It takes something special to win a European title and something special again to defend your title with different line up. That is what our friends at Electric Ireland have managed at the European Sponsorship Awards in London taking not only the European Sponsorship of the Year Award but another four to go alongside it on another very special night in London.
The main award this year went to Electric Ireland’s support of the Game Changers Campaign promoting girls football in Northern Ireland in partnership with the Irish FA.
The campaign was designed to increase awareness and participation levels within the female game in Northern Ireland and driven by Electric Ireland’s business objective of growing brand awareness and reaching out to all parts of the community.
Electric Ireland succeeded in integrating itself into the fabric of what was a challenging community environment and enabled a major step change in women’s football in Northern Ireland through the implementation of various player focused programmes.
The campaign supports programmes for all age groups to ensure there is a clear player pathway for emerging talent. The success of this is evident by the youngest Game Changers programme, the Electric Ireland Shooting Stars programme for 4-7 year olds, recently endorsed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Since the partnership with the Irish FA began in early 2017, Northern Ireland has seen a 25% increase in participation of women’s football and more than 10,000 girls and women playing every week.
The campaign won the Main Award as European Sponsorship of the Year as well as the sports sponsorship award for campaigns under €1M and the Community Sponsorship Award.
Electric Ireland also took home another two awards for the Darkness into Light Campaign which was the winner of last year’s top prize.
This year it took home the Best Mass Participation Awards as well as the Best CSR Partnership, an incredible haul for the team.
“Our sponsorship investments are based on a deep understanding of the concerns and passions of our customers and it is great to get this recognition on the European stage for programmes that resonate with consumers,” said Lisa Browne, Head of Marketing and Customer Insights.
“We are delighted that two of our campaigns have been recognised as best in Europe across five award categories. We have enjoyed considerable success in these awards over the years and now hold ten European Sponsorship Awards.”
“We are delighted to be recognised for both our Game Changers and Darkness Into Light campaigns.”
They led the way but there was plenty more to celebrate for the Irish contingent at Caf de Paris.
AIB’s #TheToughest campaign around the GAA Club and County Championships won the Best Use of Branded Content for its imaginative retelling of Erins Isle’s win in the All Ireland Semi Final from the 1980’s using Harry Redknapp and Gianluca Vialli as guest Managers.
Vodafone won the award for Best Use of Talent in Sponsorship for the #TeamOfUs Campaign and was also highly commended in the Sports Sponsorship Greater that €2M category.
Bord Gais Energy’s #HurlingToTheCore won the Silver Awards for the ESA Best in Europe category based on the campaigns that won through affiliated Sponsorship awards at national level across the continent.
The final Irish brand to score recognition on the night was Aldi who were highly commended behind Electric Ireland in the Community Sponsorship category.
A very special night for the industry here then with ten separate Awards and Commendations including the biggest prize of all.
It was the third year in a row that Ireland has won following Electric Ireland last year and Lidl the year before. The main prize has come to Ireland six times now in the last eight years with the GAA, Liberty Insurance and AIB also taking the honours.
Some level of achievement and we are very proud once more of the talent that exists across the Sport for Business community.