Friday 23 March 2018

Sponsorship tipped to break €200m in record year

Galway hurler Joe Canning is one of the rising stars of the Irish Sponsorship Industry Survey. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway hurler Joe Canning is one of the rising stars of the Irish Sponsorship Industry Survey. Photo: Sportsfile

John McGee

The Irish sponsorship market is set to break through the €200m mark for the first time in 2018 as sponsors look to step up their investment in sports, cultural events and cause-related propositions.

According to the latest Irish Sponsorship Industry Survey, which is published by the sponsorship agency Onside, the market is likely to see a 12pc growth in 2018, rising from €179m in 2017 to €201m this year.

"Off the strong momentum experienced in 2017, sponsors and rights-holders in Ireland are confident that demand will continue into 2018, despite concerns around forces such as Brexit, ethical issues in sport, and legislative threats regarding certain categories of sponsorship. The latest survey points to bigger levels of spending planned among those intending to do more sponsorship during the year ahead coupled with very low levels of sponsors planning to reduce spends," said Onside CEO John Trainor.

With sponsorship budgets now accounting for as much as 21pc of total marketing spend, according to Trainor, the in-demand sponsorships continue to be rugby and GAA. "While there is no one sector driving the overall strong performance, and the breadth of the expansion footprint is wide but properties in rugby and GAA are still seen as the most attractive," he added.

According to the survey, Vodafone's partnership with the IRFU was voted as the best sponsorship of 2017 while AIB's GAA sponsorship of GAA and Lidl's sponsorship of Ladies GAA were also viewed as being successful. The survey also showed 95pc of sponsors believe that the use of high-profile sports personalities to endorse their brands is effective with Katie Taylor identified as the most marketable personality for 2018. Last year's most marketable sports personality, Conor McGregor, meanwhile, has seen his marketability score halved since his ill-fated fight with Floyd Mayweather last August.

This year's list of rising stars includes the likes of 21-year-old Dublin and Cuala GAA star Con O'Callaghan, Leinster and Ireland's Joey Carbery and Galway hurler Joe Canning.

"The big challenge for sponsors is how to achieve cut-through in an increasingly cluttered environment and this needs to result in exciting and innovative activations for consumers," said Trainor. "Uncovering ways to cross over sports with other passion points and needs of people will be key to ensuring a more rounded and deeper engagement with fans and consumers."

Sunday Indo Business

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