TV3 hopes to sign big name in €350,000 Europa Cup final
THE World Cup may have a death grip on soccer audiences now but the advertising chaps at TV3 have already moved on to their next big soccer thing -- Dublin's hosting of the 2011 Europa Cup final.
When TV3 signed up for its three-year Europa deal back in 2008, the Aviva Stadium was a mere dot on the sporting horizon and there was no guarantee any big games would come to Ireland.
Now, TV3 is gearing up to act as lead broadcaster for next year's decider and is hoping for a substantial sponsorship boost to boot.
Last year, the main Europa sponsorship is understood to have generated €100,000 to €150,000. This year, sources say TV3 has set its sights on something in the range of €300,000 to €350,000.
"This is going to be a massive event for Ireland; in terms of audiences it'll be bigger than the Ryder Cup and the Special Olympics," says TV3 commercial boss Pat Kiely. "We're expecting Ireland to really get behind it."
The station's higher sponsorship hopes are also influenced by greater numbers of big-name teams competing in this year's Europa Cup, with the likes of Liverpool and Juventus lining out.
"We'll be doing a whole load of extra stuff this year as well," says Kiely. "The Dublin 2011 logo will be launched in November, the head of UEFA will come to Ireland in March, and there'll be opportunities for sponsors around that too."
The independent broadcaster is also hoping that holding the final here will bring in higher viewership numbers, generating better ad revenue for the regular spots shown during the games on TV3.
"We're hoping for something á la Eurovision," says Kiely, "Whenever we host that, the audience get much bigger."
The ad man hopes to have his title sponsor signed up by early August, ahead of Europa kick-off in September, and will pitch this and other packages -- starting from €20,000 -- to media agencies over the coming weeks.
Kiely insists the drive will be a success, despite RTE's failure to secure a title sponsor for its World Cup coverage. "We've done really well with sponsorship so far this year," he says, citing summer deals with Peter Mark for 'Celebrity Salon' and Bulmers Light for 'Style Wars'.
This year's sponsorship revenues are understood to be running 20pc ahead of last year, amounting to a "10 to 20pc" share of the station's total income.