Thursday 21 February 2019

Sponsorship spend to top €200m as deals increase 12pc

Billy Joel recently played at the Aviva Stadium — the sponsorship of which was extended
Billy Joel recently played at the Aviva Stadium — the sponsorship of which was extended
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

There has been a 12pc rise in Irish sponsorship deals agreed in the first half of this year, according to research by consultancy firm Onside.

Sport continues to claim the lion's share of the sponsorship activity in Ireland, with six out of 10 deals sports-related.

"It was a busy start in terms of high-profile major renewal deals including Aviva's five-year extension of the Aviva Stadium sponsorship, AIG's sponsorship of Dublin GAA, and Supermac's tie with Galway GAA," said John Trainor, chief executive of Onside.

"Landmark new venue deals included Energia's deal with European Champions Leinster Rugby's Donnybrook Stadium and the Nissan Driving School sponsorship at Tayto Park."

Rugby, GAA, basketball, and hockey in particular had a strong first half of the year.

Charity and community-based deals, including Boots' new deal with the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day, were also significantly ahead so far this year.

Onside expects spending to be just over €200m for the full year, compared with €179m in 2017.

Commenting on the market for the first six months of the year, Trainor said that the sectors most active in terms of closing new deals included financial services and retail, with the car sector also driving more deals in the first half of 2018 than the same period in 2017.

Trainor identified growth in 'less traditional big spenders' including professional services, firms such as Grant Thornton's partnership with Dublin Airport Fast Track service, as well as B2B and tech-based sectors that are "upping their game in this sponsorship arena".

"Also noteworthy is the continued momentum behind brands developing sponsorship deals geared specifically toward women's sport and entertainment, with as many such deals completed in the year to date than across all of 2017,"

Telecoms brands again topped the Onside list of most appealing sport sponsors among Irish adults for the seventh quarter in a row, with Vodafone again retaining number one most appealing sports sponsor.

Despite this year's Fifa World Cup, a quieter start to the year was recorded for soccer-related sponsorship deals.

However, Trainor said that "a new cycle set to kick off shortly for Uefa Euro 2020 in 12 different European cities, including Dublin, in summer 2020 will undoubtedly reboot interest in soccer opportunities as sponsorship planning for 2019 begins this autumn."

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