MONDAY 13 FEB 2017 6:07 PM


Brimming with collaborative projects that showcase prized efforts in the sponsorship industry, the ESA Excellence Awards 2016, hosted by the European Sponsorship Association, took place in London’s Porchester Hall last week, marking a decade of European sponsorship success. The awards offer a unique glance into the world of sponsorships, with a range of industry professionals from diverse backgrounds gathering to share experiences, network and celebrate a growing calibre of cross-sector collaboration.

Challenging organisational processes, successful sponsorships represent much more than just common ground. At the helm of each project come good working relationships, shared goals and supportive workplace cultures that translate the wealth of potential through partnerships. The ESA Excellence Awards underpin a melange of 23 categories, from the Arts & Culture Sponsorship award falling into the arms of luxury hotel chain Hilton, to the successful ‘Wear the Rose’ campaign solidifying telecommunications carrier O2’s longstanding sponsorship of England Rugby by winning the Sports Sponsorship award (over €2million).

Capturing the concerted essence of collaboration, the standout campaign in this year’s awards came from supermarket chain Lidl’s sponsorship of Ladies Gaelic Football, aiding the wider growth of the sport by breaking attendance records and changing the perception of the sport. Karen Earl, chairman of the ESA, says, “On behalf of ESA I'd like to congratulate Lidl on their very well-deserved win at the 2016 ESA Excellence Awards. All this year's entries were of an exceptionally high standard and the judges had a difficult time deciding on an outright winner”

With the growth of sponsorships ballooning year on year, the ESA Excellence Awards remain the principle benchmark of collective participation within organisations. Yet as industry lines become blurred and organisations tread new grounds, awarding best practice in the world of sponsorships continues to provide challenges for both organisations such as the European Sponsorship Association as well as wider collaborative work. With that in mind however, the results, as the ESA Excellence Awards 2016 have shown, continue to show improvements in sponsorship work across various sectors.