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Partnerships in business: O2 and Nordoff Robbins

Last week, the music industry came together to recognise and celebrate some of the biggest names in music at the annual Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards, and raise vital funds for life-changing work. We’re in our 14th year of headline sponsorship of the awards, and we couldn’t be prouder to be involved in such a humbling event.

Partnerships such as these have so many benefits, from increasing brand awareness and creating positive brand association to widening your audience demographics and creating better customer experiences. We’ll be talking through some of the steps required to create a successful partnership in this article.

O2 and Nordoff Robbins

Nordoff Robbins is the UK’s leading music therapy charity, and their valuable work helps change the lives of so many vulnerable and isolated people across the UK.

We are thrilled to have recently confirmed a further three-year charity partnership deal, ensuring we continue to play an instrumental role in the charity’s fundraising efforts. The O2 Silver Clef Awards has so far raised over £11 million for Nordoff Robbins, £7 million since O2 became headline sponsor in 2005. The funds raised from the event last year alone helped Nordoff Robbins deliver over 37,000 music therapy sessions to over 10,000 vulnerable people in the UK.

To date, the sum of O2’s support equates to paying for over 200 individuals to receive a year’s worth of dedicated one-to-one music therapy. And last year, we donated instruments to the charity’s music therapy centre in Newcastle, the first-of-its-kind outside of London.

Gareth Griffiths, Head of Sponsorship at O2, said:

“This is our 17th year supporting this brilliant charity. It has been amazing to see the wealth of positive change that has taken place over the last year for Nordoff Robbins, we feel privileged to be involved. The O2 Silver Clef Awards gives us the opportunity to honour some truly outstanding musical talent – both in respect of our esteemed award winners and the work of Nordoff Robbins, and for that we couldn’t be prouder”

Julie Whelan, CEO of Nordoff Robbins, said:

“To our event sponsors O2 – we are forever grateful for your on-going support. Not only do they commit themselves to the success of this event, but they commit themselves to Nordoff Robbins, heart and soul. Their passion and dedication to our charity is truly inspiring, we are so very lucky to have them working alongside us in so many abundantly beneficial ways”

Benefits of business partnerships:

As showcased above, partnerships and sponsorship opportunities can be extremely beneficial for both parties, for example through:

• Raising awareness, reach and positioning for your brand and it’s purpose
• Creating positive brand association and PR opportunities
• Providing attractive customer content / perks / corporate hospitality experiences
• Creating internal engagement amongst colleagues
• Sharing expertise and people power
• Having a big brand or celebrity support for a charity can boost awareness about its work and help drive fundraising.

So if you’re considering sponsoring or partnering with another organisation or cause, here are a few tips that might help:

Sharing an affinity with your intended partner. You must feel that there is synergy between the overall objectives and purpose of your organisations. At O2, music is in our DNA. For example, through Priority Tickets we give our customers unforgettable live music experiences, and understand the impact music can have on people’s lives.

Set out how you and your partner can benefit each other. For example, we’ve shared our expertise in technology and marketing to help boost awareness and raise funds. While we’ve been able to award our very own O2 Silver Clef Fan of the Year award, giving something back to our customers.

Remember that sponsorship is about more than just viewing figures or reach. If you are looking for a long-term partnership, you need to recognise that your partner’s fortunes may fall as well as rise, and they will need all the more support when they do.


To find out more about Nordoff Robbins and the fantastic work that they do click here. To read more about today’s awards please click here. And finally, do donate to this important cause, please click here.

At O2 we’re always here to help support your business growth journey. For more information or guidance, just get in touch.


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