade Heineken's involvement as title sponsor has contributed to the growth the tournament enjoys today as the premier club rugby tournament in the Northern Hemisphere. In tandem with this, the sponsorship offers Heineken in Ireland, France, Italy and the UK a unique opportunity to participate in and contribute to a premium event on a pan-European scale."

Derek McGrath, ERC Chief Executive, commented: "Title sponsorship is a critical element of our commercial programme. An association with a premium global brand with excellent brand attributes, such as Heineken, offers a natural match and synergy with what is one of the world's leading sports properties."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Readers' Choice Awards Name Top Brands

Brandchannel, the online resource dedicated to brands and produced by global advertising behemoth Interbrand, has announced its 2004 Readers' Choice Awards. Compiled from the votes of almost 2,000 brandchannel readers from 75 countries, the Awards recognise the brands that had the most impact during the year. By 'impact', the meaning could be both positive or negative.

The global award went to US technology company Apple, largely on the strength of its iPod music technology. Second place went to the search engine / online advertising distributor Google, with Swedish furniture giant IKEA and American coffee brand Starbucks voted third and fourth respectively. A somewhat surprising choice at fifth place was the Arabic news channel Al Jazeera, reflecting both the focus events during the year and also perhaps the ambiguity of the term 'impact'. BMW's Mini brand was voted sixth and Coca-Cola seventh, while Richard Branson's Virgin brand was number eight. Online auction house eBay and Finnish mobile technology giant Nokia were ninth and tenth respectively in the global top ten.

In the Europe and Africa region the awards were dominated by local - as opposed to US - brands. IKEA came in first ahead of Virgin and Swedish clothing giant H&M. Nokia was voted fourth and Al Jazeera fifth.

This survey presents a fascinating barometer of brand recognition at the top level. Though in this case success is probably its own reward and the companies responsible are likely more concerned with movements up or down compared to previous years than in the 'Awards' themselves.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

New Soccer Cup Builds Bridges in Ireland

A new soccer competition has been announced in Ireland that will involve leading teams from both the Republic and Northern Ireland. The Setanta Cup will be the first cross-border football competition on the divided island for 20 years, and it is hoped the new competition will help build bridges between communities in the north and south.

The competition is sponsored by Irish satellite and cable broadcaster Setanta, who are funding the event to the tune of €1.6m over four years. Winners of the competition will receive €150,000 and the runners-up €80,000. Each of the other four teams taking part will receive €30,000. Setanta will broadcast ten of the 13 matches played in the competition.

The Setanta Cup will feature three teams each from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: the winners and runners-up of the national league in each state, and the winners of the national cup competition. It was jointly launched by Setanta, the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association. The new Cup is a successor to the Tyler of Blaxnit Cups which took place between teams from the north and south of Ireland in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Launching your own soccer competition? May we recommend sourcing your trophy cup from the extensive selection of silver trophies at Awards Trophies Supplier? They offer free engraving and fixed price delivery to the UK, EU and USA.