UCD SmurfitOver 100 individuals from across the business and sporting spectrum in Ireland will gather today at the UCD Smurfit Business School to explore ways in which The Business of Women’s Sport can be enhanced and parity of esteem for men’s and women’s sport drawn closer.
There has been strong media interest in the day including a main feature article in the Irish Times and a lengthy interview with Rob Hartnett of Sport for Business and Mary O’Connor of the Camogie Association on the Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM (at 39 minutes).
These small steps are all being made in the right direction and today will add further impetus.
Recent surveys in the UK showed that over 120 times more commercial partnership money was directed at men only sports teams and events that was the case with women.  Can you imagine if that were the case in health or education.  Our aim is to change how it is in sport and to bring on board commercial partners that can reap a high reward from entering an uncluttered market at exactly the right time.
The conference will hear from those who have started to do just that, including Annette Ní Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing with Liberty Insurance on the ground breaking sponsorship of both the All Ireland Hurling and Camogie Championships; from Simon McBeth of eFlow who have demonstrated equality in their various sporting sponsorships across soccer and rowing, and from Liz Ferris of the Women in Business Alliance who will consider what business needs from Women’s Sport in order to support it and whose own Great Grandmother was Polly Burns, a world Boxing Champion 110 years before Katie Taylor.
They wil be followed by innovative round table sessions featuring all the attendees looking to solve two particular challenges, then by a panel of sports marketing experts and by a strong panel of sporting stars including the national team managers of the women’s soccer and rugby teams, by a 12 time All Ireland medal winner and by Ireland’s most capped international.
We will hear research on the rise of women’s sport from Peter Smyth of the Irish Sports Council and the first words on a new Sport for Daughters initiative aimed at increasing awareness of role models in women’s sport.
The timetable for the day will include:
9:30 Registration and coffee on arrival at UCD Smurfit Business School in Blackrock, Dublin
10:00 Welcome from Rob Hartnett, Founder of Sport for Business
10:20 Business Panel explaining the different motivations that drive a commercial partnership. This will include Annette Ní Dhathlaoi of Liberty Insurance, Liz Ferris of Women in Business Alliance and Simon McBeth of eFlow.
11:00 Networking Round Tables to consider “What can Women’s Sport offer to business?”
11:45 Coffee Break
12:00 Results from around the networking groups
12:30 The Rise of Women’s participation in Sport by Peter Smyth, Irish Sports Council
13:00 Launch of Sport for Daughters Pledge initiative
13:15 Lunch
14:00 Sports Marketing Panel looking at how sport needs to adapt in order to attract the interest of business partners. Maire Scully, Head of Sponsorship at Wilson Hartnell who helped bring Electric Ireland’s sponsorship of the Irish Olympic team to life in 2012; Malachy Logan, Sports Editor of the Irish Times; and Kelli O’Keefe, Head of Sport at Slattery Communications which includes Allianz, Sky TV and the IRFU among those it works with.
14:45 Networking Round Tables to consider “Climbing out of the shadows – Programmes to raise the profile of Women’s Sport
15:30 Results from around the Networking Groups
15:45 The Sports Panel featuring Sue Ronan, Manager of the Irish National Soccer Team; Gemma Crowley, Manager of the Irish Women’s Rugby teams, Mary O’Connor Director general of the Camogie Association and winner of 12 All Ireland medals; Nikki Symmons, Ireland most capped athlete with 199 caps in Hockey and 7 in cricket.
16:30: Closing remarks and a way forward.
Join us on Sport for Business from Friday for the opportunity to read about what emerges from the day as we set our ambitions high in providing parity of esteem for sport regardless of whether it is played by men or women.
Contact us today if you wish to know more about our upcoming Round Table events on Sports Tourism, Philanthropy and Data, or about our next Conference in November on The Business of Youth Sport.