At a glance: deals and moves in the Irish sponsorship market and beyond for the month of JUNE
June was another busy month in sponsorship, both at home and further afield. We saw a number of major deals announced in a number of different spaces.
The month kicked off with some huge news from the global sponsorship market where we heard that the restaurant chain McDonald’s had ended its 41-year sponsorship with the International Olympics Committee (IOC). The fast food chain contributes more than €1bn in every four-year cycle for the Olympic games and had a contract running until the 2020 Olympics, due to be held in Tokyo. The move may be in response to mounting international concern over the Games having a fast food chain as a partner while promoting health and wellbeing through sports.
Sticking with the Olympics, it was announced this month that Intel would be coming on board as a partner of the Games. The tech giant singed a long-term technology partnership with the IOC which will see the brand involved with the organisation until 2024. The brand will join a select group in “The Olympic Partner” (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme. Other members of this exclusive programme include Toyota, Coca Cola, Samsung and Visa.
Elsewhere in the world of sport, it was announced this month that the English football side Arsenal would be partnering with Universal Pictures. This new and interesting partnership will see the Premier league side promote a number of the studios upcoming film releases through their LED perimeter boards at home games in the Emirates stadium. In addition to this, the film company will be given exclusive access to players in order to create bespoke content and promotional assets surrounding any new releases. This deal is further evidence of the nature of football clubs as commercial giants beyond the game itself.
Closer to home, The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) revealed that they would be partnering with iPro this month to make the brand the preferred sports drink partner of the organisation. The sponsorship will see iPro Sport provide isotonic drinks for the Republic of Ireland senior men’s and women’s international teams, as well as each of the underage teams. The sports drink already has a few partnerships in the UK, most notably with Saracens Rugby Club.
In an unsurprising but ground-breaking move, the FA announced that it would be ending all sponsorship deals with betting companies, including its long-term partner Ladbrokes. This move follows a string of controversies in which it came to light that individuals involved in the sport were betting on games. One of the most high-profile cases involved Joey Barton, in which the Burnley player was found to have placed 1,260 bets on matches, including at least five in which he had played.
In yet more sports sponsorship news, the English football side Hull City FC announced a three-year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Specifically, the football club will be aiding the organisation in their mission to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2020. This deal marks an example of Premier League clubs adding to their philanthropic causes.
Tottenham Hotspur have announced that they will be replacing their current kit provider Under Armour with Nike. The deal will come into effect in the 2017-18 season. As official kit supplier, the agreement entails Nike outfitting the men’s, women’s and academy squads as well as coaching staff and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation representatives. Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Nike is committed to partnering with us both at home, at a time when our new stadium scheme is the catalyst for the regeneration of Tottenham, and globally, with our growing fan base mirrored by Nike’s worldwide reach.”
Moving away from the world of sports sponsorship, there are a number of high-profile media sponsorships available at the moment which are sure to be snapped up by brands in the coming weeks.
Xposé, TV3’s flagship fashion show, which airs across both the TV3 and Be3 schedule is currently available and would offer a brand huge reach and frequency as well as an association with Irelands best known fashion show.
RTÉ is also seeking a broadcast sponsor for its coverage of the Women’s Rugby World Cup. RTÉ will broadcast at least 5 games on television and 3 on radio, including all of Ireland’s games at the tournament.