Thanks for joining us for our brands-only breakfast forum, which focused on the art of activation and the different strategies organisations have used to meet their objectives.

To kick start the morning, Jem Maidment, Director of Marketing and Communications, Utilita, shared with the group how a new ‘Smart Pay As You Go Energy provider’ is now recognised as the fastest growing supplier and the 9th largest in the UK with over 600K customers.


The key objective for Utilita was to increase their brand awareness, being new to the marketplace, it was essential that they focused their efforts on their target consumer without overspending in advertising. The best way they believed they could do this was through sponsorship – specifically sports sponsorship.

  • Utilita targeted millennials and low-income households/social housing customers who they see as groups they can help make a difference and give a fairer deal to.
  • Targeting a younger demographic helps to ensure brand loyalty and build long-lasting relationships.
  • Utilita’s core brand values provided them with the foundation from which they developed strategic sponsorship relationships and activations. For example, their sponsorship of the Scottish League Cup. Through this sponsorship they have created brand awareness in some of the poorest areas of Scotland, partnered with the charity Home-start and helped the local community by providing jobs to people from the Celtic Foundation.
  • Similarly, they have targeted young fans in Leeds by sponsoring the front of shirt of the children’s Leeds United Jersey, with £2 for every shirt being put back in to Leeds to help the community.


Within two years Utilita doubled their customer base and 90% of customers invested in smart meters.


Utilita’s approach towards sponsorship and activation has offered fans a greater sense of belonging and association, whilst also enhancing their experience. The focus of its story is linked to their core objectives and they have benefited from remaining authentic and pushing for a greater purpose.

Our second speaker Luke Harper, Head of British Cycling Partnership, HSBC, discussed the reasoning behind HSBC and British Cycling’s partnership. The goal was to inspire and increase participation and align societal partnerships to new cyclists to create a greener, fitter and healthier nation.


The partnership was never established primarily to gain brand exposure, but rather to help drive an important message of encouraging the nation to keep active.

  • HSBC centred their efforts around the 3 C’s: Colleagues, Customer, and Communities. By developing initiatives such ‘Lets Ride’ City events, which is an event that rides through iconic places/landmarks to give people another reason to get outside and be active.
  • HSBC has also partnered with other event organisations such food and music festivals promoting collaboration and driving engagement within local communities. They identified a need to fuse interests together to engage audiences and make their strategy more than just a cycle.
  • Another initiative is ‘Go Ride Go’ which focuses on grassroots and aims to deliver and develop a programme that encourages children to ride a bike and get active.


HSBC selected a strategy that is accessible nationwide – engages colleagues, customers, and communities provoking people to stay connected or want to get involved. In order to reach a wide-ranging audience, it’s vital to consider blending sport with other interests such as music, entertainment, and culture in a bid to retain and attract consumers.


To hear about our solutions for brands in the sports and entertainment space, please email Mark Cornish at or give us a call on +44(0)20 7221 7040.