Guinness is the Official Beer of Irish Rugby and title sponsor of both the Guinness Summer series and the Guinness Six Nations but the sponsor rights at the Rugby World Cup are owned by Heineken.
Guinness therefore has had to apply some imagination in how it will activate it’s association with the sport as it takes over the sporting world in the coming weeks.
Yesterday in Dublin it revealed the fruits of that creativity when announcing that it was to become the Official Sponsors of Belief.
According to the back story behind the announcement “Belief is integral to sporting success, not just for players but for fans who also play a valuable role in the success of the Irish rugby team.”
Guinness will therefore look to galvanise belief across Ireland that the Irish rugby team, ranked number one for the first time in history, can emerge as the best rugby team in the world in Japan.
Brian O’Driscoll was involved in the campaign around Guinness ‘Clear’ as part of the Six Nations activation earlier this year and he was once again front and centre stage for the brand in thios latest smart marketing.
As a back up to the campaign, Guinness also released the results of a nationally representative survey of Irish adults which revealed that over half (58%) of Irish adults believe the Irish rugby team can win the tournament.
There are significant differences in the level of belief across the provinces with the most believers in Ulster at 73% and the fewest in Connacht at 44%.
Eight out of ten people believe Ireland will make it to the Quarter Finals with six in ten believing the team can reach a previously elusive Semi Final.
75% of adults stating they will be supporting the team either by travelling out to Japan or following it on TV from home.
The Belief campaign will be backed up through social media with a series of Gifs available for use on Instagram and Twitter.
Once the tournament kicks off fans will have the chance to participate in Guinness Instagram polls and through the Match Pint App show their support across the four provinces and avail of rewards to celebrate their Belief in their team.
“Belief is fundamental to any team’s success – without it, winning is impossible,” said O’Driscoll at yesterday’s launch.
“Players get a massive confidence boost knowing that the country believes in them. Amazing things can happen, when fans show their support.”
“One of the best ways to support our boys in Green is to believe in them. I’m delighted to see the island of Ireland rally together and get the chance to show their belief around the country”.
“As a long-standing supporter of Irish rugby, we wanted to highlight our belief in the team and inspire others to do the same,” added Alan McAleenan, Marketing Director for Guinness.
“Of course, it will take more than belief to win, but marginal gains can make all the difference – and with the Northern and Southern Hemisphere teams more evenly matched than ever, it’s going to come down to fine margins.”
Image Credits: Dan Sheridan, Inpho.ie