Paralympics Ireland has signed an eight-year deal with Toyota Ireland that sees Ireland’s favourite car brand become an Official Partner to Paralympics Ireland and to the 2020 and 2024 Irish Paralympic Teams.
The announcement comes off the back of Toyota’s global partnership with the International Olympic Council and the International Paralympic Council.
A number of different local relations at a national level have been forged as a result, some involving Olympic sport but in Ireland, the relationship will all be towards building a long-term winning partnership with Paralympic sport.
Paralympics athletes leapt into the national consciousness first with a stellar display at the London 2012 Games before following that up again in 2016 in Rio.
Stars like Jason Smyth, Michael McKillop and Ellen Keane have become household names but there is still a long way to go towards telling that story and a major plank in that has to come through smart commercial partnerships. Long-term supporter Allianz has shown the power of that with enabling TV coverage of the games through sponsorship at London and Rio and through promoting athletes through its wider channels of communication that a single sport could ever hope to reach.
Allianz is already on board as partners of the 2018 European Para-Swimming Championships being staged in Dublin in August 2018 and adding Toyota to the mix on such a long-term deal is a real boost.
“There is a real alignment of values between the two organisations and this is a partnership we are very excited about,” said Toyota Ireland Marketing Director Michael Gaynor speaking to Sport for Business yesterday.
“Our three core principles revolve around being Inventive, considerate and relentless.”
“They map easily onto the life of a Paralympic athlete who in many ways is the true embodiment of what elite sport should be all about.”
“They have to be inventive to overcome the challenges life has thrown at them, they need to be considerate of their families and those around them who make sacrifices themselves and of course they are relentless in the pursuit of levels of achievement that 99.5 percent of able-bodied people would find impossible.”
Storytelling will be a key part of how Toyota and Paralympics can work together to spread the appeal of what they are doing.
With that in mind, the company has also announced brand ambassador deals with leading Paralympic athletes Jason Smyth, Patrick Monahan, Noelle Lenihan, Ellen Keane and Nicole Turner. They will play a central role in Toyota’s global Start Your Impossible campaign.
We have a genuine ambition to make the world better through movement and there is also a great alignment there,” continued Gaynor.
“The level of technology investment in what we do is paramount. That has spin-off benefits in so many other areas as well.”
“The technology input for safety and ultimately driverless cars has already produced BLAID a system which helps visually impaired people to ‘feel’ the world around them through a sensor worn around the neck.”
“In areas of robotics, we are innovating in ways that help the movement of production lines through to vehicles and ultimately to help those who have suffered spinal injuries.”
“Technology and innovation are core to what we are as a company and vital for people overcoming physical challenges in their lives as well.”
Toyota’s ambition for the global partnership is to promote a more inclusive society, help break down barriers to mobility, and boost the profile of Paralympics through the Start Your Impossible campaign.
Ultimately this can create a lasting legacy for Paralympic sports in Ireland.
To help fulfil these objectives, Toyota is investing over €1,000,000 in support of the partnership for Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024. Toyota will provide mobility services and solutions to Paralympics Ireland for the next eight years and two Paralympic games cycles.
“We’re delighted to support Paralympics Ireland as they prepare to compete on the global stage in Japan in 2020 and Paris in 2024,” added Toyota Ireland CEO Steve Tormey.
“There’s a natural fit between Paralympics Ireland and Toyota Ireland’s brand values of being relentless, inventive and considerate – three traits which closely parallel what Paralympics is all about.”
“We believe we are uniquely positioned to support the organisation and its athletes over the next eight years.”
“This is the start of an exciting journey for Toyota Ireland, our Start Your Impossible campaign will break new ground for the brand in Ireland and we want people to take that journey with us.”
“We are delighted to welcome Toyota Ireland as official partners to Paralympics Ireland,” concluded Miriam Malone, CEO of Paralympics Ireland.
“There are very exciting times ahead for our athletes and parasports in Ireland over the coming years.”
“We have enjoyed great success at recent Paralympic Games and, with the support of Toyota, I am sure we will continue to deliver amazing memories and world-class, medal winning, performances into the future.”
Toyota is backing the global partnership through a first-ever global ad campaign, centring on the aspiration of movement for all. The first film in the campaign, which was revealed last week, profiles 100 real-life mobility stories featuring people from every stage of life, across five different countries, including Paralympic and Olympic athletes. It’s powerful stuff…
In 2018 Sport for Business will host 20 events linking sport and business in ways that make a difference to how we all do such a great job, as well as producing our Daily News Digest covering the commercial world of Irish sport.
Image Credit: Dan Sheridan Inpho