Sky launches enhanced £2m support scheme for UK SMEs
Sky Media, the advertising sales arm of Sky, has today announced the return of SME100, a £2m support scheme for small businesses, giving them free access to the power of TV advertising through AdSmart as they recover from the pandemic.
Through the scheme, 100 small businesses will receive £20,000 of TV advertising across Sky Media’s channels, double the value that was offered in 2020, alongside a free 12-month superfast business broadband and digital phone package, courtesy of Sky Connect – Sky’s new B2B telecoms business.
Sky wants to help small businesses succeed and stay connected to their customers, boosting their recovery as the nation emerges from lockdown. The return of SME100 takes Sky’s contribution to more than £4.5m in advertising support for small businesses since the start of the pandemic.
Following a raft of success stories in 2020, SME 100 is open to any small business that has been running for at least one year in the UK, with up to 50 full time employees; from florists and car garages, to hairdressers and accountancy firms.
The businesses that are selected will be representative of the UK both from a geographic and diversity perspective. Aligned to Sky’s 2025 targets, it is aimed that 20% of winners will come from a minority ethnic background.
Businesses can nominate themselves online and will be selected by an internal panel at Sky. All applicants to the scheme will also receive a £250 discount for any 24-month Sky Connect broadband and digital phone package.
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO UK & Europe, Sky, said: “Small British businesses are more important to the UK economy than ever before. The pandemic has hit them hard, and we want to ensure they can bounce back even stronger. Through the SME100 scheme we’re offering industry-leading products to help them stay connected to their customers and most importantly, increase their sales and revenue.
“In the last 12 months, Sky has contributed more than £4.5 million in advertising support for small businesses, and we’ll continue to do all we can to be there to help.”
Fragrance company, Arran Sense of Scotland, based in the Isle of Arran, were one of the companies who benefitted from the SME100 scheme in 2020. Their TV advertising campaign allowed them to reach their target audience in specific local authorities in Scotland, resulting in over 300 orders and £15,000 generated in revenue.
Claire Logan, Head of Digital & Ecommerce at Arran Sense of Scotland, said: “We had never previously considered TV advertising as a viable option for a business of our size, but the process through SME100 couldn’t have been simpler or more impactful.
“Working with Sky we were guided step-by-step on how to bring our brand to life and reach a really specific group of potential customers in our local area. We’ve since gained a significant insight into our customer base and increased brand awareness, which has given our business a well-needed boost during the pandemic.”
Once selected, the 100 winning businesses will be put in touch with creative agencies in their local area to design and create their TV campaigns.