On Wednesday 31st October, Nielsen hosted a breakfast briefing welcoming a selection of brands and rights holders from the world of sport and entertainment to the National Theatre at Southbank, London.

Throughout the year, we have held a series of breakfast events giving focus to the latest trends and developments we’re seeing across the sponsorship landscape. The theme for our most recent session centred on how partnerships can create unique experiences for consumers beyond traditional stage performances. Here’s a short summary of the event and the material presented.


Mike Wragg, EVP, Global Head of Research at Nielsen opened by sharing insights into global sponsorship spend and how investment overall is increasing. What is more noteworthy though, is the level of sponsorship deals across the arts & culture and entertainment sector, which now equates to 30% of total sponsorship deals.

Richard Seymour, Head of Consulting, Nielsen along with Lynsey Douglas, Account Director – Brands, Nielsen then walked through some best practice modelling for measuring the success of partnerships in this sector, whilst showcasing case study material that referenced who is performing well in this space.  



Our second presentation of the morning was delivered by Charlotte Surman, Senior Corporate Development Manager, National Theatre and Mark Wileman, Director Brand Marketing, Hertz. Charlotte shared how important the role data and insight is, and how it directly helps support National Theatre to better understand the value of their assets. This is crucial for the conversations they’re having with partners and prospects.

It was at this point where the audience was then able to hear directly from a brand, who traditionally haven’t engaged in sponsorship across this sector in UK. Mark communicated Hertz’s aims and objectives and although the partnership is still in its infancy, he was able to share some of the results from the past 6 months with us too.


Liz Elward, VP Marketing Partnerships, Live Nation
Alison Forbes, Head of Marketing Campaigns, National Theatre
Andy Milnes, Group Account Director – Brands, Nielsen

Our final session for the day was a panel where we had an in-depth Q & A, debated how partnerships can create unique experiences for consumers and also how brands and rights holders can work together to achieve agreed goals via sponsorship.

An interesting sponsorship that was referenced on the panel related to first direct bank and their partnership with the music venue in Leeds.  You can read more about their sponsorship approach here.


  • Sponsorship investment across arts, culture and entertainment is growing and represents a huge opportunity with the sports landscape becoming more and more crowded.
  • Arts, culture and entertainment sponsorships offer an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves – which is in line with the general sponsorship trend we’re seeing of increasing importance of cause-based sponsorships.
  • Partnerships executed well, can be mutually beneficial to both rights holders and brands, however, behind every successful partnership is a wealth of data, deep audience insights and research to validate and measure return on investment.

For more information on our breakfast briefings, please contact jerome.quartey@nielsen.com