Core has launched Ireland’s first ever National Sponsorship Index (NSI) ranking the country’s top 50 events in Ireland and providing transparency in the market. Electric Ireland is listed as the Ireland’s most impactful sponsor for its partnership with Pieta House’s ‘Darkness into Light’ campaign in support of people impacted by suicide and self harm.
Pieta House chief executive Brian Higgins is the current Marketer of the Year.
The NSI shows that sponsorships can have an uplifting impact on commercial metrics (30 per cent growth in performance), and outlines how that uplift is more than doubled (71 per cent) when consumers feel that their experience has been enhanced or a benefit has been transferred to the sponsorship property itself.
It represents three years work and combines academic rigor with field expertise. Core Research, run by Mark Nolan; Core Sponsorship, run by Jill Downey, and academic and seasoned sponsorship expert Dr Tony Meenaghan helped with the roll out. The research did not involve any contacts with sponsors but rather relied on interviews with 4,000 fans.
Speaking at the launch, Jamie Macken (above), deputy MD, Core Sponsorship, said NSSI will act as Ireland’s benchmark for sponsorship effectiveness. It sets a national standard for campaigns, weighted against commercial impact and rated by those who matter most – the fans. ‘Fandom’ is based on those who express a deep interest in a sponsored event.
Measuring the vitality, potency and effectiveness of the top 50 events, the index brings transparency to Ireland’s sponsorships and shows how they drive positive business metrics. The top five sponsorships in the NSI are Electric Ireland for Pieta House’s Darkness into Light, SuperValu’s Tidy Towns, Aviva Stadium, 3Arena and Vodafone Rugby IRFU.
The genre breakdown of the NSI top 50 is sport, 19; music, 11; culture, 10; cause and community, 5 and venue, 5. Macken said that as the top two spots in the first index are cause and community initiatives shows that sponsors who make genuine and sustained contributions to partner with important causes can generate a deep impact with audiences.
In terms of the top 50 rankings, music properties feature highly, especially the Electric Picnic Festival and Longitude. Electric Picnic sponsorships include Electric Ireland, Heineken, Three, Just Eat, Red Bull and Bacardi. Cultural events like Aldi, FBD, Bank of Ireland and Eir’s sponsorship of the Ploughing Championship all make it into the top 50.
Cinema is present with Virgin Media’s support for the Dublin International Film Festival.