The sad news broke this morning that Ulster Bank is to exit the Republic of Ireland banking market.
Our thoughts are with the very many good people working at the bank who will now face into uncertainty on top of uncertainty.
They also turn to the important role that Ulster Bank has played in the Irish sponsorship market over many years.
They came on board as one of the new format of three sponsors in the All Ireland Men’s Football Championship in 2008, alongside Vodafone and Toyota, taking over from Bank of Ireland who had been the first sponsor of the tournament.
They stayed with the Championship for six years and proved to be strong in the activation space that was developing around major partnerships.
Its association with Irish Rugby was even longer serving as principal sponsor of the All Ireland League from 2010 until 2018, and as Community partner of the IRFU.
As part of the RBS and then the Nat West Group it also benefited from credit as a sponsor of the Six Nations tournament for 16 years ending after the 2018 tournament. All the branding and signage in Ireland, including at the Aviva Stadium during that time were given over to Ulster Bank as was the valuable allocation of match tickets.
On a personal basis, Ulster Bank was among the first major organisations to say yes when we were getting Sport for Business off the ground back in 2011 and 2012.
We conducted a major campaign reaching out to clubs across the country ‘Help for What Matters’ in 2017 and the bank was also the host of our initial Sport for Business 20/20 initiative where we brought sporting and business members together in their iconic offices on George’s Quay.
The video below is a reminder of when all of us were a little younger.
One stand out memory is of Eanna Bailey representing Pentathlon Ireland giving a demonstration in the room of his laser gun.
Individuals down the years from John McGrane, Ray Boyne, Carol McMahon and Arthur Doran, to Maria O’Neill, Paula Brady, John Boyle, Paul Neary, Aislinn Brennan and many more have been great members and good friends over the lifetime of our business.
We wish all of the staff well in finding a new chapter to open up in their working lives and look forward to maintaining a relationship in the future.
Sport for Business Partners