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

The end of the year brought the launch of a partnership that may have been a surprise to some. This was one of the biggest, and most hotly contested sponsorship deals brokered in 2016. Littlewoods has become sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship and the Camogie National League, as well as Go Games (a small sided hurling and football programme). While this sponsorship is in its infancy, there are insights to be taken from the brand’s approach thus far. We see Littlewoods’ investment being €2.5 to €3 million over the next three years, with the deal running through to 2019.

The initial coverage of the launch has already highlighted that, by collaborating with a retailer operating primarily in fashion, the GAA is already being mentioned in new spaces, with coverage on sites including Her.ie and Evoke.ie reaching a community of fashion and style enthusiasts. The savvy timing of a pre-Christmas launch makes ultimate sense for Littlewoods as a retailer competing with bricks and mortar department stores.

Livewire expects Littlewoods to use this sponsorship to create an emotive presence on the ground, building an identity difficult to create without a physical touchpoint. Livewire will be watching this sponsorship in earnest in 2017. The emergence of a sponsor from a new category is likely to create new activation strategies, and may give rise to other fashion brands entering into the sponsorship market.

 

A busy month for the GAA, December also saw the official launch of the full media rights deal for the association through to 2022, believed to be worth in the region of €80m. The most notable outcomes from the deal include RTE securing exclusive radio rights for all Championship games for the next 5 years and eir, as part of an extension of their sponsorship of the Senior Football Championship, receiving access to the GAA archive for both online and broadcast purposes.

vhi park runThe global phenomenon that is park run continues to gather momentum, and excitingly Ireland are leading the way in terms of sponsorship. Originally supported by a combination of state aid and volunteers, the sponsorship and designation of VHI as a ‘presenting partner’ of park run is the first of its kind internationally. VHI has signed a five-year deal, which we expect to be worth somewhere north of €60,000 per annum. Strategically this is a logical progression for VHI, who have been title sponsors of the Women’s Mini Marathon since 2015.

Central to the deal is the continued growth of park run, and the development of junior park run – shorter distances aimed at 4 to 14 year olds. Livewire expects park run to go from strength to strength with continued investment from sponsors key to the growth of the movement across the country.

International authority on sponsorship IEG, run an annual “Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey” each year, which despite taking place in the U.S. often highlights trends that we have observed here in the Irish market. This year’s survey showed that sponsorship decision makers spend, on average $2.20 on activating sponsorships for every $1 spent on rights fees. This ratio is the highest in the survey’s history, surpassing the previous high-water mark of $1.90-to-$1 in 2007. While this survey took place in the U.S. it follows the trend that Livewire has observed from sponsors here in Ireland, and represents growth in a ratio we hope to see rising in 2017, as sponsors work closer with rights holders to fully activate their sponsorships.

 

survey

Question asked: What is your company’s typical promotional spending ratio?

Source: IEG/ESP Properties 2016 Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey

 

As ever, we finish with a brief look at several of the most attractive properties currently available in the market.

Zeminar is seeking a sponsor for the second edition of Ireland’s largest youth summit, taking place in Autumn 2017. The event is expected to attract over 20,000 attendees between the ages of 15 and 20, from across the island of Ireland. This is a 2-day event taking place on October 11th & 12th in the RDS. Returning for a second year following a successful debut in 2016, there are two tiers of sponsorship available, both with a myriad of benefits.

 

getawaysSeries 5 of RTÉ’s popular travel show Getaways lands on RTÉ One this January 5th with first class travel tips on the best destinations that people can fly to direct from Ireland, as well as a new focus on staycations. Joe Lindsay is joined by two new hosts this year; Vogue Williams & Mairead Ronan. Series 4 of Getaways achieved an average audience of 300,200 for Adults (8.91TVR’s). The sponsor will receive 72 stings across the series, including replays & RTE+1. The sponsor will also benefit from branding on all promos and a pre-roll and companion MPU on RTE Player. Title sponsorship of Getaways is on the market for €50,000.

Also on RTÉ One, a new six-part series about the lengths the Irish diaspora will go to maintain and nurture relationships with their loved ones despite the geographical distances between them, uniquely captured through the confines of video calls. This innovative series starts in April 2017, and will air at 20:30 on Wednesdays. The sponsor will receive 72 stings across the series, 4 stings per episode, including replays & RTE+1. The sponsor will also benefit from branding on all promos and a pre-roll and companion MPU on RTE Player. This sponsorship is on the market for €60,000.

 

ITThe Irish Times media solutions team has developed an exciting platform for the 2017 Six Nations tournament. This comprehensive package includes sponsorship of the Sports homepage for the duration of the tournament, and all ad positions within the section for the duration incl. skins. It’s expected that this will deliver over 3 million ad impressions during the tournament.

Also included is sponsorship of the Rugby homepage for the duration, again including all ad positions within this section. The brand will also be the exclusive partner of the 2017 Six Nations Live blog for the tournament. The Live Blog is available on both irishtimes.com (homepage and sport page) and the IT app (top position), including ownership of all ads around the Live Blogs on both platforms. This sponsorship package is on the market for €50,000.