At a glance: deals and moves in the Irish sponsorship market and beyond for the month of APRIL
April was a particularly busy month, especially in the world of rugby. Bank of Ireland and Munster Rugby confirmed the renewal of their partnership that sees the bank have exclusive branding on all playing and training kit for Munster Senior and “A” teams. The new deal will run until the end of the 2023 season, at which point the two brands will have been partners for 25 years. It also coincides with Munster captain, Peter O’Mahony and scrum-half, Conor Murray being appointed ambassadors for Bank of Ireland throughout the 2017/2018 season.
The suggestion is that Leinster Rugby was also active last month, with speculation mounting there will be an announcement that Adidas will take over from Canterbury as kit suppliers to the province in the 2018/2019 season. It is believed that if the deal is implemented, Leinster gear will be available exclusively through Lifestyle Sports. This is similar to the agreement that is in place with Munster.
In a similar vein, Connacht Rugby has announced a shirt sponsorship deal with outdoor and workwear company, Portwest. The agreement is over three years and sees the brand gain a presence on the sleeve of the jersey. It should be noted that this means the Intersport Elverys sponsorship on the front of the jersey remains unaffected.
The announcement of the British and Irish Lions touring party generated a huge amount of headlines in April but the tourist’s commercial team was also busy, securing a deal with Doom Bar as the official beer of the 2017 tour to New Zealand. The partnership will run for the duration of the full tour, with Lion’s players set to feature in a number of adverts under the tag line “committed to the last drop”.
It has also been a busy few weeks for Pro 12 Rugby with INM announced as official media partner of the Final Series of the Championship. The agreement will offer readers unique insights and access to content around the Final Series, including access to “Captain’s Runs”. Exclusive highlights will also be available each week in INM’s rugby show, “The Left Wing”. Upon the conclusion of the tournament, INM will present the 2017 Try Of The Year Award at the Guinness Pro 12 Awards ceremony and also hold interviews with each of the winners.
Mazda Ireland and Energia have also been confirmed as partners of the Final Series. The former identified the partnership as the perfect platform to help launch the all-new Mazda CX-5, while the latter promises to excite rugby fans with exclusive prizes, with the ultimate goal of bringing fans closer to the game than ever before.
In slightly different news but remaining with rugby, April saw All Black Sonny Bill Williams granted special permission to have sponsors Bank of New Zealand and Investec removed from his Auckland Blues kit. This was based on religious grounds, with the player stating he preferred not to wear logos from banks, alcohol brands and gambling sponsors. The dispute is similar to that which arose in 2013 between former Newcastle United striker, Papiss Cisse and the club around Wonga’s jersey sponsorship.
In other sporting news, April was a huge month for Cricket Ireland, announcing Turkish Airlines as headline sponsor of the men’s senior international team. The partnership was secured over one year initially, with the option to extend the deal to 2020. It will be a particularly busy summer for the cricket team, with high-profile ODIs against England, Bangladesh and New Zealand in the calendar.
April also saw a number of deals done from a media sponsorship perspective. It has been confirmed that motor brand, Dacia will be the new sponsor of Breakfast Republic on 2fm. The motor category continues to be hugely active in the media sponsorship arena and this trend doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. This rings particularly true across national radio, with a plethora of car brands now engaged in statement sponsorships.
Sticking with 2fm, we can also confirm that insurance brand, Its4Women.ie has renewed its sponsorship of the Entertainment Updates on the station. The deal will run for another 12 months, giving the brand a presence until June 2018. This renewal compounds the theory that longer-term sponsorships can be of huge benefit to brands, driving affinity and contributing to their position within the market.
Of course, we can’t forget to outline some of the most exciting and attractive opportunities that are currently available in the market.
Starting with the world of TV, Saturday Night with Miriam is returning for its 13th series on RTE One. The chat show is available for sponsorship and is back on our screens from Saturday, July 1st. The package includes the broadcast sponsorship, branding on all show promos and sponsorship of catch-up on RTE Player.
On radio, 2fm’s three-hour lunchtime show with Tracy Clifford is looking for a sponsor. The show is the third most popular property on the station and features the best music, high-profile interviews and a number of regular features such as The Inside Track with Tara Stewart and Tracy’s Radio Head Music Quiz. The property is on the market for an annual fee of approximately €165,000.
Media Central’s time-check package is another hugely exiting property on the market. Giving the sponsor a presence across 98fm, Spin 1038, Spin Southwest, Beat and iRadio, this sponsorship would give a brand a clear and consistent presence throughout the schedules. This high impact, high frequency partnership is on the market at a cost of approximately €22,000 per month.
From a more regional perspective, the Neil Prendeville Show on Red FM is now also available for sponsorship. Previously sponsored by Nissan, the show consistently examines serious issues of the day and took home the 2016 PPI Award for Best Interactive Speech Show. The full sponsorship package is on the market for a fee of approximately €10,000 per month.