This year the INFINITI Engineering Academy has been nominated for Best Use of Sponsorship across Multiple Markets at the ESA Excellence Awards. This is great for us because it’s recognition of PRISM’s ability to pull off truly international sponsorship activations for a world-class brand like INFINITI.
For those who don’t know the history of the account, at the end of 2015 INFINITI announced that it was leaving Red Bull Racing, it was the end of an era for the premium automotive brand, but also for PRISM. Five consecutive years of excellent relations and results combined to form one of the most globally recognised commercial partnerships in sport.
Goal posts change of course, and for INFINITI (or more importantly its parent organisation – the Renault-Nissan Alliance) its involvement in Formula One was moving away from brand awareness to brand education. In short, the need for telling a credible and compelling story about INFINITI’s performance credentials and know-how became the focus for the brand. To that end, INFINITI joined the Renault Sport Formula One Team for the 2016 as Technical Partner.
The Engineering Academy now forms one of two key pillars for this partnership programme – sourcing brilliant, young university engineering talent to work for 12 months across motorsport and automotive engineering. The other pillar is to integrate INFINITI powertrain experts at the team’s Paris headquarters, an area that PRISM is also supporting fully.
The response to this year’s campaign has been incredible: 4,000+ applications (400% growth since 2014), 70+ finalists, 15 events worldwide with 100+ media guests in attendance and achieving well over 500 coverage features across targeted media outlets. The INFINTI Engineering Academy now has seven global winners (including our first two female winners). PRISM continues to play a pivotal role in the management and implementation of the project and, new for 2016, has been contracted to develop a pilot documentary that follows the winners’ journey.
The delivery of multiple media-facing, flagship events across three continents during 2015 has been at the core of the programme and certainly a major reason we’re now on the shortlist for the European Sponsorship Association’s Excellence Awards. The award is for Best Use of Sponsorship across Multiple Markets, and that’s exactly where we’ve excelled – from from Nashville to Mexico City by way of Beijing and Dubai.
Two stand-out activations include the European Academy Final at Renault Sport’s HQ in Oxfordshire, where F1 driver Kevin Magnussen put the Academy contestants through their paces on the race track, while Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell quizzed them on engineering. On the other side of the world, INFINITI President Roland Kruger was on-event at INFINITI HQ in Hong Kong to announce the seventh and final Academy winner of 2016.
We’re up against some other huge global brands in the category, including McDonald’s, Pepsi and DHL, which goes to show the calibre of this award, but even to get this far is great. Check back in February when we find out who wins.