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

This month was, again, another busy month in the sponsorship market. In particular two big sponsorships were announced. First, Electric Ireland kicked off May with its sponsorship of Team Ireland for the Olympics. The brand’s TV campaign highlight the “innate mental strength” required to be an elite athlete. The campaign will focus on a select few athletes journeys to the games. The sponsorship as a whole will cover press, radio, out-of-home and digital.

Second; the IRFU announced its partnership with Vodafone. We expect this deal to be worth in excess of €3m per year, making it one of the biggest deals of its kind in Ireland. The sponsorship will kick off before the tour to South Africa and will see the telco brand replace Three Ireland on the Irish jersey.564386_ArticleImage

In other Olympics’ related sponsorship news, Flogas Ireland announced it would be taking on the Olympic medal winning boxers Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes as brand ambassadors this month. Paddy Barnes said of the sponsorship: “I know there has been some surprise in media circles recently at the lack of sponsors that were supporting sportsmen like myself, despite boxing’s high profile in recent years.” Indeed, the Irish hockey team has also been working hard to secure a sponsor ahead of the Games.

Eir, this month announced a five year extension to its sponsorship of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship. This deal will see the brand sponsor the championships up until 2020. The multi-million euro sponsorship will be supported by an advertising and communications campaign that is aimed at showcasing technology and its impact on the game in terms of player preparation and fan involvement.

MCE Insurance inked a motorsports sponsorship deal this month. The deal will see it become the title sponsor of the Ulster Grand Prix (motorcycling) for the next three years. While not the biggest sports event in Ireland, the race is known as the world’s fastest road race, and has a very passionate following, making it a perfect fit for the motor bike insurer.ulster grand prix

Sticking with sport sponsorship, May also saw the announcement of PWC’s renewal of their sponsorship deal with the IRFU. The deal will see the financial services provider continue its partnership as the official sponsors of the Ireland Under-20, Under-19 and Under-18 teams. Sponsors such as PWC are key for rights holders looking to spread the commercial benefits beyond the core asset, in this case, the senior men’s team.

D.I.D Electrical announced, just ahead of Euro 2016, that it had secured a partnership with the FAI. The electrical retailer is now the official electrical supplier of the FAI.  As part of the agreement, D.I.D Electrical will deliver games and entertainment equipment for the Irish team in their base in Versailles during the Euro 2016 championships. Recent research conducted by Livewire, shows that 15% of fans who will watch most of the tournament expect to spend more on TV & audio equipment. D.I.D Electrical is now well placed to capitalise on this trend.

Sticking with the sports theme, the Cork senior ladies football team has secured a new kit sponsorship deal worth an estimated €60k. The team will be wearing jerseys manufactured by Armagh-based brand, McKeever Sports. The Cork agreement is a major statement of intent and company sources have indicated that they will actively pursue deals with other top county teams, in an attempt to gain a firm foothold in a highly-competitive market.

Also in May, Bank of Ireland announced a sponsorship agreement with the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) this month which will see the Bank sponsoring NDRC’s June and December investor days and their Female Founders Programme. NDRC is an early stage investor in start-ups.

The ever-popular Eurovision song contest was broadcast on RTE 2 last month. The competition, which has long been a favourite of Irish viewers saw our own Nicky Byrne performing. Littlewoods, the online shopping retailer, decided to capitalise on the hype around the contest and sponsor RTE’s coverage in a €40k deal. One of Littlewoods’ main objectives was to engage and build on the online discussion around the contest. RTE’s Ruth Kennedy said the online campaign would include digital content, competitions, banner adverts and email alerts.

May was a busy month for sponsorship. Already, with the Euros around the corner, we envisage June to be much the same. Watch this space!