Brand partnerships can be an extremely fruitful means of reaching business objectives, providing a novel experience for users, attendees or customers, and positioning brands as unique in saturated markets. But, when crisis strikes, no matter how big or small, it goes without saying that we must focus on nurturing and caring for our communities in order to make it through to the other side. Brands have a significant voice in society, so it's important they use this voice appropriately: in extreme cases such as the current pandemic, straight revenue simply must be put on the backburner.
In this piece, we catch up with Kieran Morris, Sponsorship Director at Slingshot Partnership, to identify some excellent brand partnerships that stand out for all the right reasons in their aim to resolve an issue amid a crisis.
ukactive Kids x Nike
Last year, ukactive Kids released their Generation Inactive report, concluding that children simply are not moving enough during the school day. This can lead to problems such as poor school performance, less developed social skills and obesity, which is mentally and physically damaging for a child. In fact, the National Child Measurement Programme reported that in 2019, 20.2% of children aged 10-11 were obese and 14.2% were overweight.
In response to this issue, ukactive Kids partnered with sports giant Nike to launch The Active School Hero campaign, which recognises primary school staff across London who are helping to get kids moving, aiming to reward and inspire others to join the movement (literally). Not only are kids becoming more active, but individuals are being recognised and therefore motivated to continue their great work.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the partners have come together once again to create the 'Move Crew', in which Nike athletes and Active School Heroes set kids daily 'activity missions' to complete at home, in accordance with that week's theme. You can find out more about the initiative here.
TeamGB x TikTok
Due to the coronavirus pandemic leading to this year's Olympic Games being postponed, sport has effectively been cancelled for the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean it can't be used for good. Sam Ward, Team GB hockey player, has created a new campaign with viral video-sharing social media platform, Tik Tok.
Coined the #IsolationGames, the campaign aims to keep people active and entertained during lockdown by challenging them to create videos of their sporting efforts at home, as well as donating to the British Red Cross to aid the charity's admirable efforts during the pandemic. By donating, the British Red Cross is able to deliver food and medicine to those in need, support the vulnerable and elderly, and support the NHS.
We love this partnership: not only is it keeping people active, it's also raising awareness and much-needed funds for a crucial charity in the fight against coronavirus. You can donate £3 to the British Red Cross by texting GAMES to 70401.
Mercedes x UCL Hospital
Engineers at the Mercedes F1 team, engineers at University College London (UCL), and clinicians at the UCL Hospital have come together to develop a new breathing device, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. This device is designed to assist with breathing in coronavirus patients suffering with lung infections, and has now been made freely available worldwide to help in the fight against coronavirus. This initiative is part of Formula 1’s Project Pitlane campaign to assist in the pandemic.
An order for 10,000 CPAP devices has been placed by the NHS, and the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains technology centre is building 1,000 devices per day.
“It is a phenomenal achievement that the devices are arriving at hospitals only two weeks after the first prototype was built. It shows what can be done when universities, hospitals and industry work together for the national good.” - Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice Provost Health
TheConduit x Ralph Lauren x GAIL's Bakery
TheConduit, a London members' club focused on social and environmental change, have launched #FuelforNHSHeroes in partnership with Ralph Lauren and GAIL’s Bakery. The campaign is simple - to provide healthy meals to frontline NHS workers and their families.
As well as Ralph Lauren and GAIL's, there are now 11 organisations involved in the campaign, supporting several hospitals across London, including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. TheConduit reports that their catering partners have delivered over 22,500 meals, as well as over 13,000 loaves of bread, to 6 London hospitals. The campaign has also expanded from just delivering food - Lifeline to the Front has delivered 400 power banks to frontline staff, keeping them in contact with their friends and family during this difficult time. You can donate to #FuelforNHSHeroes here.
HBAA x EventWell x Balancing Edges
The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has partnered with EventWell for a series of free mental health webinars, aiming to support and improve its members' mental health during the coronavirus crisis. The most recent webinar was on 'Managing your mental health and sustaining positive wellbeing now and beyond Covid-19', and more are to be announced soon.
Following on from these webinars, the HBAA has also partnered with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training organisation Balancing Edges. This new partnership has organised online Mental Health Awareness Courses throughout May, June and July, and aim to raise awareness of mental health.
Following the 4 hour course, attendees will be provided with a certificate of attendance from MHFA England to say they are 'Mental Health Aware' and a workbook including a helpful toolkit to support their own mental health. You can book onto a course here.
HBAA has also created a 'Mental Health Toolkit' full of helpful resources, which is available here.
We hope this has shown you the power of brand partnerships and how they can be used for good in times of crisis. We would love to hear your thoughts on any great brand partnerships you've come across, so please get in touch and be sure to follow us on social media too!
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