Each New Year we look at how the sponsorship industry is going to pan out and although some research would suggest that the sports sector may see a slight decline, which is debatable, other areas such as broadcast appear to be going from strength to strength. A number of factors will dictate how the industry fares this year not the least of which will be increasing consumer confidence being turned into actual increased spend.

Broadcast sponsorships, on average, are commanding higher prices than in the last few years due not only to the power of the association but mainly as they come now as multi-platform offerings with online, podcast and social media included. RTE, TV3, SKY and Newstalk have been very proactive recently. Newstalk just closed a deal with with Grant Thornton, the business advisory firm, for Ian Guider’s Newstalk Business Breakfast show and I understand this is the first sponsorship of its kind for Grant Thornton.

Eircom Business has renewed their sponsorship of the Newstalk Breakfast show for another 12 months. RTÉ Radio 1 have announced that the National Dairy Council (NDC) have renewed their sponsorship of the station’s agricultural affairs programme, Countrywide. These are very positive signs that Radio sponsorships are delivering the objectives set by clients. RTE television have just announced a muti-platform sponsorship of “ Don’t tell the Bride “ by Done Deal, a newcomer to TV sponsorship.

There are many opportunities for companies of all sizes to sponsor TV and Radio; it’s all about the objectives, fit and price.

In the sports sector it’s actually onwards and upwards. The Dubs secured a record, and, I believe, overvalued sponsorship deal of €700k a year with AIG and the IRFU took €20 million from Cantebury and a cool €11.2 from PUMA, the previous supplier for exiting their contract early.   The GAA are confident of  a good year with a number of companies currently looking at replacing Ulster Bank in the Championship at a cost of €1.2 million.

The Croke Park Classic on August 30th which features a season opening American colleges football game between the University of Central Florida and Penn State opens a whole new steam of sponsorship income for Croke Park -with title and partner sponsorships available.  Basketball Ireland has a powerful sponsorship  available. Both the men’s and women’s premier and division one leagues are available as a package for around €60k. The sponsorship comes with access to Clubs, Schools, Online social media, guaranteed TV and Press coverage and a basketball community in excess of 250,000.

The charity sector regrettably will struggle due to recent adverse publicity and the reported unmitigated greed of certain individuals. However, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. If a proper analysis is carried out you’ll find there are charitable organisations that not only deserve support but can really benefit a brand. A brief analysis suggests The Jack and Jill Foundation, Barnados, Irish Heart foundation, Arthritis Ireland amongst others are very well managed and deserving of support.

Limerick National City of Culture will give a boost to spend in the Arts and Culture sector this year. After a bit of a rocky start, the first ever Irish City of Culture is forging ahead with a host of sponsorship opportunities from Corporate partnerships to individual events which will allow big brands and small business play their part and benefit from a 12 month sponsorship.

As Online grows more opportunities for sponsorships will be identified. The national Print Media seem to be more senitive to the potential for sponsorships in their Titles and I see them targeting this area of income more in 2014. So, overall I believe as more and more brands see the benefits of buiding relationships and generating sales through strategic sponsorships, managed properly and exploited fully the overall sponsorship market will continue to thrive.

Liam Gaskin


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