Aer Lingus has announced that it is to extend its role as Official Airline of Irish Rugby for a further three years.
The airline will continue its theme of bringing ‘Home Advantage’ wherever the team plays. The new deal will cover the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan as well as the defence of the Six Nations Championship and the attempt at back to back Grand Slams in the spring.
The original sponsorship deal was signed in 2015 and has proved to be hugely successful for the airline. Aer Lingus flew the team to Chicago for Ireland’s first ever win against the All Blacks in Soldier Field. It took the team to Paris when Johnny Sexton’s drop goal broke French hearts, and Aer Lingus was there with the team in London as a historic Grand Slam was completed earlier this year.
It has been an imaginative journey as well with a smart engagement between Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand at the time of Soldier Field and clever activations across Snapchat and other social media.
Having members of staff feature alongside players in imagery of lining up ‘shoulkder to shoulder’ has been a winner internally as well as externally.
“It’s been incredible to see both Aer Lingus and the Irish team go from strength to strength since the original sponsorship agreement was penned three years ago,” said Aer Lingus Marketing Director Dara McMahon.
“Renewing the partnership was something we were very keen to do. The team’s success on the pitch has been reflected by the success of the sponsorship off it, having been recognised independently on multiple occasions, culminating in being awarded the Sponsorship of the Year at the Irish Sponsorship Awards in 2017.”
“Irish Rugby has become an integral part of our overall marketing campaign, Smart Flies Aer Lingus, while our rugby specific Home Advantage campaign has proved to be very successful.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with players such as Robbie Henshaw, Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton in the coming years and on behalf of everybody at Aer Lingus I would like to wish the Ireland team every success.”
“We were delighted to welcome Aer Lingus to the Irish rugby family three years ago, and now to go again,” added IRFU Commercial and Marketing Director Padraig Power.
“As a world-renowned airline, they have been pivotal in the preparation for key games by ensuring the most seamless travel for our teams, in turn, enabling them to perform at their very best.”
“We are very proud of our association and look forward to another great three years of bringing Home Advantage to every corner of the world.”
Image credit: Dan Sheridan, Inpho.ie