tBT Strategy

Lewis Pugh – Securing commercial investment and activating partnerships for the UN Patron of the Oceans

Create & Ideate
Activate & Implement
Position & Communicate
What they wanted

UN Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, was launching The Long Swim - a campaign to secure 30% of the world’s oceans as Marine Protected Areas by 2030. The focus of  this was a series of long distance swim challenges, the first of which was to swim the full length of the English Channel. The Lewis Pugh Foundation needed to develop a British focused narrative and secure sponsors for this challenge.

What we did

We firstly spoke with Lewis to gain a clear understanding of why the establishment of marine reserves is so important, and the unique angle and assets that his challenge would be able to offer to potential partners.

We also scoped out the current conversation around the marine environment in the UK and established that the campaign could not be better timed. Public appetite was high following the BBC’s Blue Planet series, and subsequent government action around single use plastics. With Lewis’s unique campaign we could use these foundations to start a wider discussion about marine reserves. We also highlighted that the challenge would be taking place as families were heading to the coast for their holidays. We recommended a ‘Festival of the Oceans’ narrative that fed into this positive summer time feeling – focusing on celebrating the beauty of the seas and inspiring people to take positive action.

Using these insights we created a partnership deck. This clearly communicated the vision, goals and reach of the campaign, aligned it with the current news agenda, highlighted the values a brand could align with, outlined the key assets and channels for activation, and presented the commercial advantages of a partnership.

We then undertook research to create a database of brands that had made clear commitments to the environment or marine protection specifically. These targets were approached with the opportunity, and where interest was expressed we worked to develop bespoke partnership packages that aligned with specific brand objectives.

What happened

We secured brand partnerships with global forex broker FXTM, Speedo and Sky, with Sky agreeing to cover every single day of the swim online and on screen. Having sourced and contracted the partnerships we remained on board to activate smoothly, generating maximum return on investment and successful partnerships for the Lewis Pugh Foundation that we aim to extend well beyond this initial challenge. In addition we were engaged by the Lewis Pugh Foundation to deliver event activation services along the route of the swim, delivering three events to allow for the maximum visibility of his partners and delivery of their contracted rights.