Sponsorship spending rose by 12 per cent in the first half of 2018 according to the sponsorship market monitor produced by Sport for Business member Onside.
Sport continues to command a lion’s share of sponsorship activity with 60 per cent of deals reported so far this year played out in the sports arena.
It was a busy start in terms of high-profile major renewal deals including Aviva’s 5 year extension of the Aviva Stadium sponsorship, AIG’s sponsorship of Dublin GAA, AIB’s extension of its partnership with the All Ireland Football Championships, Liberty Insurance’s extension with the All Ireland Camogie Championships and Lidl’s with Ladies Football.
Landmark new venue deals included Energia’s deal with European Champions Leinster Rugby’s Donnybrook Stadium and the Nissan Driving school sponsorship at Tayto Park.
Strong year on year gains were made by rights holders across Rugby, GAA, Basketball with Hula Hoops, and Hockey with SoftCo in particular in the first half of 2018. Meanwhile broadcast and cause and community-based announcements, including Boots new deal with the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day, were also significantly ahead so far this year
“The sectors most active in terms of closing new deals included financial services and retail, with the auto sector also driving more deals in the first six months of 2018 than the same period in 2017,” said Onside Founder and CEO John Trainor.
“Other areas of momentum include brands among less traditional big spenders including in the professional services sector, such as Grant Thornton’s innovative partnership with Dublin Airport Fast Track service, as well as B2B and tech-based sectors that are upping their game in sponsorship.”
“There is continued momentum behind brands developing sponsorship deals geared specifically toward women’s sport and entertainment, with as many such deals completed in the year to date than across all of 2017.”
“There has been a sharp rise in admiration for sponsors so far this year as brands invest in better activation of their rights.”
“9 in 10 Irish people have a sports sponsorship that appeals most to them to date in 2018, up from 2 in 3 the same period last year.”
Telecoms brands again topped the ONSIDE list of most appealing sports sponsors among Irish adults for the seventh quarter in a row, with Vodafone retaining the number one spot as most appealing sports sponsor through a period of unprecedented success for the Irish Rugby team.
Rugby and Community Games sponsor Aldi was also singled out by the public research as being noteworthy across both sport and non-sport investments in the past 12 months, while sponsors Bank of Ireland, Lidl and Heineken also show good momentum in the latest research.
Despite the FIFA World Cup 2018, it has been a quieter start to the year for soccer-related sponsorship deals, although looking ahead to the second half of the year, the ONSIDE consultants note that a new cycle set to kick off shortly for UEFA Euro 2020 in 12 different European cities including Dublin in summer 2020 will undoubtedly reboot interest in soccer opportunities as sponsorship planning for 2019 begins this autumn.