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

 July was another busy month in sponsorship, both in the Irish and international markets. A number of deals were announced in the Irish sports market, as well as in media and other spaces.

We start with a major deal announced this month in Dublin; food delivery app Just Eat has signed on as sponsors of Dublin Bikes. Taking over from Coca-Cola, Just Eat branding will feature on more than 1,500 across the city, in a three-year deal believed to cost €2.5m.

The Dublin Bikes sponsorship is the latest high-profile move from the ambitious Just Eat team, as the brand has previously sponsored hugely popular RTÉ2 show First Dates. Just Eat UK has also signed a deal to sponsor the new series of X-Factor in recent months and this latest deal is a further statement of intent.

8792050-3x2-700x467The waiting is finally over as the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 is upon us. The tournament has garnered huge amounts of media attention in the build-up to kickoff and it has been little surprise to see brands eager to become involved as sponsors. EY is the sixth worldwide partner to sign up for the tournament alongside Aon, Heineken, Land Rover, Mastercard and Aldi.

The involvement of major brands, who possess credibility and legitimacy in rugby through their involvement with World Rugby, is a major indicator of the level of esteem which the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup is being held.

Sticking with women’s sport, the LGFA were involved in two notable pieces of news this month.

The organisation, along with broadcast partner TG4, have announced the introduction of Hawkeye for the 2017 All Ireland final, as well as a new Television Match Official, who will sit in TG4’s production vans at all televised games to assist the referee on debatable scores. Such cooperation and cohesion between a rights holder and broadcaster shows that, when stakeholders work together, the game can be improved for fans and players alike.

The LGFA’s partner, Lidl, this month published research results around the participation of girl’s in sport.   The survey on girls in sport has highlighted the mental & physical benefits of sport, but also the drop off-rate for teenage girls playing sport – 50% stop playing by the age of 14.

The report underlines the importance of support and encouragement for girls in sport, and the results also add credence the perception

that women’s sports are not taken as seriously as their male counterparts.

With 68% of girls who play sport saying they are happy daily and none of these saying they feel lonely, Lidl’s survey underlines the importance of the #SeriousSupport they provide for women’s sport, and the LGFA in particular.

Two Irish sports rights holders signed up new partners in July.

The FAI announced a deal with Rustlers, who become an Official Sponsor of the Irish team. The new four-year deal will see Rustlers supporting Irish football, both at international and college level, up to the Summer of 2021 and marks the first major sponsorship deal for the brand. As well as its Official Sponsor designation, Rustlers will also be the new title sponsor of the Colleges and Universities Competitions to be re-launched in September 2017.Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 10.32.46

Connacht Rugby also announced a new sponsorship in July, with the Western province announcing Steeltech Sheds as an official partner. The brand’s logo will appear on the back of all playing jerseys and training shirts.

As the club football season kicks back into gear, we look to the international market for news of a novel sponsorship platform launched in July.

Austrian Bundesliga side RB Salzburg, owned by Red Bull, have announced a trial shirt sponsorship as part of an expanded deal with existing partner, fruit juice producer Rauch Fruchtsäfte. Under the agreement, the shirt of the team’s youngest starting player will feature Rauch Fruchtsäfte branding on the chest and sleeves area and the player will be known as the “Rauch Rookie of the Match”.

This innovative trial is an interesting move in a time where football is moving more in line with rugby in allowing multiple sponsors on playing jerseys. RB Salzburg are cleverly making use of this regulation to create and leverage an entirely new platform in an already cluttered space.

In the media market, a major national radio programme announced a new sponsor in July.

Pat-Kenny-sponsorship-1Newstalk has announced that Mastercard are taking over the title sponsorship of the hugely popular Pat Kenny Show. Through the new partnership, Mastercard will highlight Priceless experiences with exclusive content relating to listeners’ passions such as travel, food and sport – delivered across Newstalk’s on-air and online channels.

Patricia Monahan, Managing Editor at Newstalk, said: “We have worked with Mastercard on a number of promotions over the last two years, each of which resonated strongly with the Newstalk audience. I’m looking forward to bringing more exciting content to our listeners in the next year.”

In the UK, Channel 4 has announced the first ever sponsors for the Great British Bake Off. The baking show, which is moving from BBC for a new series later this year, will welcome Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Dr. Oetker as the official broadcast sponsors. Interestingly, the broadcaster has stated that the show will not feature any product placement. While retaining the integrity of the show is paramount, Livewire believes that products placement can be integrated into such a show in clever and innovative ways which protect a show’s integrity while enhancing its commercial value for a brand.

The Professional Golf Association of America caused quite a stir in July by announcing that they would not be renewing its deal with Sky Sports to broadcast coverage of the US PGA Championship. The PGA of America outlined its intention to pursue a multi-platform alternative for the Major Championship. That alternative, as far as it pertains to Ireland and the UK at least, will see the return of live golf to the BBC, with coverage also being broadcast on Facebook Live via Give Me Sport and on Twitter.

This move away from subscription TV broadcasters to the wider reach of online streaming and terrestrial television raises the intriguing prospect of such moves becoming more common amongst sports rights holders. With the cost of sports rights rising hugely in recent years, a move towards the BBC, who likely would have been unable to match Sky’s offer, shows that the potential to reach as many viewers as possible was a driving factor in the deal.

As ever, we finish with a look at some of the available properties in the Irish market.

This month, we have a trio of properties from RTÉ Radio.

Drivetime with Mary Wilson, Ireland’s most popular sponsorable drivetime radio show which airs Monday to Friday on RTE Radio 1, will be available to sponsor from the 19th of October, with a price of €350,000 for the year.Mary Wilson

The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene, which airs weekdays from 10am-1pm on 2FM, is currently seeking a sponsor. The show features the latest music and entertainment news, along with interviews and competitions, and is available at €245,000 for the year.

Finally for this month, a high frequency opportunity on 2FM is currently available. Traffic and Travel gives the sponsor a presence across both morning and evening drivetime on 2FM. The stings are essentially anchored at the top of the traffic report throughout each show, ensuring a mass audience is reached and is priced at €245,000 for the year.