March 08, 2016

How to Stay on Brand with Your Event Sponsors

We know all too well that getting your event off the ground is no easy task. It takes patience, ambition, knowledge and well, money. Luckily, there are brands out there willing to give you a helping hand, provided of course, you can offer something in return. So, if you’re running a festival now’s about the right time to start working on those sponsorships. But don’t be too easily roped in by them (if possible) – think about a brand that can tie in with your event concept.

According to a study conducted by marketing agency, AEG and Momentum Worldwide, around 80% of respondents admitted that the best and most effective way for brands to connect with them is through a branded live music event. However, that’s not to say that they don’t need to work hard to be remembered. So, we’ve decided to take a look at some events and sponsors who have worked well together, where brands have not simply placed their logo around the event, but immersed themselves into the experience itself.



For a good couple of years EE has been a sponsor of the great Glastonbury Festival, being its official technology partner since 2014. EE was a great fit for a festival as this, running over several days people require internet, be it to share their amazing experience across social media or to find their lost friends.

However, they didn’t go about this by plastering their name everywhere. By now, brands should know that if they act in any way outside the festival culture they’ll be mocked and vilified. Instead, they focused on immersing themselves in the Glastonbury environment and contributing to the experience. In 2013 they converted tractors into 4G Wi-Fi spots and drove them over to various parts of the Worthy Farm in Somerset. Not only did they use this as an opportunity to provide WiFi to attendees, thus collecting data on them, but they also promoted their first ever super fast 4G network at a UK festival.

Of course, knowing the difficulties of trying to charge a phone at a festival, they even created the EE Recharge Tent allowing attendees to charge their phones, at the same time promoting their EE Festival Power Bar. Further to this, an app was created to help festival goers plan their day, find their way around the site and more.



See this as less of a sponsorship and more of a partnership. Millennials are drawn to organisations doing social good, it shows them you’re thinking about their future. Wateraid works with Glastonbury Festival to make sure they deliver water and toilets to festival goers. In 2010 they even got Ecover, makers of environmentally friendly cleaning products, to sponsor their She-Pees.

Southern Comfort

In order to succeed at a festival a brand needs to increase the fun at your event, adding to the entertainment, and in a way become performers themselves. An example of this is seen in Southern Comfort’s Juke Joints. Southern Comfort sets up a little music venue hidden in V Festival, which takes on the style of a New Orleans bar.



Again, with Jager we see a brand that shows authenticity and blends in with the festival culture via the Jager Ice Truck, which is a truck bar that offers a viewing platform to watch acts on the main stage.



Heineken not only sponsors the UEFA Champions League, but also the Rugby World Cup and Dutch Olympic Committee.

Needless to say Heineken has many other beer brands that immerse themselves into the event experience. For example, Desperados plays a big role in its involvement in the music scene. It has lounges in nightclubs in the Netherlands and even has its own stages and small parties at festivals like Buiten Westen and Georgie’s Wundergarten.

desperados stage


Red Bull

For a while we’ve seen Red Bull push boundaries with its involvement in sports and now even music. To be a part of anything Red Bull is seen as a privilege, especially its music academy. Red Bull has smashed the music scene with its rave parties, an example of this was the return of its dial a rave parties in London mid last year.

It has also made itself present at events such as Street Fest, Amsterdam Open Air and much more. Red Bull never hide behind the scenes, they do whatever they do to the best of their abilities and ensure it brings entertainment to its audience.


These are just a handful of brands doing sponsorship well. There are several more drink brands like Coca Cola, Budweiser, Bacardi, Magners and Juliper, as well as charities such as Oxfam and Greenpeace. Let’s not forget Virgin, who subtly place their name into V Festival. There’s a lot out there, but just make sure that whoever you work with, that they fit with your event and can provide value or entertainment to your audience.


Written by Emma Brincat