As the summer season of GAA heats up on the field, sponsors still view Gaelic football and hurling as a winning platform, as 1 in 5 sponsorship deals in Ireland so far this year involved a GAA property, according to sponsorship consultancy ONSIDE.
While the latest ONSIDE Quarterly Sponsorship Review shows that the second quarter of 2017 saw a slower rate of activity to the same period last year, in terms of volumes of sponsorship deals made, there has been an overall year on year growth of 3% in sponsorship deals in the first half of 2017 vs. the same period in 2016.
Sport continues to command a lion’s share of the sponsorship activity in Ireland in 2017, with 3 in 4 deals reported so far this year played out in the sports arena. High-profile deals like Bord Gáis Energy’s new sponsorship of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships and the GAA’s new partnership with Ericsson all made headlines, while soccer is also showing particularly strong progress this year, including a range of new FAI deals with brands including Fulfill, Rustlers and a major new kit deal with New Balance.
According to John Trainor, founder and CEO of ONSIDE: “Media, broadcast and equestrian related sponsorships have also got off to a flying start in the first half of the year. Financial services and travel and tourism sectors have been most active to date as brands in these sectors establish their positioning for more competitive landscapes to trade in over the medium term.”
In terms of the Irish public’s buy-in to sponsors advances, Trainor notes “a more consistent pattern of admiration for sponsors is emerging as the Irish Sponsorship marketplace matures further. For the second quarter in a row, our research found 2 in 3 Irish adults that could name a sponsorship that they liked. The other dynamic is that a smaller number of sponsors are ‘making the cut’ in people’s minds as the clutter of brands is being more clearly filtered to 30 or 40 brands consistently standing out for people”.
Telecoms brands topped the ONSIDE list of most appealing sport sponsors among Irish adults for the second quarter in a row, with main rugby and soccer sponsors Vodafone and 3 championing sports sponsorship appeal. Vodafone also topped ONSIDE’s poll of Ireland’s most appealing non-sports sponsors, joined by other major sponsors of non-sports platforms such as 3, Guinness, Electric Ireland, Heineken and Bord Gáis Energy. Aviva’s progress was also singled out by the ONSIDE research as being exponential in the past 12 months, while Bank of Ireland and Lucozade all show good momentum in the latest research.