Report: Irish sponsorship market to grow 12 per cent
Spending on sponsorship in Ireland is set to hit a new high of €201 million ($247 million) this year, according to a study by industry researcher Onside.
This would represent growth of 12 per cent of an industry worth €179 million in 2017.
In 2017, the Irish sponsorship market increased in value by 10 per cent, with two in every three sponsors increasing their investment.
Based on its survey of the Irish sponsorship sector Onside predicts that eight in 10 sponsors will look to acquire new rights and packages in 2018.
It is estimated that sponsorship now attracts 21 per cent of total marketing investment in Ireland.
The report highlights experiential marketing as the sponsorship area that “practitioners believe will provide the best opportunity to activate sponsorships in 2018." Big data, live streaming and social media marketing are also noted as areas of interest for sponsors.
Mobile phone operator Vodafone's four-year shirt sponsorship deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union was voted the best agreement of the past year. The tie-up is understood to be worth €15 million.
Towards the end of 2016, the Gaelic Athletic Association, which oversees the sports of Gaelic football and hurling, signed a new three-year sponsorship deal with Littlewoods Ireland, the Irish arm of the online retail company, worth €3 million.
John Trainor, founder and chief executive of Onside, said: “Building on the strong momentum evidenced in 2017, sponsors and rights holders in Ireland are confident that demand will continue into 2018 - despite concerns around forces such as Brexit, ethical issues in sport, and legislative threats regarding certain categories of sponsorship. The upward investment in Ireland mirrors a similar picture we are seeing more widely for sponsorship across the Eurozone, albeit at a higher rate in Ireland.
“The Big challenge sponsors want to overcome during the coming year is how to achieve cut through in an increasingly cluttered environment and this needs to result in exciting and innovative activations for consumers. It will also see sponsors exploring existing or new sponsorship rights in a fresh way, with real opportunity in spaces from GAA County Boards to Hockey and Opera to landmark events such as the World Meeting of Families this summer.”