NEWS RELEASE: 14th October 2014
Keds sponsors UK’s biggest series of swing dance events
- Dragons’ Den success Swing Patrol builds sponsorship offering
- Deborah Meaden defining dance company’s business-to-business offering
US footwear brand Keds is sponsoring the UK’s biggest series of swing dance events. The Swing Dance Balls, organised by BBC Dragons’ Den success story Swing Patrol in collaboration with local swing dance scenes around the UK, will see thousands of dancers — from professionals to absolute beginners — swing out at large events across the nation. They are part of five weeks of activity celebrating the first tour of the UK from swing dance scene’s world ambassador, Frankie Manning. Manning toured the UK from late October to November 1937, performed at the Royal Command Performance for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and is reported to be the only performer to whom Queen Elizabeth offered a handshake that evening. “Swing”, “jitterbug” and “lindy hop” are all synonyms for the street dance style popularised by Frankie Manning and other dancers at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in New York City from the late 1920s to late 1940s. Fusing style, energy and fun, the dance was the precursor to jive, rock-and-roll and hip hop. From ballroom to break dancing, swing influences most popular contemporary dance styles.
With so many people dancing across the nation Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden is keen to build Swing Patrol’s offering as a sponsorship opportunity. Keds’ sponsorship of the Swing Dance Balls is Swing Patrol’s first national sponsorship agreement, coming just three months after appearing on the TV show.
Keds sponsored Swing Dance Balls will be held in Birmingham (25th October), Manchester (1st November), Bristol (14th November), London (15th November), Edinburgh (28th November) and Reading (10th January 2015). Hosted by Swing Patrol’s founder Scott Cupit, each night will feature a live swing band, lindy hop lessons for absolute beginners, a floor show from Swing Patrol’s professional performers, dance competitions and the chance to win Keds’ footwear.
Keds’ sponsorship leverages the publicity campaign for the Swing Dance Balls, which includes regional media relations, local advertising and both Swing Patrol and Keds’ Twitter and Facebook profiles. Keds branding appears on all publicity for the balls and around the venues, and the shoe brands’ representatives promote the shoes at the events. A Keds’ selfie photo box gives ball-goers a branded memento of their lindy hop experience. Swing Patrol also sells Keds through its website.
Scott Cupit, Managing Director of Swing Patrol UK said, “Keds are the shoe of choice for swing dancers. Not only do their form and insole provide athletic comfort, the unique rubber soles of Keds respond to dancers’ feet and dance moves. They provide stability when swing dancers prepare for lifts, jumps and aerial moves as well as enabling swing dancers to easily slide across the dance floor — an unusually versatile quality for rubber soled shoes.”
Noah Bernard, Brand Director of Keds, said, “The awareness of the mix of classic and contemporary style of swing dancing has rocketed since Swing Patrol’s success on Dragons’ Den. It’s important that Keds recognises its place within swing culture as lindy hoppers’ shoe of choice by contributing to the community’s success. Swing is about head-to-toe style, authenticity, enthusiasm and a sense of fun — which are core values of the Keds fashion brand. Teaming Swing Patrol’s Keds wearing dancers with other dancers around the UK at the Swing Dance Balls will spread the joy of this energetic, sociable and stylish pastime.”
Deborah Meaden, Dragons’ Den investor and successful UK entrepreneur said, “Swing Patrol isn’t just the world’s largest swing dance school. It’s a corporate entertainment company and an extremely valuable sponsorship opportunity for brands that want to associate with style, energy and fun. We will be working with Swing Patrol to build its business-to-business offerings and revenue streams over the next few months. These will include a company Christmas party package offered across Swing Patrol’s network of venues and a range of dance troupes and teachers for corporate events such as awards shows, trade shows, conferences and large dinner events.”
For information about Swing Patrol’s corporate offerings:
For further editorial information, images or interviews contact:
For Swing Patrol: [email protected] or call 020 7609 1900.
For Keds: [email protected] or call 0207 012 1560