Hockey Ireland to step up sponsorship push

Bríd Drohan-Stewart to help the association fine-tune their current approach

Irish hockey faces an expensive year with both teams in World Cup action in 2018. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Irish hockey faces an expensive year with both teams in World Cup action in 2018. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

As the EY Irish Hockey League moves towards the end of the year with Glenanne tipping along nicely at the top, Hockey Ireland has taken a step in a positive direction with Thursday’s announcement that the association is to accept some strategic sponsorship assistance from Bríd Drohan-Stewart.

Returning to Dublin after living and working in Auckland for the last few years, Bríd returns with her husband Colin Stewart (Bacchus), who players of a certain vintage will remember as a pivotal player with Corinthians for many seasons. There are people still picking the Templeogue grit out of their knees.

Bríd, an international commercial marketer with over 25 years’ experience, has offered to help Hockey Ireland fine-tune their current approach to see if they can secure sponsorship in advance of what will be an enormously financially burdensome World Cup year for the men’s and women’s teams.

It would not be out of the question for both national sides to spend €1 million if they had it on preparation and the tournament itself but €700k-€800k is not an unreasonable figure.

Money makes players’ lives easier and more focused and translates to success because teams are better prepared. It has been proven at Olympic level in terms of medal-winning nations.

In fact, there is a depressing correlation between money spent and medals won, that is, the more money the more medals. The principle is no different for international tournaments – with the women playing in the London World Cup this summer and the men in India next December

Better still, Hockey Ireland says it is “actively in conversations with several interested parties and has gone to the market over the last number of months seeking sponsors and suppliers.”

It might seem a little late – just seven months or so out from the women’s event. But it’s a step forward and expertise is exactly what is needed, although, the question remains, what exactly are they selling to the public?

“Hockey Ireland is committed to aligning with brands that reflect our brand values and company ethics,” said the statement. “Likewise Hockey Ireland’s sponsorship strategy has a global focus, not solely targeting Irish companies but also international brands, reflecting the worldwide appeal of hockey. “

Saturday

EY Irish Hockey League – Glenanne v Pembroke, St Andrews 2.00pm; Annadale v Cookstown, Strathearn Grammar School, 2.30; Lisnagarvey v Three Rock Rovers, Grange Road 3.00pm; Railway Union v Cork C of I Park Avenue, 3.00pm; Banbridge v Monkstown, Havelock Park, 3.30pm.

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