Sky doubles ad time giveaway to £2m in second year of SME100 scheme

Scheme launched during pandemic last year.

SME100: last year's scheme supported brands including Wild Card Brewery
SME100: last year's scheme supported brands including Wild Card Brewery

Sky’s support scheme for small businesses, SME100, is back for its second year – and this time, there is £2m worth of TV advertising up for grabs.

The scheme will offer 100 small businesses £20,000-worth of TV advertising each across Sky Media’s channels via AdSmart (the company's addressable TV platform), as well as a free 12-month superfast business broadband and digital phone package through Sky’s B2B telecoms business, Sky Connect.

The 100 chosen businesses are set to reflect the UK – both from a geographic and diversity perspective – with ambitions for 20% of winners to come from a minority ethnic background.

Each winner will be paired with a local creative agency to design their TV campaign, which is expected to drive business results by specifically targeting audiences that matter to the business. 

Businesses can nominate themselves via the scheme’s website, and all applicants will receive a £250 discount for any 24-month Sky Connect broadband and digital phone package.

It is open to any small business with fewer than 50 employees that has been running for at least one year in the UK.

“Small British businesses are more important to the UK economy than ever before,” Stephen van Rooyen, executive vice-president and chief executive of Sky across the UK and Europe, said. 

“The pandemic has hit them hard, and we want to ensure they can bounce back even stronger. 

According to van Rooyen, Sky has contributed more than £4.5m in advertising support for small businesses in the past year (including the SME100 scheme).

He continued: “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."   

Last year’s SME100 scheme planned to provide £1m in support for small businesses, but high levels of interest led Sky to more than double the size of the scheme, increasing it to £2.5m of ad time across 250 brands.  

Beneficiaries of the scheme include protein bar brand Grenade and East London's Wild Card Brewery.

Claire Logan, head of digital and ecommerce at Arran Sense of Scotland (which also benefitted from last year’s SME100 scheme), 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. 

“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.”

Logan said the scheme had resulted in more than 300 orders and £15,000 generated in revenue for the brand.