Guinness comes out ahead of the pack in slow sponsorship quarter

Sponsorship activity has slowed in the past three months following a surge earlier in the summer,  according to the latest Irish market review by specialist advisers ONSIDE.

Since July, 58 different sports sponsors competed for attention from the Irish adult public.

For the third quarter in a row, rugby sponsor Guinness has topped the league of most appealing sports sponsors, with one in ten Irish adults singling out the drink brand for special recognition.

A total of six in ten adults identified a sport sponsor as best in class this quarter (down 8 per cent on the previous quarter).

Among the big movers identified by ONSIDE's Sponsorship Tracker for Q3 2016 was Adidas, sponsor of various assets around the Olympics in August and teams like Manchester United and Munster Rugby. The sportswear company made its highest gains among 18 to 34 year old females. 

Lidl and AIG also grew their top ten ratings on the back of their investments in GAA which played out across September. AIG, the main sponsor of Dublin GAA, ranks just behind Guinness in the capital.

Other GAA sponsors that scored strongly were football championship sponsors AIB, Eir and Supervalu, all ranking in the top ten.

Elverys, which is the team sponsor for Mayo, Tipperary and Connacht Rugby, and Supermacs, which sponsors the Galway team, also did well. Etihad, Allianz and Centra made the ONSIDE premier sponsor list.

However, John Trainor, founder and chief executive of ONSIDE, said the number of reported new sponsorship deals "is running behind quantities experienced this time last year, with July 2016 in particular clearly more about delivering on existing sponsorships than developing new deals for businesses in Ireland".

Sports sponsorship deals have been more prevalent this year than last, accounting for 77 per cent of all deals to date this year. Significant new deals reported recently included Aldi's partnership with the IRFU and its play rugby programme, while non-sports deals included Supermac's support of the Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis, Co Clare.