SoftCo and Hockey Ireland have agreed a ground-breaking deal with the brand becoming the main sponsor of both the Irish men’s and women’s national teams on an equal basis.
For SoftCo – leaders in financial automation software – it is a significant expansion of their long-standing support for hockey.
They will become the main sponsor to the men’s senior and development programs ahead of a busy 2022 and their ultimate pursuit of Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.
It means both the Irish men and women’s teams will enjoy the same level of support, aligning with hockey’s pursuit of gender equality of opportunity and ambition, becoming one of the first sports in Ireland to enjoy such parity from a sponsor.
“We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with Irish Hockey. It is an exciting time to team up with the Men’s Senior and Development Squads with so much talent and ambition in the squad said Susan Spence, Co-Founder of SoftCo.
“We have had fantastic fun over the last four years with the Women’s Team and hopefully we can replicate that success. We are especially grateful to the wider hockey community for their wonderful support and will use the sponsorship of both the Men’s and Women’s international teams to help hockey at the grassroots level.”
“I am thrilled to see SoftCo coming on board at a vital phase in our development,” added Men’s Senior Head Coach Mark Tumilty. “We have seen the huge impact their support and engagement has had on the women’s team and we are looking forward to building that relationship.”
“We have a young side that has grown quickly in 2021 after 18 months out of action with Covid and this is the perfect boost to our program to add serious momentum.”
In 2022, the “Green Machine” will compete in August’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers in Calais, France as well as making their debut in the FIH Nations Cup. The events are key stepping-stones in the qualifying process for the Olympics.
SoftCo have supported the women’s team for the past four years and the women’s development program since August 2021 as well as supporting a number of grassroots initiatives.
In that time, the company has become synonymous with the team and its success, including a historic 2018 World Cup silver medal and an Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games. The Green Army has qualified once again for this summer’s World Cup which will be played in July 2022.
“SoftCo continue to be incredible partners for Hockey Ireland, helping to reach new heights on the world stage<' said Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels. "This unique dual-sponsorship ties in perfectly with hockey’s ‘equally amazing’ charter, promoting the sport on a gender-equal basis." Sport for Business Perspective
SoftCo’s original involvement came about as a result of a pitchside conversation. It has grown into one of the most effective partnerships in Irish sport and this is great to see equality now in terms of the amount of support that will go to the Men’s team. It is a reversal of what will inevitably be the case over coming years elsewhere as Women’s sport continues its march towards an equal commercial appeal and fanbase.
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