The BLE Blog

My BLE: 5 mins with Marcus O’Shea, Head of Brand Partnerships at Help for Heroes

MOSMarcus is a former director of specialist CSR consultancy Three in One, and Head of Fundraising at Breast Cancer Care. He has also held senior positions at YouthNet and Tommy’s, the baby charity.

Help for Heroes, which provides direct, practical support for wounded, injured and sick servicemen, women and veterans and their loved ones, is already a powerful brand with a popular and successful online trading arm. It now plans to move into the wider licensing and trading arenas. This is its first BLE.

What made you choose a career that brings together CSR, charity-based work and now brand partnerships?
It’s my ‘sweet spot’; it uses a commercial model, in a fun industry, to generate money for something I care about.

This is Help for Heroes’ first BLE. Why now?
Help for Heroes is a charity the nation knows and cares about. The conflicts are over for now, but the wounded are still wounded — they still need our help and the support of the nation in their recovery. The strength of our brand will enable us to generate funds to support their recovery at a time when the needs of the wounded are not covered in the press.

What are the strengths of the Help for Heroes brand?Main H4H Logo

The brand epitomises strength of character, can-do, recovery and the will to overcome adversity as well as more than a touch of being proud to be British and to support our wounded servicemen and women.

For the last eight years, over 90% of our funds have come from the great British public baking cakes, jumping out of planes, running marathons and climbing mountains. We are a charity and a brand by the British public for the British armed forces, one that represents a cohort of people with a shared set of values and beliefs.

Why do you think it is important for popular charitable brands to make more of their licensing potential?
I think it is remiss not to. We have a responsibility to fund the services and support that our beneficiaries need. Responsibly licensing a brand should be as much a part of the income mix as shaking a collection tin.

What are your hopes for the show?
I want to let the industry know we’re here to do business and see what ideas the industry has for us. It might even like to hear what ideas I have!

What will make it a successful show for you this year?
That one connection made that turns into one great idea that gets off the ground and generates significant money to support the recovery of our wounded servicemen and women.

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