The awards benchmark and celebrate place brand design, marketing communications and place brand strategy for towns, cities, regions, and nations around the world.

Amongst the eight finalists for the Place Brand of the Year award, Sheffield will compete with the likes of Bermuda, Adelaide, Costa Rica and Denmark, before the winner is announced at the City Nation Place Global Conference in London on 6 and 7 November, at which there will be an audience of delegates representing nation branding committees, city marketing boards, destination marketing organisations and investment promotion agencies from around the world.

Along with Place Brand of the Year, Sheffield was also shortlisted in the category for Best Use of Design for the city’s new brand and ‘makes’ campaign concept. Marketing Sheffield has been working with a wide range of partners from across the city, consulting and developing a new brand for the city over the last couple years, which was designed by local agency Jaywing.

On developing the new Sheffield brand and campaign Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment, said:The awareness of Sheffield tends to revolve around steel first and foremost, with football second. “Made in Sheffield” has also long been a tagline thanks to the city’s heritage for cutlery and steelmaking. Whilst this remains unique and relevant to the city, it is product centric and does not allow us to talk about the city’s specialisms for culture and vibrancy. Research tells us the true value of any place is the people who form it and that couldn’t be truer in Sheffield. It’s this that has become the defining theme of the new brand, in that ‘Sheffield makes people, and people make Sheffield’.” 

Over the last few years, Sheffield has seen a resurgence as a destination with urbanism, foreign investment, culture and booming new sectors flourishing in spite of austerity. With this in mind, Marketing Sheffield formed a brand partnership in 2016, bringing together leading representatives from both of the city’s Universities, Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield BID, the Culture Consortium and lately the Sheffield Property Association, who together have helped to define a place brand for Sheffield that would address all external audiences – as well as work internally for residents and stakeholders.

The brand will be all the more visible with the launch of a new showcase Sheffield Makes website next month, set to share Sheffield’s amazing stories of innovation and shine a spotlight on the unique individuals forging a new future for the city.

The City Nation Place Awards shortlisting comes hot on the heels of the city also being shortlisted for European City of the Year (alongside Porto and Utrecht) by the Academy of Urbanism. The winner will be announced on 27 November at the Academy of Urbanism’s annual celebration.