Sunday 18 August 2019

Lowry's Open win secures big returns for Bank of Ireland


Bank of Ireland is likely to have benefited from Shane Lowry winning the Open, experts believe
Bank of Ireland is likely to have benefited from Shane Lowry winning the Open, experts believe

Michael Cogley

Bank of Ireland secured "many multiples" of the fee paid for sponsoring champion golfer Shane Lowry through his widespread media coverage.

More than 237,000 people descended on Portrush, Co Antrim, last weekend to witness the Offaly native win the Open. Millions of others watched the event on TV.

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Among his sponsors was the Irish bank, which has been in partnership with Lowry since 2014. The Bank of Ireland logo featured on the left side of his shirt.

John Trainor, chief executive of sponsorship consultancy Onside, said there is often a "marked difference" between such deals and the value they generate.

"The probability is that in terms of media value it would have generated for the brand, you would be confident that it would have been significant seven figures, which is only one dimension of it," he said.

"More importantly, in terms of the likely outcome it would have achieved for the bank, there's a good chance that more than a third of the country has made the connection between the bank and Shane as a result of the win."

Onside also monitors the country's "most admired" sports stars. Trainor said that golfers like Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington have often made appearances on the list.

"Shane wasn't registering in the top 50 back in 2015; in 2018 he was ranked 41st," Trainor said.

"There is a strong possibility he will pick up the scores that McIlroy achieved over the last decade. He is in prime position to be the golfer that will make it into Ireland's top 10 most admired sports personalities."

Bank of Ireland's head of strategic sponsorship Paula Murphy said that Lowry was "an incredible player".

"We have been Shane's sponsor for several years now and he is an absolute pleasure to partner with," she said.

"The level of support he received over the weekend at Portrush demonstrates the well-deserved high regard in which he is held by fans across the world. He always remembers his family and community in Clara where it all began, and they are rightly proud of him and his achievements. We wish him continued success."

Lowry's triumph in Portrush was not the only successful golfer to receive the backing of Bank of Ireland.

In the years between 2007 and 2010 the bank sponsored Padraig Harrington who won The Open twice during that period.

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