Welcome to Agile

We’re nearly 20 years old, so it’s really more of a welcome back!

Either way, welcome to a refreshed, rejuvenated Agile – we’ve launched an exciting new website, updated our brand identity, and added some clarity to our proposition as we continue to expand. Don’t worry, we’re still focused on managing prizes and running events, but we’ve also grown into something more…
 
The world is constantly changing, and with more uncertainty than ever, securing the financial future of an events programme has never been more important. Having begun life as a strategy consultant in the big bad city, before joining Agile for a career running literary prizes, I’m determined to use my unique dual experience to help our clients and partners thrive in a challenging marketplace.

What do we do?

In the two decades since our founder helped set up Channel 4’s Richard & Judy Book Club campaign in the UK, we have developed the expertise to run each and every element of a literary or wider arts-based prize campaign – whether securing sponsors, managing the submission & judging process, producing prime-time TV programmes, running retail, social & publicity campaigns, managing events or developing a brand identity – we like to think we’ve become experts in all departments! Have a look at our full list of services to find out more.

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Whats our objective?

Here at Agile, we believe there are two key elements to running successful prize campaigns. Firstly, we pride ourselves on never losing sight of the stories themselves, with our primary goal being to shine a light on success, and the stories behind that success. Secondly, to ensure we can do the stories justice, we know the importance of a carefully considered award structure, and a well-thought out funding model.

How can we help?

With literally 1000’s of prizes now competing for both funding and attention, we can help put you centre stage, AND make sure you stay there for years to come:

      • Do you need support developing your sponsorship proposition or funding model? Perhaps you would benefit from expert advice around budget allocation or an informed view on the structure of your campaign?

      • Do you need support developing your brand identity, or curating a creative campaign? Are you happy with your brand, but need help creating your prize materials, and managing the production process?

      • Are you fed up of managing multiple third-party relationships? Maybe we could help refine the process, or run the prize administration, freeing you up to focus on the stuff that really matters?

      • Alternatively, is your lack of expertise in one specific area holding you back? Maybe you need short-term support when resources are strained?

Want to find out more?

What are we known for?

Have a look at our case studies to find out more about Agile’s prizes and projects. One of our projects, An Post’s Irish Book Awards campaign, recently became the first ever Arts-based Sponsorship to win the Overall Sponsorship of the Year at the European Sponsorship Awards – for our insight on the winning campaign, click here.
 
For those new to Agile, we are an expanding independent agency, with a physical presence in London, Bath & Dublin. However, don’t be fooled, we also work on many international campaigns, with projects in the Middle-East & India, and further international expansion on the horizon…
 
It’s exciting times for us at Agile, and we want to bring as many of you along for the ride as possible, so please get in touch to find out more, or just to say hi!
By Luke Giles | Managing Director

Sponsoring a Book Prize

Agile Creative Director & Founder,
Alastair Giles recounts a memorable night at the European Sponsorship Awards

Before 2020, although our offices are based near Bath, you would’ve found me in Central London two days out of five. Most media-based industries are centred around the capital and book publishing is no different.
 
What a difference a worldwide pandemic makes, I’ve not returned to Soho since February 26th and I’m not sure when I’ll be back again, with Zoom calls seemingly the new norm!
 
As it turned out, my last trip was a cold late-winter’s night of much celebration, heavy drinking and two awards ceremonies:
 
Having run an event with the team showcasing the best Travel writers of the year in a successful Covent Garden ceremony for the first part of the evening, I left early to pop to The Brewery in East London for an intriguing time at the European Sponsorship Awards.
 
I was the guest of Core, an agency in Dublin whose client: An Post (The Irish Post Office) I’d just paired with another of our projects: The Irish Book Awards. Core had put together the activation campaign around the awards campaign and submitted the awards for two categories at the sponsorship awards.
 
I arrived halfway through the night, to a room seemingly full of well lubricated Sports marketing agency types. The An Post Irish Book Awards had already picked up the gong for both its two entered categories: Arts & Culture Sponsorship and Newcomer of the Year. By 11.30pm, I was being dragged onstage to celebrate with them, as it also won the prestigious Overall Sponsorship of the Year Prize too!
Agile Creative Director Alastair Giles with An Post Irish Book Awards Sponsorship Manager Louise Cronje and the Core team at the European Sponsorship Awards
Agile Creative Director Alastair Giles with An Post Irish Book Awards Sponsorship Manager Louise Cronje and the Core team at the European Sponsorship Awards
This was significant, because it’s the first time the gong has gone to a non-sports sponsorship. In Sport, sponsorship is a mature market, but within the Arts and Culture area, significantly less so. It’s even rarer to see sponsorship used as creatively around Books and reading.
 
It’s worth examining why. Perhaps, the most unique factor is the very personal connection people have with books; readers are incredibly passionate evangelists and word of mouth spreads rapidly. So, in addition to the personal passion, a community quickly builds and is fostered not only on social media, but also, between friends in book groups, in libraries and also book shops.
 
All this communication leads to something rarer that sponsors crave; longevity.
 
A book with an award sticker on it takes on average 6 weeks to read. A prize poster in a bookshop stays in a window or around a display of books on average 10 weeks. Official awards stickers, (with the sponsor logo integrated within) stays on a prize-endorsed hardback (or a consequently published paperback) book for around 9 months.
 
This is what An Post tapped into when they decided to sponsor the national Irish Book awards (effectively, this works as a celebratory affirmative action campaign for Irish writers, in every genre including children’s books, which now represents about 40% of the book market in Ireland).

Want to find out more about our sponsorship service?

 
The abundance of stake-holding partners include; bookshops, libraries, junior sponsors and all forms of media and whilst publicity coverage online, in newspapers and within the official RTE TV highlights show is important, the fascinating reveal here is that across our project portfolio, official evaluations have suggested that over 50% of the value to the sponsor is taken from the official instore poster, shelf-edge strip and sticker displays in-store.
 
Books reflect society and the media. It’s not just about fiction authors. Today bestsellers are just as likely to be written by celebrities, TV stars, sports stars, chefs, bloggers etc. Association to that range of talent is another welcome benefit for potential sponsors.
 
Being able to vote for your favourite book is another important side product of the immersive passion of readers. Engagement is vital for sponsors such as An Post, who were looking to add relevance and content for community discussion. In addition to the ‘IBA Academy’, the public in Ireland are urged to vote on the various shortlisted books, resulting in over 100,000 votes online.
 
Prize-winning sponsorship campaigns aside, the world has changed in the last 6 months, but with events now largely virtual, this kind of reach, personal interaction and association longevity could be seen as even more valuable to sponsors.
 
Traditionally, sport is where sponsorship is at, but looking beyond and specifically at book prizes is worth bearing in mind. An Post and Core have done a great job eking out benefit from the Irish Book Awards, but, there are plenty of similar national and more tactical opportunities within the UK book market.
By Alastair Giles | Creative Director & Founder

Prize-winning sponsorship campaigns aside, the world has changed in the last 6 months, but with events now largely virtual, this kind of reach, personal interaction and association longevity could be seen as even more valuable to sponsors.

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