Standard Life Investments
and Sky Sports

SLI scored a hat-trick with their
Lions and Sky Sports partnership

SLI scored a hat-trick with their
Lions and Sky Sports partnership

Standard Life Investments and Sky Sports

SLI scored a hat-trick with their Lions and Sky Sports partnership

Being in the financial sector, SLI often found it challenging to engage with their key audience in a compelling way, beyond traditional media. Having laid the foundations with elite international sport with their partnership with the Ryder Cup, SLI partnered with The Lions in 2017 and amplified their association with Sky Sports. Using broadcast sponsorship, AdSmart, in-programme editorial, competitions, digital content, social, VLOGS & on the ground activation, the partnership set the benchmark for a brand activating their event partnership with a media owner.

#FANVAN mentions on Twitter
digital impressions acheived
recall of SLI sponsorship idents


Standard Life Investments (SLI) is an asset manager bringing talented people together through teamwork and a collaborative spirit to create value for clients. Being in the financial sector, a fairly low interest category for consumers, SLI struggled to engage their key audience.


Combining both upmarket audiences and world class credentials, along with the greatest Rugby Union players from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland coming together as one team, The Lions offered the perfect partnership for SLI. This not only proved a strong brand fit with SLI’s collaborative ethos, but also furthered its association with elite sport, rich in heritage and stature.

Holding exclusive UK broadcast rights for The Lions Tour of New Zealand, Sky Sports offered SLI the ideal platform and audience to amplify their association with this sport.



In a bid to push boundaries and place SLI front of mind with rugby fans worldwide, Sky Media, Ptarmigan Media and SLI developed a partnership without rival. With broadcast sponsorship at the heart of the campaign, the partnership would develop across linear, digital, social, editorial and on-the-ground activation to deepen SLI’s association like never before.

To drive engagement and awareness over and above The Lions Tour in June, the partnership would kick off in February to build up excitement to the highly anticipated event. Using a multi-platform approach, SLI could truly dominate the rugby conversation and win the hearts of fans across the globe.


The partnership launched with a competition on during the Six Nations, offering fans the chance to win a money can’t buy prize to New Zealand to watch The Lions tour with a friend, including exclusive access to training sessions, all expenses paid. Promoted via digital media across, VoD and the Sky Sports App, intertwined in editorial features and through social media, the entries exceeded expectations. Topping this, leading Sky Sports Rugby presenter, Alex Payne, further promoted the competition editorially in live rugby programming.

Shortly following the competition launch, a co-created, fully branded and interactive team selector tool launched on, allowing fans to pick their ultimate Lions team. This was shareable via social media and promoted via digital placements online and in the app. Sky Sports Rugby Pundits and Lions Legends Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell took part and promoted their predicted line-up suggestions and debated live, on air during rugby programming to further drive visits. SLI also encouraged their ambassadors, including former Lions captain Martin Johnson, to participate.

Sky Sports created three, 30 minute, ‘Live Lions Special Preview Shows’ to further build excitement and anticipation for the upcoming Tour which provided SLI with an opportunity to drive brand association from an early stage. Filmed at the stadium of the live Rugby match, Sky Sports Rugby experts debated The Lions forthcoming squad selection and editorially promoted the SLI competition and team-selector tool. SLI ran first/last in break adverts around the Lions Squad announcement on Sky Sports News to capitalize on interest ahead of the Tour.  This early activity ensured SLI were at the heart of the Lions conversation from the outset.

Whistle blown, the broadcast sponsorship began in line with the first Lions match. SLI dominated the coverage with branded idents in live, repeated and highlights footage, and also in the magazine show. This was supported further with digital sponsorship across and via social media, driving users to SLI’s website where users could enjoy further Lions content.

To further push the content beyond Sky subscribers, Twitter Amplify was used to push out cut-down snippets of content from the matches in real-time. Using the Sky Sports Rugby Twitter handle, the content included scoring highlights, yellow-cards and penalties, engaging fans across the UK.

What more? The “Fan Van” was born. A Winnebago campervan, fully wrapped in a branded SLI Lions jersey, landed on the ground in NZ. The “Quinnebago”, named and driven by Scott Quinnell himself, the eye-catching van followed the Lions team throughout the tour. Creating daily 3-minute vlogs of the journey with challenges such as bungee jumps and exclusive access with talent, the content flooded and Sky’s social media handles, sharing the experience with fans worldwide. On top of this engaging content, Lions captain, Sam Warburton and Quinnell, re-enacted the famous “carpool karaoke” with their version of Dolly Parton’s 9to5. All Fan Van content climaxed in a 45-minute special featuring the ‘best of’, available to watch on Sky Sports linear, VoD & Sky Go, all branded with SLI.

Wrapping things up, a targeted TV campaign via AdSmart, targeting high-net-worth individuals further supported the campaign, ensuring SLI’s brand and messaging landed with their target hard-to-reach, desirable audience.


Brand Awareness

  • 47% of those watching the Lions Tour recall the SLI sponsorship idents
  • SLI became the most recalled partner brand amongst Lions watching rugby fans. – rising from pre tour 4%, to a massive post 14% tour
  • 1 in 5 rugby fans recall exposure to SLI digital assets
  • Twitter Amplify – brand awareness increased +5pp amongst exposed viewers

Brand Engagement

  • Over 4.5 million #FANVAN mentions on twitter
  • Over 10.1 million Snapchat views of the 33 fan van videos
  • 5 digital impressions achieved
  • Over 1.2million visits to team selector tool
  • 35,000 competition entrants, a Sky Sports record that’s yet to be beaten.
  • More than 1 in 10 recall watching Fan Van online video content with ¾ agreeing Scott Quinnell made the Tour experience more enjoyable
  • AdSmart successfully engaged over 409k c-suite high-net-worth individuals

Brand Perception

  • 48% increase in people saying SLI products would be “their first choice” or that they would “seriously consider” them
  • Overall, positivity towards SLI as a result of the Sky Sports sponsorship increased significantly amongst Lions watching AB 35+ Men from 10% to 14%
  • SLI registered a 300% increase in spontaneous brand association with the British & Irish Lions

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