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Irish Sponsorship Awards shortlist announced after record year

With market spend expected to exceed €200m this year, the Irish Sponsorship Awards on December 5th will celebrate a bumper year for the sector

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2017 Best Sports Team or Athlete Sponsorship winner, Aer Lingus Official Airline for the Irish Rugby Team.

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The seventh annual Irish Sponsorship Awards coincides with what is set to be a record-breaking year for the Irish sponsorship market, with spend expected to cross €200m; an increase of over 10% on 2017. The growth in the sector has not only been evident in these facts and figures but also in the standard of this year’s awards shortlist.

Excelling brands and individuals will contest 19 different categories on the 5th of December, with awards ranging from ‘Rising Star in Sponsorship’ to ‘Best Grass Roots Sponsorship,’ and ‘Best Use of PR,’ to name only a few. With sport making up 70% of all sponsorship deals in Ireland this year, it’s no surprise that it will also have two dedicated categories: ‘Best Sporting Event Sponsorship’ and ‘Best Sports Team or Athlete Sponsorship.’

Three is one of the brands nominated for the aforementioned ‘Best Sports Team or Athlete Sponsorship,’ as well as being shortlisted for ‘Best Sponsorship Team – Brand,’ ‘Best Entertainment Event Sponsorship’ and ‘Best Use of Social Media.’ Reacting to the news, Karl Donnelly, head of sponsorship at Three said: “As a brand we place a large emphasis on the value great sponsorship activation can provide. These awards give us a great opportunity to benchmark against the best in the business. It’s always a great night and event that provides a good excuse to socialise with our peers.”

Looking forward to night where they could potentially take home four different awards, Virgin Media has high hopes for the Irish Sponsorship Awards. Head of Virgin Media Solutions, Paula Mc Carthy, said: ‘’The Virgin Media Solutions team always strive to make good things happen for our clients and we are delighted to be shortlisted for Best Sponsorship Team - Rightsholder and Best TV Broadcast Sponsorship across a number of campaigns. It is a very exciting time at Virgin Media Television and it is great to see the industry recognition for the team's efforts over the last 12 months.’’

An expert panel of judges will decide the winners of each category, led by Heineken’s brand manager for sport, Jim Geraghty, who has said: “The quality of submissions this year was exceptionally high. The sponsorship activations shortlisted reflect the exciting and buoyant industry and the standard of work would be up there with the best in Europe.”

Bringing out the biggest names in the industry, the Irish Sponsorship Awards were made possible, in part, by the largest outdoor advertising corporation in the world, JCDecaux. Their marketing director, Tony O'Flanagan, explained that, “JCDecaux have supported the sponsorship awards for several years now.  It’s important to encourage and recognise excellence in any professional arena and we are delighted to be able to play a role in what has become a major event in the sponsorship industry’s calendar.”

The Irish Sponsorship Awards 2018 is run by Business River. The full shortlist is available below and to read about other Business River events visit their news hub.

Best Sponsorship Brand

  • Just Eat
  • Littlewoods Ireland
  • SuperValu

Best Sponsorship Team - Agency

  • Legacy Consultants
  • TITAN Experience
  • ​Rising Star in Sponsorship
  • Pippa Doyle - Littlewoods Ireland
  • Claire O’Brien - Londis
  • Ian O' Rourke - Largo Foods
  • Leanne Sheill - SSE Airtricity

Best Sponsorship Team - Rightsholder

  • Live Nation Ireland
  • Virgin Media Solutions

Best Sponsorship Team - Brand

  • Londis
  • Three

Best Sporting Event Sponsorship

  • AIG Fenway Hurling Classic submitted by Teneo PSG
  • BoyleSports Irish Grand National
  • Bus Éireann for IWAS Youth World Games Transport Partner
  • Carling for Play on a Premier League Pitch submitted by Legacy Consultants
  • Londis 7s All Ireland Senior Football Tournament
  • Londis for HELL & BACK
  • SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon #TwentyThousandStories
  • The Stena Line Dublin Horse Show at the RDS submitted by The Story Lab with Carat Ireland

Best Sports Team or Athlete Sponsorship

  • Aer Lingus Official Airline of the Irish Rugby Team
  • Aldi Play Rugby with Paul O'Connell
  • Three Ireland for FAI #TheCallUp

Best TV Broadcast Sponsorship

  • Gas Networks Ireland for TV3's The Restaurant submitted by The Story Lab with Carat Ireland
  • Harvey Norman for Virgin Media One’s Showhouse Showdown submitted by Virgin Media Solutions
  • IKEA for RTÉ's Desperate Houses submitted by The Story Lab with VIZEUM
  • Just Eat delivers Love Island on Virgin Media Two
  • Londis for Tastes Like Home
  • Panadol for RTÉ's Nationwide & Ear To The Ground submitted by RTÉ Commercial 
  • Solutions & Mediacom
  • XL for TG4's Ros na Rún submitted by Post TV with XL

