Posts Tagged ‘Soccer’

Sponsoring sport’s a risky business but GAA might be the exception

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

 

Ballygowan & Energise Sport Unveiled as New Official Hydration Partners of Dublin GAA

 Soccer’s in the spotlight again, but for all the wrong reasons.  As FIFA descends into corruption chaos, the aftershocks to the sport’s sponsors are catastrophic.  Soccer’s goodwill and the halo effect that attracted the brands to FIFA in the first instance is depleting rapidly as the news story takes hold.

Sponsoring sport always carries a risk, but usually when individual stars are involved – hence many brands’ preference for sporting categories rather than heroes.  Thorough risk assessment pre-signing is not just prudent it’s also pragmatic, allowing concerns and caveats to be aired at the outset.

Few sports are beyond reproach, especially as sport has now been elevated to the heady heights of God-like achievement and aspiration.  To many, clubs are like a religion to be followed and adored with passion, which is why certain clubs and sports attract such willing investors, but at what price and at what risk?

The GAA may just be the exception, as a brand and a sport that is reasonably removed from adverse publicity.  I’m not suggesting it’s squeaky clean in publicity terms, but it courts less chaos than other sporting factions.   There is still all the zeal, the pious fervour and the commitment that brands want to emulate, but with more opportunities – from local, to families, to national events – and less exposure.

And, with the smell of freshly cut grass in the air, summer is when GAA really comes into its own as the memory of the National Leagues fade into obscurity and Championship fever kicks in.

According to the Onside Industry Survey 2015, GAA is seen to offer the best ‘va

 

lue for money’ in terms of Irish sponsorships and this is the case for many reasons – not least of all is the relevance of GAA at local community and county level.  It could be argued that the ordinary ‘man on the street’ identifies with GAA stars more so than other sports stars, for an array of reasons, including the likelihood of seeing these players active in their local communities (not just on the telly!), recognising the level of dedication and commitment that’s required of amateur players, and an appreciation of the skill level of a truly unique sport.

Sponsorship is more than just a logo on a county jersey.  Sponsors demand more and the Championship delivers: providing players and management for media events, engaging with the sponsor’s own business and CSR initiatives; and offering exclusive competition prizes, can all be effective methods of maximising the value and impact of such a sponsorship asset. Experiential activity too has proven itself as a way of extracting additional value, using the available properties to leverage the brand in the eyes of existing and potential customers.

The digital space and access to social media channels adds a further important platform to sponsors. Building up digital content is an extremely effective method of engaging fans and reinforcing the association between brand and sponsor.

It’s important to consider some simple guidelines from the outset to maximise GAA sponsorships.  These include:

–          Undertaking a pre-sponsorship appraisal to ensure the sponsorship fits as part of an overall strategy and assess potential risks involved

–          Establishing a good relationship with all relevant stakeholders

–          Ensuring goals and objectives are outlined and agreed at the outset of the partnership

–          Creating an activity road map for the season

–          Focusing on digital elements to maximise social media and online channels

The arrests of senior FIFA officials has rocked the sporting world. Not only does this news obviously impact on the organisation itself, it will also have shocked existing sponsors to their core.

The GAA, whilst not beyond reproach is arguably in a safer position and less likely to bring your brand into disrepute than other sports which exist on a global scale yet having a risk assessment completed will make things a lot easier if crisis strikes.

The rallying cry from inter-county managers and coaches alike is Championship-focused encouragement. Tough winter training regimes and physical League encounters will have honed the players’ fitness levels but it’s the coming months that will define the teams and the GAA public can’t wait!  Shouldn’t your brand be part of the excitement?

3 agrees primary sponsorship of the Irish national football team and all international squads

Friday, August 6th, 2010

3, Ireland’s largest high speed network, and the Football Association of Ireland announced a sponsorship agreement, worth €7.5 million over four years, which sees 3 become the primary sponsor of the Irish national football team and all international squads. Launching on August 11th this sponsorship sees 3, not only supporting the national team, but also working with football at grassroots level involving clubs and leagues up and down the country. The agreement coincides with 3’s major push into the pre-paid market.

This much-coveted sponsorship affords 3 premium branding rights to include training and playing gear and kit, ticket branding and high visibility pitch-side branding at the magnificent Aviva Stadium. Eager fans keen to get hold of the new shirt with the 3 logo will be able to do so from the Autumn onwards. 3 customers will also be given privileged access to tickets and other exciting initiatives, details of which will be announced at a later date.

With over 450,000 participants, football is the largest sport in the country and last year, 10 of the top 20 most watched sports events in Ireland were football events (9 of which were Senior Irish International matches). In addition, the 2.2 million peak audience which watched the France v Republic of Ireland match in November 2009 was the largest RTE audience for any sporting event since 1995.

Robert Finnegan, CEO, 3 commenting on the announcement said: “We are delighted to announce this major sponsorship, and see this as a strong strategic fit for our business to drive awareness of our brand amongst supporters of the number one sport in the country. Football fans will be at the heart of 3’s sponsorship strategy and we plan to launch a range of exciting, new initiatives, including priority ticket bookings for 3 customers.”

Robert continued: “This announcement officially confirms 3 as Irish football’s biggest fan and the number one network for all supporters. We hope football fans will not only cheer on our boys in green but will support their new sponsor by switching to 3. Giovanni Trapattoni’s mobile phone bills will never have been so low, with 3 he’ll be paying local Irish rates even when he’s in Italy!”

John Delaney, Chief Executive, FAI, added: “3 is a new and dynamic brand in Ireland and their determination and drive will bring fresh energy and focus to the partnership. The agreement comes at a very significant time for Irish football and I look forward to seeing both sides enjoying success on and off the pitch.”

“This is significant sponsorship which is structured to reach out as never before to engage with grassroots football and all the strands of the game that we represent. It is a significant investment in the future of Irish football, particularly in light of the current economic climate.”

“We have worked hard with Robert Finnegan and his team from 3 over recent months I thank them for their vision, determination and professionalism. By coming on board at such an exciting time for Irish football, we look forward to a very beneficial partnership.”

Giovanni Trapattoni, Senior Irish International Manager, commented: “I look forward to 3’s support for Irish football. We have talked about their plans, and I think this partnership will be good for the game at all levels, while helping the FAI to develop and grow the sport. 3 is a major international brand and we’re delighted to have them on side.”

In the last twenty four years this primary sponsorship position has only changed hands twice which is testament to the value and effectiveness of the sponsorship. The new partnership comes at an extremely exciting time for Irish football, coinciding with the move to a new world-class home in the Aviva Stadium and the continued progress of the Senior International Team under Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli, keeping Irish football at the forefront of the Irish sporting agenda and providing 3 consistent opportunities to connect with stakeholders, players and fans. 3 expects to develop a range of marketing activities to leverage the sponsorship, benefiting both the FAI at all levels and fans alike.

3’s sponsorship of the Irish national football team and all international squads follows a number of other high profile sports sponsorships.  For more information see www.three.ie or www.fai.ie.