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July 30 2017 6:00 PM
Sponsors still view Gaelic football and hurling as the most popular sponsorship opportunities in Ireland, with one-in-five sponsorship deals in Ireland linked to the GAA, according to sponsorship experts Onside.
The latest Onside Quarterly Sponsorship Review shows that the second quarter of 2017 saw a slower rate of activity compared with the same period last year.
However, in terms of volumes of sponsorship deals made, there has been an overall growth of 3pc in sponsorship deals in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.
Sport continues account for the largest portion of sponsorship activity in Ireland in 2017, with three out of the four deals reported so far this year linked to sports.
High-profile deals like Bord Gáis Energy's new sponsorship of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships and the GAA's new partnership with Ericsson were among those signed.
Soccer is also showing particularly strong progress this year, including a range of new FAI deals with brands including Fulfill, Rustlers and a major new kit deal with New Balance.
John Trainor, chief executive of Onside, said: "Media/broadcast and equestrian related sponsorships also got off to a flying start in the first half of the year."
"Financial services and travel and tourism sectors have been most active to date as brands in these sectors as they establish their positioning for more competitive landscapes to trade in over the medium term."
Telecoms brands topped the Onside's list of most appealing sport sponsors among Irish adults for the second quarter in a row, with main rugby and soccer sponsors Vodafone and 3 scoring well in terms of sports sponsorship appeal.
Vodafone also topped Onside's poll of Ireland's most appealing non-sports sponsors, joined by other major sponsors such as 3, Guinness, Electric Ireland, Heineken and Bord Gáis Energy.
Aviva's progress was also singled out by the Onside research as being strong, while Bank of Ireland and Lucozade all show good momentum in the latest research.
With GAA leading an otherwise quiet summer of sport, SuperValu, which has supported the GAA since 2010, topped the table of most appealing GAA sponsor in Q2 2017.
It was followed by newcomer Lidl, which has invested heavily in promoting its association with Ladies Gaelic Football.
Guinness is still positively associated with the games in third place, ahead of AIB and Bank of Ireland. Trainor said that across the board, a smaller number of sponsors are 'making the cut' in people's minds as the clutter of brands is being more clearly filtered to 30 or 40 brands consistently standing out for people.