Speculation is growing that Laya Healthcare may soon be announced as the naming rights holder for the planned €35m redevelopment of the RDS main arena in Ballsbridge for a yearly fee of €650k.
The RDS wants to increase the arena's capacity from 18,500 to 25,000 and host Leinster Rugby's Pro12 and European home matches, along with the Discover Ireland Horse Show in August and outdoor concerts.
Six years ago, insurer Aviva saw off a challenge from AIB to rename the revered Lansdowne Road stadium as part of a €40m rebrand. The IRFU/FAI deal was brokered by Slattery Communications (now PSG) and US media group Wasserman, which handled Arsenal's deal for the Emirates Stadium in north London.
Jamie Macken, a partner with Core Media's Livewire sponsorship agency and son of former international show jumper Eddie Macken, says naming rights have come a long way since the Millennium Dome in London became the 02 in 2005 in a £6m-a-year deal.
Macken believes the rights market in Ireland is worth about €7.5m a year. Most of the outlay involves the 'big two' - the Aviva Stadium and 3Arena, pictured. Macken says value is measured by business targets and the strategies used to achieve them.
Sponsors must appreciate a venue's heritage and local community. Naming rights are either 'badged' or 'engaged'. 'Badging' a brand name on a sports stadium or concert hall facia is just the kick-off point. For deals to work long-term, the rights holder and sponsor must engage and agree add-ons.
It means the rights holder can sell a package more open to renewal. In the US, naming rights go back to the 1960s, with finance brands taking a third of the market and telcos on 12pc - reflecting Ireland's current market. By associating with a national stadium in the heart of Dublin, Aviva created a 'home' for the brand and a morale boost for staff and partners through international sports links.
At the time of the deal, Aviva was under the kosh from the Hibernian takeover and redundancies. To help coax consumers, Aviva grew a grass roots sports programme extending to local communities. The strategy paid off, giving Aviva strong brand sentiment scores around purchase intent and long term affinity.
Across the Liffey, the Point Depot naming rights transferred from Telefonica's O2 to new owner, Hutchison Whampoa's Three mobile. The 3Arena boosts brand values and rewards consumers with a loyalty scheme called 3Plus, with the aim of minimising 'churn.'
* While Greece's fiscal woes deepen, about 35,000 Irish foodies will willingly break with the euro in the coming days as they exchange normal currency for florins at the 10th annual Taste of Dublin. The festival opens today in the Iveagh Gardens and runs until Sunday. Fast food delivery operator Just Eat is laying on a waiter service, allowing foodies spend more time to mooch around the stalls without having to queue.
The waiters simply take people's florins and stand in line. Just Eat marketing director Edel Kinane, pictured, says the waiter idea showcases the company in helping reduce hassle for diners. It links in with Just Eat's lunchtime service where customers order food from eateries online - instead of queuing.
In the US, various brands are considering moves into food delivery. Taxi network Uber is experimenting with a service in New York and Chicago, while McDonald's and Starbucks are also piloting deliveries. Researcher Euromonitor says spend from online ordering at full-service restaurants in the US almost doubled to $4.4m in recent years.
* Who says print is dead and gone? If a report by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers is anything to go by, rumours of press's demise are decidedly premature. Revenues from global newspaper sales outperformed ad revenues for the first time this century.
From the US$179bn in circulation and ad revenue last year, US$92bn came from print and digital circulation, while advertising amounted to US$87bn.
93pc of worldwide press revenue comes from print. While digital spend was up by almost 60pc over five years, the report says it still has some way to go before it overtakes print revenue. The report indicated that about 2.7 billion people globally consume printed newspapers, compared to around 770m digital readers.
* PR agency Drury Porter Novelli launched the Drogheda-based East Coast Bakehouse where the new biscuit maker's boss Michael Carey is a director. The food company's branding was created by Dynamo, the branding agency run by Jamie Helly, pictured, which previously led graphic design jobs for Carey's Jacob Fruitfield.
Carey and his marketing director wife Alison Cowzer raised €3.5m from 12 investors and undisclosed backing from Enterprise Ireland towards the €15m project. Carey and Cowzer are directors of the Company of Food, an investor in food start-ups.
Carey is also chairman of Bord Bia and leads the government-backed Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance branding drive for the capital.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; firstname.lastname@example.org