Tesco Ireland has become the principal commercial partner of Swim Ireland.
Under the new agreement, Tesco has pledged to support Swim Ireland in providing as many ‘little helps’ as possible to the organisation, its athletes and their families, as well as aiming to increase active participation in swimming throughout the country through a number of joint initiatives which will be rolled out over the life of the partnership.
Swimming already has strong participation figures and is a prioritised sport in the National Sports Policy. The partnership aims to encourage swimming as a gateway to achieving greater health and wellbeing.
Over the course of the partnership, Tesco and Swim Ireland will roll out programmes to drive even stronger levels of participation in communities around the country and seek to increase the number of people taking part in existing initiatives such as Get Ireland Swimming and Swim for a Mile.
There will also be collaboration on new initiatives including a new ‘National Swimming Day’ and ‘Support your team, wear your green’, a campaign backing teams such as the one travelling to Korea this summer for the World Championships.
A significant mapping exercise linking local clubs to Tesco’s 151 stores around the country will enhance the engagement of brand and sport at local level.
Out of Home advertising is planned which will feature specific local athletes.
The potential of the campaign is as great as that of Lidl with Ladies Football, making every store a promotional tool for the sport and engendering a sense of loyalty among swimmers.
Tesco will provide support to Swim Ireland and its elite athletes on their journey to compete on the international stage, and in living life back at home.
The details of how this will develop over time will be finalised in the first phase of a partnership that will extend to 2022.
They could include vouchers for mobile phone use and nutrition. They could include payments towards travel and accommodation.
July will see a team of 13 Swim Ireland athletes, made up of 3 divers and 10 swimmers compete in the World Championships in South Korea, also providing the athletes with their first opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“We’re thrilled to secure this new partnership with Swim Ireland where we can work together to realise our shared mission to Get Ireland Swimming, said Clair O’Donnell, Head of Brand Activations, for Tesco Ireland.
“Just like Swim Ireland, Tesco is at the heart of almost every community in Ireland so whether it’s learning to swim, helping athletes realise their potential or helping swimming clubs through our Community Fund; we’re delighted to help”.
It was good to see Sarah Keane clearly enthused by the potential for the partnership and to be in the spotlight for swimming exclusively as opposed to through her voluntary role as President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.
“We are delighted to launch our partnership with Tesco Ireland today. Like us, they are committed to ensuring we continue to grow participation numbers and drive the sport of swimming across Ireland through our clubs, members and leisure swimmers.”
” Throughout the discussions we have held they have been so positive and willing to look imaginatively at how we can work together.”
“Together we are committed to helping our athletes, our clubs and our communities to start swimming, get back to swimming and keep swimming through the life cycle.”
Currently, Swim Ireland has over 18,000 members in 160 affiliated clubs across the 32 counties of Ireland.
A similar broad based partnership between Swimming in the UK and British Gas helped lift confidence in the sport at every level from participation to the very highest level of elite competition.
Last year the sport completed a branding exercise with Atomic Sport around The Water and Me. This is a clear return on that investment, and a clear strong proposition for Tesco who have been absent from the national sports sponsorship scene but are now back with a splash.