Samsung, The Wall
Many of our readers would have already caught a glimpse of Samsung Electronics stunning new TV (range) ‘The Wall’. SWM managed to catch up with the media entrepreneur behind the advertising campaign for this incredibly large piece of technology. Tom Ross is a media specialist and one half of UMU; a global media company specialising in commercialisation through partnerships. With many stadiums upgrading their communicative technology partly due to the new addition of VAR (Video Assistant Referee), we wanted to find out from one of Samsung’s most trusted partners just why ‘The Wall’ is in such high demand and set apart from other colossal sized screens currently available on the market.
SWM: What is ‘The Wall’?
TR: Samsung’s ‘The Wall’ was born from the outdoor LED technology that we see used for many different purposes such as stadiums, roadside advertising and advertising screens throughout shopping centres. Differing specifications of ‘The Wall’ mean that it is even perfect for a large room in a house such as an everyday TV or a cinema room of any size. It boasts complete flexibility in sizing; starting at 73 inches going up to a giant 292 inches. In all sizes, the picture quality is not compromised with the largest boasting an impressive 8k of content. In essence, this device is designed to immerse you in its superb design, whether that’s watching the game at home or showing an informative display in a commercial setting.
“The sheer size and perfect quality blows you away, this is not your standard TV!”
SWM: How do you purchase ‘The Wall’?
TR: Samsung is one of the most recognised names in consumer electronics. With the endless possibilities of personalisation provided when purchasing, ‘The Wall’ ensures that the device is streamlined into any environment. Due to the bespoke nature of this, UMU and Samsung specialists provide a prestigious tailored experience for the creation and personalisation of every device. With that in mind, ‘The Wall’ range is not a cheap option when finding a new TV, partly because each device can take months to build to ensure the specification is just right for the client. In the first stages, we take you to see an existing one in action, there isn’t a single person who hasn’t been impressed with its sheer size and incredible design. After seeing it in action it is then possible to discern the client’s exact preferences for their own custom design. The team then begins to work assembling the bespoke design. Demonstrations of the finished product are offered in the exclusive Samsung showroom, or where ‘The Wall’ will be permanently residing. This entire process means that every client receives a finished product completely tailored to their requirements.
SWM: What does a typical day look like for you at UMU?
TR: Every day is always different for us due to the range of different partnerships and projects we hold, a large part of this is providing ‘The Walls’ tailored experience to many different businesses and individuals. We also offer many different technology partnership and sponsorship services. In one day we could be visiting an international airport to discuss technological partnerships and later meeting with a Premier League client to ascertain their perfect sized screen for their new luxury install. Since the unprecedented Covid-19 situation, the way we conduct business and communicate with clients has changed, but technology ensures we can still offer the same all but slightly different first-class service.
SWM: What makes UMU different?
TR: Essentially it’s our unique and personalised approach. We work with a fantastic wide and varied range of clients and our main objective is to create a substantial return on investment for both partners. Our core business values include several key points to ensure the service we provide is transparent and effective for the client. Working with Samsung, we have the luxury of being able to work in partnership with one of the top technology brands in the world. Through developing our own commercial model, we’ve found that it’s a truly unique and recognised way of securing additional partnership revenue through a trusted avenue. In order for a project or service to be successful, both parties must be well informed and satisfied with the process in order to ensure a successful end result. UMU are doing just that with our commercial model and business processes, we strive to remain open and informative with every stakeholder in order to achieve successful results.
SWM: What motivated you to start working in partnerships and sponsorship?
TR: In 2016 with slightly different business objectives in our minds, we were tasked with planning a concert in Leicester Square for over 1000 attendees. The event was a success and the effective way in which we managed different sponsors to cover large costs resulted in us securing big artists including Brian May of Queen. Following on from this we began to discuss how we could create mutual partnerships with secured longevity, instead of the normal one-sided sponsorship deals that you typically see branded across the sports and entertainment industry. A natural progression of this was starting to work with a big technology brand; this meant that our partnership with Samsung was an unmissable working opportunity. Today we have built a team of trusted technology and commercial specialists that can offer the industries we serve the full Samsung partnership experience. This ranges from full technology audits to craning in 100msq screens into stadiums.
SWM: What’s the difference between Sponsorships and Partnerships?
TR: In the sports business, the words ‘sponsorship and partnership’ are used interchangeably. Traditionally in sponsorship, a brand purchases marketing exposure with a rights holder, for example; a football club, a music festival or sponsoring fixed assets such as Boris/Santander Bikes or stadium perimeter boards for an allotted time. A partnership is normally a relationship between two parties in which each side is mutually benefited. This includes equal shares in the risks, earnings, responsibilities and successes. The majority of our work is a creative blend of both. Our partnership model has evolved over the last few years and works perfectly in our different sectors.
SWM: What does a partnership with Samsung look like?
TR: Each partnership is different and customised to suit the company, sports club or individual. This also applies to the different types of stakeholders Samsung is partnered with, such as the different environments and target audiences in say an airport compared with a stadium. In most or all cases, working with Samsung ensures a strategic supplier partnership; this includes accredited installers and long-term warranties. As you can imagine with a giant Korean technology brand like Samsung, there are multiple departments to navigate whilst organising a partnership with different stakeholders. We find that once a partnership gets off the ground, other Samsung departments such as mobile and consumer electronics become more involved.
SWM: Has the imposed lockdown affected your business operations?
TR: When the lockdown was first imposed, most companies were forced to close. We began to work through solutions to projects that needed to be held back and ways we could work proactively whilst at home. Our commercial model has multiple funding options that can see the use of payment holidays and sponsorship used in a way to offset many different costs associated with a technology project. Many stadiums and venues in the UK normally don’t have much downtime in between events, a positive of this was not being able to open the doors for many months has given them time to upgrade their facilities in time for their re-opening. So whilst lockdown has presented certain challenges; it has been a learning curve and an opportunity for all areas of the business, which we immensely appreciate.
“Whilst lockdown has presented certain challenges; it has been a learning curve and an opportunity for all areas of the business, which we immensely appreciate.”
SWM: How can UMU help the readers of SWM?
TR: UMU is proud to be able to offer world-class service with a range of fantastic partnership opportunities. We look forward to hearing from any readers that are interested in any areas of business we offer and would be happy to provide more information. We are proud to be market leaders in different areas of technology partnerships, from strategic re-thinking to cutting edge displays. Many companies approach us for advice on upgrading current sponsorship arrangements or for a complete overhaul on outdated technology; we are able to offer expertise on an endless amount of opportunities.
“UMU is proud to be able to offer world-class service with a range of fantastic partnership opportunities.”
SWM: Where do you see UMU in the future?
TR: Over the past couple of years we have seen UMU expand into a multifunctional media company. We have been involved in several exciting projects; such as deploying cutting edge technology alongside Samsung into Stadiums, Airports and luxury homes and facilitating the sales of multi-million-pound music catalogues. Over the next year, we have some exciting plans to expand the business in several areas such as advertising, growing the luxury element of the business and becoming a one-stop-shop for stadium technology. We are excited to see how the business and our partnerships expand and evolve in the future.