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Marketing professionals say local Irish sponsors beat international brands in summer of sport


Annalise Murphy at her welcome home party in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Arthur Carron

Annalise Murphy at her welcome home party in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Arthur Carron

Annalise Murphy at her welcome home party in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Arthur Carron

Local, rather than global, sponsors were the big winners of this summer's major sporting events, according to a survey of Ireland's marketing professionals by consultants Onside.

According to the research, AIB topped the list in terms of best overall sports sponsorship for summer 2016 through its work with the GAA.

Electric Ireland's sponsorship of Team Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games scored highly, with 64pc of Irish marketers rating the energy provider's Olympic campaign as "highly effective". This rating was significantly higher than that achieved by global sponsors of the event such as Visa.

Chief executive of Onside, John Trainor, said the power of local sponsorship was a strong trend emerging from its review of sports events during the Summer of 2016.

"Other supporters of Team Ireland, such as New Balance, the team's kit supplier, also made marked gains in our research of the Irish public on the 'most appealing sponsors of the Olympics', jumping from 10th place, in pre-Olympics research, to fifth place in our post-Olympics data," he said.

The Olympics, which attracted higher audience numbers than expected, also had a significant impact on the popularity of several athletes, many of whom may secure lucrative endorsements as a result.

Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy, who spoke at the event, was named in Onside's research as one of the top three most marketable Irish sports personalities on foot of the summer of sport.

The others who ranked in the top three were the O'Donovan brothers from Cork, and Robbie Brady, who scored during the Euros.

Onside's research showed Carlsberg claiming the top spot for 'most appealing sponsor' of the Euros among consumers.

Marketing professionals named FAI sponsors Carlsberg and 3 Mobile as the most effective sponsors at the Euros, ahead of global brands such as McDonald's.

While the Olympics and Euros claimed much of the spotlight this season, the GAA retained a key place among consumers, and was described as "the backbone of the Summer," by RTE's head of sport Ryle Nugent, a panel speaker at the briefing last week.

Representatives of some of this summer's major sporting events attended the event, including people involved with the Olympics, Paralympics, UEFA Euros and GAA.

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