INTERVIEW Why Shawbrook Bank is backing sports sponsorship with Saracens deal

Jasmine Butler Burnham

Marketing Manager

The Financial Services Forum

Specialist lender Shawbrook Bank recently signed a deal to become the banking partner of London’s Saracens rugby team. According to Jim Moulton, the firm’s Marketing Director, sports sponsorship offers a platform to tell a “cohesive story to a demographically complementary audience”.

“For smaller more specialist organisations, [it] can help scale your own efforts more quickly, making use of existing expertise to maximise impact,” Jim tells the Financial Services Forum.

Founded in 2011, Shawbrook offers specialist property and business finance alongside personal loans and savings products with the motto of being “proudly different”.

The deal with Saracens will see Shawbrook branding featuring prominently on players’ kits, across the stadium, and online. This applies to the men’s and women’s rugby teams and netball team as well as the Saracens Foundation charity.

Jim emphasises that the deal is not just about selecting a popular team. Important for this particular choice is the alignment between the Saracens’ values and its own, with Jim explaining that it “was something that really resonated with our staff, aligned with our values, and spoke directly to our ESG plans for the future.”

Accordingly, the announcement of the partnership on Shawbrook’s site bears the strapline “making a difference together”. The page draws out areas of similarity, including a shared focus on gender diversity.

“A cornerstone of our programme was the focus on inclusion, but the incredible work done in support of local and regional communities by the Saracens Foundation was also something that resonated strongly with everyone at Shawbrook, and was the driving force behind our coming together with the Saracens team,” explains Jim.

He suggests that the most important factor when choosing a partnership is to have a “very clear picture in terms of objectives and a framework in place that allows you to successfully measure the impact over time.

“From the start, this was about building a programme that focused on making a difference, so alignment and measurability was always going to be key,” Jim says.

The firm sees the Saracens tie-up as a “shot in the arm” for its marketing in the year ahead.

“We plan to keep on developing this relationship, ensuring that all our marketing speaks to the central objective of proudly making a difference, to us as a business, to our partners and, importantly, to our customers and the communities in which we work.”

Jim’s comments dovetail with a recent FSF event with Courtney Waterman, Head of Creative Marketing, Ninety One and Martin McGovern FCIM, Fractional Chief Marketing Officer, gigCMO.

You can watch the event here.

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