AIM Awards Look Back: Sponsorship Management Award

By: The AIM Awards Team | Posted on: 18 May 2016

For our final installment of the AIM Award lookback series, we focus on the Sponsorship Management Award and its winner’s down through the years.

This award goes to an organisation that has demonstrated both strategic insight and execution skill in developing and delivering an effective sponsorship partnership which has delivered exceptional results such as increased revenues and market share.



Presented by John Trainor, Onside Sponsorship to Brenda Moriarty, AIB Bank

2007 winner, AIB Group is Ireland’s leading banking and financial services organisation. It operates principally in Ireland, Britain, Poland and the USA, and it employs more than 24,000 people worldwide in more than 750 offices. When the idea of bringing the Ryder Cup gold tournament to Ireland was raised, AIB recognised the huge potential that such a sponsorship opportunity offered and it was one of the first Irish companies to get involved. The bank developed  a large-scale comprehensive programme of communications activity around their sponsorship to gain the maximum return, encompassing extensive TV< press, outdoor, online, direct marketing and in-branch  marketing activity.


Presented by Colin Lewis, AerArann  to Jill Keane, 02 Ireland


The winner in 2008, 02 Ireland is a leading mobile provider of mobile services, offering communications solutions to 1.6 million customers and corporates. It has offices in Dublin, Galway, and Cork, as well as a customer care centre in Limerick and a work force of over 1,700 people. 02 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefónica SA. In 2006, 02 undertook sponsorship of Irish Rugby Football Union, and set about underlining the synergy around values, growth, and reach the strapline “it’s who stands behind you that counts” communicates the love of rugby and the wanting to belong to the community so strongly supportive and passionate about the sport.


Presented by Brian McCarthy, UTV Radio Solutions to Lisa Sheehan, Ulster Bank


2009 winner, Ulster Bank is part of RBS, one of the world’s largest banking groups. In March 2008, Ulster Bank was named as one of three new sponsors of the GAA Football Championship, and this involved a market entry challenge. A series of carefully coordinated campaigns and promotions through the year leveraged the opportunity across the country. A TV ad entitled The Beginnings, supported by outdoor, connected with the dreams of fans. A dedicated website was set up, which can be personalised to your county colours. Playing stars from Derry to Kerry who are also Ulster Bank employees were featured in promotions, school visits, and tours. The brand has consequently become established in a short timeframe as a recognised sponsor.



Presented by Brian McCarthy, UTV Radio Solutions to Philip McGauran, Meteor Mobile Communications

The winner in 2010, Meteor Mobile Communications was established in 2001 having been awarded the third mobile licence. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of eircom. Meteor has enjoyed unprecedented growth in recent years and now has over one million customers, 20% market share and 97% coverage. It has 39 retail stores and over 7,000 top up outlets. Meteor’s platinum sponsorship of The Apprentice television programme provided an opportunity to build an association with a popular series and to extend the experience beyond television to unseen content accessible via mobile devices and on a dedicated website.




Presented by Gráinne Rothery, Marketing Age to Jonnie Cahill & Jill Keane, 02 Ireland


The 02 opened in late 2008 and it was the first naming rights deal in Ireland. In 2010, the marketing challenge matured from being a branding exercise into how The 02 could be brought to life and centred in the hearts and minds of consumers. Strategic insights indicated that priority tickets and live streamed events would be key to creating a strong emotional link with The 02. These were developed into compelling propositions. This sponsorship was a major differentiating platform for 02 in 2010, and the activation strategy has linked not just to affinity, but also to profitability, sustainability and retention.




Presented by Geraldine O'Leary, RTÉ Media Sales to Maighread Cremin and Des O' Mahony, SuperValu

2012 winner, SuperValu faced a key business challenge in 2011 for the SuperValu brand was to find a way to integrate the sponsorship of the GAA Football All Ireland Championship, a key element in the “better together” brand value, into the overall communications mix. The company sought to reinforce its value credentials and drive footfall into the stores. The first step was to develop a campaign theme ‘proud sponsors, real supporters’ and it was launched with Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh as the national voice and with a series of initiatives at local level. SuperValu became the Np.1 retailer recognised for supporting local and Irish and the only one to increase scores in 2001. Commercially, footfall and sales were increased in a very challenging market.




Presented by Geraldine O' Leary, RTÉ Media Sales to Lisa Browne, Electric Ireland

2013 winner, Electric Ireland, the supply business of ESB, sponsored Team Ireland in the London Olympics 2012, and this was a key opportunity to achieve brand and business objectives. Working with colleagues at WHPR, the activation was aimed at mass audiences and included a comprehensive marketing communications programme over an extended period. Awareness of the Electric Ireland brand soared and it has been the company’s most successful ever sponsorship.



Presented by Geraldine O' Leary, RTÉ Media Sales to John Coffey, Annette Ní Dhathlaoí, John McDonagh and Judy Mullane, Liberty Insurance.

in 2014, Liberty Insurance’s ground-breaking sponsorship united Ireland’s two oldest field sports under the one sponsor for the first time in Irish history. The strategic approach of positioning Hurling and Camogie on an equal platform, and the commitment to jointly sponsor both, helped deliver a distinctive, fully integrated 360° sponsorship across multiple consumer touch point, driving brand affinity and growing consumer quotes and sales. Within a short time, Liberty insurance cut through with an original and innovative sponsorship, building engagement across consumers, employees, GAA fans & clubs, key stakeholders and commercial business partners.




Presented by Jill Downey, Livewire to Grace O’ Dwyer and Niamh Skally,  Musgrave SuperValu

2015 winner, SuperValu’s ‘We Believe’ mantra focuses on the quality and local consumer propositions extended to leverage the brand’s GAA sponsorship to maximise the positioning. By telling the brand story through the eyes of the brand ambassadors, SuperValu was able to tap into the deep emotional space the GAA occupies to communicate its passion for supporting local and high quality food. The fully integrated sponsorship programme contributed to a strong performance for the brand in 2014 and results recorded were at an all-time high for the brand, especially over the most active sponsorship period.


Sponsorship is a significant and powerful marketing tool that allows brands to engage with their consumers on a deep emotional level. In simple terms, sponsorship is the acquisition of the rights of association, but it’s the way in which these rights are leveraged that is the determinant of marketing success, and effective partnership is vital in to achieving the objectives of both parties.

Coca-Cola Ireland is the proud sponsor of this award.

The 2016 Finalists are



Aldi Stores Ireland

Heineken Ireland

Vodafone Ireland


The winner will be announced this Thursday, the 19th May at the AIM Awards night in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

See you all there and best of luck to all the finalists!