Energia Park is the new name for Donnybrook Stadium and will be so for at least the next ten years.
It is one of the busiest stadia in the country since the installation of an artificial surface in 2014, and has already staged over 200 matches this season including yesterday’s Bank of Ireland Junior Cup Final and the home games in the Women’s and U20 NatWest 6 Nations tournaments.
Branding of the stadium has been underway but under wraps over the past few weeks and entrances, pitch side and other areas are now looking fresh in the new paurple branding.
The naming rights are part of a ten year partnership deal between Energia and leinster rugby which will also include activation at Leinster matches, energy supply and sustainibility initiatives.
Energia is one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of electricity and gas to over 140,000 homes and 60,000 businesses all over Ireland.
It is an active sponsor of sport and was a Final Series partner of the Guinness Pro12 last season as well as having an involvement with clubs and communities and as headline partner of the Energia Groove Festival which won the Best Entertainment Event Sponsorship at the 2017 Irish Sponsorship Awards.
“Today is a special occasion. We believe in health and wellbeing for young people, sport for all and the achievement of sporting excellence,” said Energia Managing Director Gary Ryan speaking to Sport for Business yesterday.
“You can’t have excellence without facilities and this is an important partnership for us both.”
“Donnybrook is a field of dreams for rugby players past, present and future,”
“It’s the starting point of many great rugby careers and the home of many thrilling performances in Irish rugby.”
“We’re delighted to be a part of this continuing journey. We’re supporting Leinster all the way and we hope that Energia Park will be a place where new memories kick off for everyone who loves and follows rugby.”
Energia Park is also home to Bective Rangers and Old Wesley and was the home of Leinster Rugby until the move to the RDS in 2007. It has hosted home fixtures for Ireland Women and Ireland Under 20s in the Six Nations, as well as being the host venue for all Leinster ‘A’ games in the British & Irish Cup, Leinster Womens inter-provincial games and is the home of schools rugby in Leinster. It is the permanent home of the Leinster Rugby Sub-Academy.
The stadium has undergone a number of upgrades in recent years. In February 2008 the grandstand was completed while in November 2014 the new state of the art 3G pitch was unveiled by then Minister for Sport Michael Ring T.D.
“Donnybrook is synonymous with Leinster Rugby for decades now but in more recent times this is where the future of the professional game comes into the spotlight whether that be at schools level, clubs level or indeed with the Leinster ‘A’ team,” added Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson.
“Energia are now a huge part of that story and helping us to drive the future of the game of rugby at Leinster and I know that new memories and new stars will be made here in Energia Park and I am delighted to welcome the Energia team into the Leinster family.”
“The naming rights for Donnybrook have long been on my agenda but I have to give full credit to Kevin Quinn and Shane Martens for getting this across the line.”
Energia Park will host a number of concerts this summer from performers such as The National, Future Islands and 2FM Live with Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, It hosted its first game under the new name yesterday when Blackrock College beat St Mary’s in the Final of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools Junior Cup.
The first Leinster Rugby game in Energia Park takes place on Friday, 30th March when Leinster ‘A’ take on Munster ‘A’ in the Quarter-Final of the British & Irish Cup.
The sponsorship deal was brokered by fellow Darragh Persse of The Brand Fans who we will talk to in the coming weeks about the future plans for additional branding and activation at the stadium.
It moves Energia into the top flight of energy sponsors of Irish sport alongside fellow Sport for Business members Electric Ireland and Bord Gais Energy.
Image credit: Ramsy Cardey, Sportsfile