Sponsorship in sport has always been seen, at club level as very much a local initiative. Butchers, bakers, garages and grocers have adorned club shirts mainly out of loyalty to the community and the hope of a reward in terms of loyalty in return.
Some things change and some things remain the same. Brighton and Hove Albion, on the fringes of promotion from the English Championship to the Barclays Premier League have signed a deal with their local major employer for next season. Rather than Brighton Bicycles though, it happens to be American Express.
The European HQ of the company is based in the seaside town on the south coast of England and originally started its partnership with the club through supporting its community programme. When a new stadium was built after many years of trying, the sponsorship turned into a naming rights deal and from next August the familiar Amex logo will adorn the blue and white striped shirt.
To find out why this deal should be of interest to sport and business in Ireland you must be signed in or signed up as a member. You can sign up today for a free one month trial.
[ismember]The primary motivation for the deal is to ground the company in the hearts and minds of its workforce. It also serves as a commitment to the region which can sometimes be questioned with increasing corporate mobility and international tax fluidity.
Ireland is host to some of the biggest names in international business. Companies that would make American Express appear like small fry.
Google, Facebook, Paypal, Yahoo, Twitter and Linked In all have European bases in and around Dublin. Microsoft, Apple, Pfizer, eBay and Kelloggs are here as well and all of them are major employers.
The principal reason they are here will of course be for tax reasons but between them those companies alone will employ many tens of thousands of staff, all of whom need to remain motivated and committed to their employer.
With such a cluster of primarily high tech companies, staff crossover is an increasing issue and business must always be looking to ways in which they can build relationships with staff, other than through the mechanic of wages.
Sport is perhaps the most universal language in the world, touching on the emotions of those who play, those who watch and those who follow, often through the media of the companies mentioned above.
An important rule of business is that those designing products and services should be aware of how they are or might be used by their customers.
An involvement with sport taps straight into that and also serves as an anchor point for a company’s commitment to an area and to the people who work for it.
Sport for Business assists in helping sport and business find innovative ways of working together. Contact us today for a discussion on how your sport or business might benefit from membership. [/ismember]