Best Entertainment Event Sponsorship

  • Groove Festival brought to you by Energia submitted by The Brand Fans
  • KBC Bank for WellFest
  • Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular
  • PwC All-Stars submitted by Teneo PSG
  • SuperValu for WellFest submitted by TRA Brands at The Reputations Agency
  • Three for #MadeByMusic at Longitude & Electric Picnic

Best Arts & Cultural Sponsorship

  • Bus Éireann for Macalla na hÉireann Concert Tour of Ireland
  • Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular
  • NCH Female Conductor Programme supported by Grant Thornton
  • Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia submitted by The Brand Fans

Best Societal Sponsorship

  • AIG for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie & Dublin GAA submitted by Teneo PSG
  • Energia Get Ireland Growing submitted by The Brand Fans
  • HB Fundays Ice Cream Party with Down Syndrome Ireland submitted by Unilever
  • Just Eat dublinbikes
  • KBC Bank for WellFest
  • Lyons Tea & Pieta House #TimeToTalk submitted by Unilever
  • parkrun in partnership with Vhi submitted by Teneo PSG
  • Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare submitted by Legacy Consultants

Best Grass Roots Sponsorship

  • AIG for Dublin GAA submitted by Teneo PSG
  • Aldi Play Rugby
  • Con & Annie Kirby Memorial submitted by Irish Greyhound Board
  • Energia Get Ireland Growing submitted by The Brand Fans
  • Lidl Ladies Gaelic Football Club Competition Grassroots Initiative
  • SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme
  • Subway for School Basketball, Hockey & Football Tournaments submitted by Teneo PSG

Best Multi-Platform Sponsorship

Sponsored by JCDecaux.

  • Carling for Play on a Premier League Pitch submitted by Legacy Consultants
  • Lidl Ladies Gaelic Football Association County Jersey Campaign
  • Londis for HELL & BACK
  • Londis for RTÉ's Tastes Like Home
  • Samsung for the Pitch submitted by IMAGE
  • SMIRNOFF for Pride 2018 submitted by Carat
  • The Stena Line Dublin Horse Show at the RDS submitted by The Story Lab with Carat Ireland
  • Volkswagen #RoadToRugby submitted by Legacy Consultants

Best Low Budget Sponsorship

  • Breyers Delights for HELL & BACK submitting by Unilever
  • Bus Éireann for IWAS Youth World Games Transport Partner
  • Glenisk Rugby Trading Cards submitted by Legacy Consultants
  • Persil & The Little Museum of Dublin for Irish Fashion Radicals Exhibition submitted by Unilever
  • XL for TG4's Ros na Rún submitted by Post TV with XL

Best Use of PR

  • Domino’s for Virgin Media One's Ireland’s Got Talent submitted by Harris Public Relations
  • Littlewoods Ireland for GAA #StyleOfPlay submitted by Legacy Consultants
  • ŠKODA for The World Meeting of Families Congress
  • SuperValu for WellFest submitted by TRA Brands at The Reputations Agency
  • Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon submitted by Teneo PSG

Best Use of Social Media

  • AIG for Dublin GAA submitted by Teneo PSG
  • Allianz MyTribe submitted by Fifty-Three Six
  • Just Eat delivers Love Island on Virgin Media Two
  • Lidl for Ladies Gaelic Football Association
  • Londis for Tastes Like Home
  • Three Ireland for FAI #TheCallUp

Best Use of Digital

  • Allianz MyTribe submitted by Fifty-Three Six
  • Life Style Sports for #LiveMunster & #LiveLeinster submitted by Teneo PSG
  • parkrun in partnership with Vhi Rewards Launch
  • Schweppes Culture Magazine submitted by Mediacom & Journal Media

Best Use of Experiential Marketing

  • 3Arena Launch Event
  • Aldi Community Games
  • Bringing Hoops to the Streets submitted by Largo Foods
  • Flavourville at the Just Eat Retreat
  • Keelings Love To Grow at Bloom
  • Lidl Future Stars
  • ŠKODA for The World Meeting of Families Congress
  • Innovation in Sponsorship
  • BoyleSports for RTÉ's Irish Racing Coverage
  • Fast Track at Dublin Airport with Grant Thornton
  • KBC Bank for WellFest
  • Littlewoods Ireland’s Ultimate Croke Park Sleepover submitted by Legacy Consultants
  • Playstival with The Happy Pear
  • Sure Official Statistics Partner of the GAA submitted by Mindshare
  • The Stena Line Dublin Horse Show submitted  at the RDS by The Story Lab with Carat Ireland
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