To say that Ireland is playing at the top of the game when it comes to sponsorship would be, quite simply, an enormous understatement.
Last night in London’s Science Museum the great and the good of the European Sponsorship industry gathered to celebrate the best campaigns and the best operators from across the continent.
The room may have been bathed in Sport for Business purple but by the end of the night, the colour scheme was green, white and gold.
The most prestigious award in European Sponsorship is today on its way back to Ireland once again, clutched tightly by Lisa Browne and Edel McCarthy of Electric Ireland for their inspiring ‘Darkness Into Light’ Partnership with Pieta House.
“We’re delighted, proud and moved to be awarded ESA Sponsorship of the Year 2017,” said Browne.
“Our campaign, which sees both brand and charity come together in the community, is a real example of a true partnership.”
The Sponsorship of the Year is drawn from the eight individual category winners which were unveiled as the evening progressed.
Electric Ireland had won the CSR Award, but they were far from the only Irish flag bearer on the night.
Vodafone won the Arts and Culture Sponsorship of the Year for the Vodafone Comedy Festival and doubled down by winning the Large Sports Sponsorship of the Year with the partnership with the Irish Rugby #TeamofUs.
Three out of the eight categories going to Irish campaigns then, and plenty of kudos for the other Irish shortlisted campaigns including Accenture, Bord Gais Energy and Dublin Port in Arts and Culture, Ulster Bank in Community, Allianz in media and Electric Ireland (again), Lidl, and AIB in sport.
Gerry Nixon and Paddy Carbery will have been happy to pay for an extra bag on the way home after collecting their third gong for best use of PR in sponsorship around the launch of the Irish Rugby sponsorship. Who knows perhaps this interview we did with CEO Anne O’Leary played some small part.
The evening’s success was rounded out by two long-standing members and friends of Sport for Business winning top prizes in the agency sector with Teneo PSG winning in the single country category and Nielsen Sports taking the Pan European Prize.
Last year we were thrilled that Ireland took home the main prize through Lidl, before that the GAA, Liberty Insurance and AIB have been among the many to play a starring role.
The measure of true champions is to win and then come back and win again. That’s what Ireland and the many great people who represent us have done on this most highly regarded of stages.