February 3, 2021 @ 9:59 by Chloe Holmes
Innovative out-of-the-home (OOT) advertising firm Smart Outdoor has become the latest North East business to back GiveToLocal’s community sport mission.
Smart Outdoor’s screens are synonymous with many of the region’s most iconic landmarks.
The Houghton-le-Spring based business manages more than 60 displays across the UK – including sites at the Tyne Tunnel, the Tyne Bridge and on the A19.
And now Smart Outdoor is ready to increase its presence across the North East after becoming a GiveToLocal national partner.
“It’s been great to get to know the guys at GiveToLocal,” says Mark Catterall, managing director and founder of Smart Outdoor.
“I’ve been friends with Justin Lockwood, who hosts the GiveToLocal podcasts, for some time and I was interested in the work that was being done around community sport.
“I was keen to put a partnership together and see how Smart Outdoor could help.”
January saw GiveToLocal host two introductory webinars which enabled businesses including Virgin Money, NatWest, AkzoNobel, BAM Nuttall, Brewin Dolphin and Newcastle Building Society to find out more about the national sport organisation.
Its mission is to back sport, boost business and build networks with an aim to drive an additional £10m per year into community sport.
Smart Outdoor supported last month’s online events as official sponsor and Mark adds: “I really believe in what GiveToLocal is doing.
“I come from a grassroots sport background and I’ve always played Rugby Union at a variety of levels.
“At every rugby club I’ve played for that club has been at the heart of its community.
“Over the years I’ve been involved in sponsorship and fundraising and it’s always been a challenge to bring money into community sport.
“When I found out about GiveToLocal and how their service worked it really resonated with me.”
Both Smart Outdoor and GiveToLocal sponsor Newcastle Eagles — British basketball’s most successful franchise and winners of January’s BBL Cup.
And that common association further strengthened a shared determination to agree a partnership capable of supporting communities right here in the North East and across the country through national partnership.
“I’m really enthused about what GiveToLocal is doing,” adds Mark. “I know brands that are keen to associate themselves with community clubs on a broader scale.
“GiveToLocal has the potential to be the aggregator and enable clubs to scale their fundraising and sponsorship opportunities as a result.
“If you’re a brand looking for a positive association with communities across the country then GiveToLocal can suddenly link your brand with thousands of clubs, their players, families and friends. It’s an exciting proposition.”
Smart Outdoor has become synonymous with the summertime Screen On The Green outdoor cinema showings in Newcastle city centre.
And the firm worked alongside SSD Concerts during last summer’s successful run of socially distanced shows at Gosforth Park racecourse.
Embedded in the North East and committed to further projects across the region, Mark and his team is passionate about promoting the region.
“I’ve always been in and around sport working with clubs and brands and when I started Smart Outdoor two years ago one of the first clubs I worked with was Newcastle Eagles,” he explains.
“In that time we’ve built a valuable estate in the North East — it’s where I live and I’m passionate about the area.
“But it’s also a fact that other areas are already served by other big screen operators and so it made sense to start here.
“We value the region but as we grow the business of course we’ll always look to expand.”
Across his complementary Smart Media business, Mark works with JD Sports, American Golf and the British Basketball League.
And GiveToLocal’s head of corporate relations, David Broom, adds: “Mark is a proactive and enthusiastic member of the North East’s business community and we’re privileged to be working with Smart Outdoor.
“Like GiveToLocal, they’re committed to the region and proud of their roots on Tyneside. But like us, Smart Outdoor want to be seen as key players across the UK.
“It’s a fantastic partnership with huge potential. I can’t wait to see how far we can go together.”
For more information on Smart Outdoor visit www.smartoutdoor.co.uk
To find out how your business can support GiveToLocal attend one of the upcoming February webinars www.givetolocal.com/nee-webinar