Irish Rugby Takes to Skies with Aer Lingus

The Irish Rugby Team departed to Japan yesterday.  They were borne on a plane carrying the likeness of a number of the players boarding the steps, and as an important part of the partnership Irish Rugby has with Aer Lingus.

The original partnership was signed in 2015 and was renewed for a further three years in 2018.

It 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 in 2018.

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 ‘shoulder to shoulder’ has been a winner internally as well as externally.

The concept of bringing ‘home advantage’ has been a reccuring theme through activations around the partnership and that was the same again yesterday as the team boarded EI174 on the first leg of the journey via London.

The partnership won the Sponsorship of the Year at the 2017 Irish Sponsorship Awards.

Yesterday’s departure was widely shared across social media through Irish Rugby’s and Aer Lingus’ social media channels using video captured by John Sherwin and his team at Videos on the Net.

Eoin McGirl who is responsible for much of the content that Aer Lingus produces featured in the Sport for Business / PwC 30 Under 30 last year.

There is a long tradition of Aer Lingus having an involvement with sports teams.

Back in the 1960’s Aer Lingus opened up a new office in Liverpool, run by a man called Jim Kennefick. He persuaded the club that relying on scheduled carriers was not really suited to a club with Liverpool’s ambitions and so began a journey that spanned almost two decades of the club’s greatest success.

Kennefick became the Commercial Director of Liverpool along the way and was a charming man in everything he did.

He has been unwell of late but would no doubt appreciate that the link with sport he established fifty years ago is now still an important part of the Aer Lingus story.

Here is a selection of how the departure was carried across social media over the past 24 hours.

 

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Let’s bring #HomeAdvantage to Japan 🎌

A post shared by Aer Lingus (@aerlingus) on

Image Credits: Tommy Dickson, Inpho.ie

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