At a glance: deals and moves in the Irish sponsorship market for the month of FEBRUARY

February was a particularly busy month for Cricket Ireland. The sports body renewed its partnership with Toyota for a further four years, while Tourism Ireland also signed as sponsor of both the men’s and women’s teams ahead of the ICC World T20 in India. The global platform of this event will help to Tourism Ireland to promote the country to an international audience of billions.

Elsewhere in sports sponsorship, Gain Dog Foods, a Glanbia brand, signed a deal that sees it sponsor a number of top events on the Irish Greyhound Racing calendar. The year-long deal will boost the prize fund across a range of events to over €120,000. The partnership will build on the long association the brand has with greyhound events.

Hockey Ireland also secured a partnership in February with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles who will support both the men’s and women’s team. At the same time, Red Bull announced a partnership with Galway GAA as the official drinks partner. The partnership will cover the Galway football and hurling teams at senior, minor and U21 levels. This is yet another GAA partnership announced by the brand as they continue to be involved in Gaelic games through the creation of their own events and the Red Bull Athlete Network.

It is clear that the Irish sport sponsorship market has had a busy start to 2016. And, with a big year for Irish sport ahead, including the Six Nations, Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ryder Cup and the Euros all taking place, we expect a busy year of sponsorship activations ahead. Indeed, there are already a lot of sponsorship opportunities available for brands looking to capitalise in this space, for example is looking for a partner to sponsor a convoy of campervans fans heading to France for the Euros. We expect plenty of fun and engaging sponsorship opportunities – in particular around the Euros – to surface over the coming weeks.

In media news this month, Moy Park has signed on as sponsors of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on UTV Ireland for an estimated €85k. The brand considered the show a perfect fit with its prime time slot and capability of reaching a large audience of Irish consumers. The brand will also engage in licensing with the show’s brand to further highlight Moy Park’s association with the programme. In other news, RTE2’s League Sunday will have a title sponsor in Allianz. As Allianz have a longstanding sponsorship of the Allianz Leagues, this sponsorship further highlights its support of the sport.

Last month, we highlighted two motor brand sponsorships – Volvo’s sponsorship of The Last Word for an estimated €250K and; Audi’s title sponsorship of the Dublin International Film Festival, which was previously sponsored by Jameson. And February saw yet another motor brand snap up a major sponsorship property; this time The Anton Savage Show on Today FM being taken by Skoda for an estimated €220k. This is yet another sponsorship to add to the ever growing list of motor partnerships across media and sport.

In other news, we hear that Newstalk’s Down to Business is close to signing a sponsor. Some of the notable sponsorships up for grabs at the moment include Xpose on TV3 (c.€580k) and Moncrieff on Newstalk (c. €120k). As Ireland’s top daily entertainment show, it is expected that there will be considerable interest in the property. And, as the demand for premium radio properties continues, Moncrieff is sure to be snapped up quickly!