If you thought like me that the image which will highlight SSE Airtricity’s digital support of the domestic soccer season was somehow quasi-religious, then you’d be right.
This year marks the tenth campaign that the brand has been attached to and ‘powering’ the SSE Airtricity League and we caught up with Sponsorship Manager Leanne Sheill to find out what that would look like in 2018.
The legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly was famously quoted as saying that “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.”
For fans, it is an all-consuming passion and that’s the thinking behind the support that SSE Airtricity will be rolling out from this weekend.
“Our creative focus for 2018 is on the teams, the fans and the relationship they have towards ‘their’ sacred jersey,” said Sheill.
“There is a loyalty and a passion among football fans that runs deep and that is what we will be getting behind and supporting.”
“You can see from our season-opening campaign video that this passion runs through families and across generations. That’s an important element of why we have been long-term backers of the game and we want to bring that to the fore.”
“This digital campaign around the Jersey and the fans will run for the full nine months of the season and be woven through online, social media and in the matchday experience.”
“That is another area we have worked closely with the FAI and John McGuinness to step up again in 2018.”
“Fans from Friday will notice a step up in the presentation of games at the grounds. We have taken elements of what is in place in the big tournaments around the world and will deliver an SSE Airtricity league experience to match the best.”
“This will include a new ball plinth which will be out front as the players take to the field, new archways to frame the players as they line up before the game and an upgraded backdrop for hosting Man of the Match Awards on the pitch straight after a game rather than hidden away.”
“The aim is to give fans an experience that makes going to the game something they will remember forever and become a part of their lives.”
“We have also worked on digital enhancements with club specific green screen enhancements which will be used for club news, teams and pre-match teasers.”
“The third key element for us is to provide exclusive rewards based on the domestic game for our customers. These will include the opportunity to win ‘Money can’t Buy’ experiences like having clubs and players run training days at customers kids schools or clubs.”
“Youth is a big focus for the League and we have extended our sponsorship of the Premier League and First Division to include the U19, U17 and U15 Leagues this year.”
“It is really important to focus on developing grassroots football in Ireland and having witnessed some of those games, it is safe to say the future of Irish football is very bright.”
The season gets underway tomorrow with a sell-out game at Dalymount Park between Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.
As Sport for Business continues the build-up to the League we will have a roundup of the commercial partnerships in place across the Premier League teams on Friday and then a similar look at the First Division the following week as it prepares for its own kickoff.
Image Credit: Sam Barnes, Sportsfile