Mars mission is no alien to rejection

Sponsorship can get a bit monotonous. Sport, buildings, people. And it’s not like being at school: companies can’t just pledge 50p and then pretend not to be in when it’s time to cough up the money.

So you’d think that companies would jump at the chance to sponsor an interplanetary spaceship. Not so, it seems. Three and a half years ago, M&C Saatchi Sponsorship began looking for a sponsor for the European Space Agency’s Beagle 2 lander, built by EADS Astrium and named after Charles Darwin’s ship (MW January 27, 2000). Heading the hunt was chief executive Matthew Patten, whose desperate attempts to persuade anyone to sign up have graced this page before (MW September 28, 2000).

All went quiet for a while, until the announcement this month that sponsorship agency SP Active (headed by one Matthew Patten) has finally found a sponsor. And it’s… EADS Astrium.

Perhaps it is like being at school after all – remember when the unpopular kids could only get their mums and dads to sponsor them? Let’s just hope EADS hasn’t pledged an amount per mile…

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here