Core launches Ireland’s first ever National Sponsorship Index which ranks Top 50 sponsorships in Ireland and brings total transparency to the sponsorship market

  • Electric Ireland is most impactful sponsor in Ireland for the ‘Darkness into Light’ campaign in partnership with Pieta House
  • Index shows uplift of 70% on commercial metrics for sponsors who get it right
  • Pioneering National Sponsorship Index represents three years of research and testing, and combines academic rigor with sponsorship expertise

 Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, has launched the National Sponsorship Index (NSI), Ireland’s first ever benchmark for sponsorship effectiveness. The NSI sets a national standard for sponsorship, weighted against commercial impact and rated by those who matter most – the fans.

Measuring the vitality, potency and effectiveness of the Top 50 marquee sponsorships in Ireland, this pioneering work brings transparency to Ireland’s sponsorship market and shows how sponsorship drives positive business metrics. The NSI is the result of three years of development, testing and analysis by Core, in conjunction with Dr. Tony Meenaghan, Professor of Marketing at the Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD and Ireland’s foremost expert in the area of commercial sponsorship.

The Top Three sponsorships in the inaugural National Sponsorship Index, powered by Core, are:

  1. Electric Ireland: Pieta House’s Darkness into Light
  2. SuperValu: Tidy Towns
  3. Aviva: Aviva Stadium

The genre breakdown of the National Sponsorship Index Top 50 is:

  • Sport: 19
  • Music: 11
  • Culture: 10
  • Cause & Community: 5
  • Venue: 5

This non-partisan analysis of the sponsorship market provides marketers with intelligence into sponsorship impact across different business sectors, sponsorship genres and a range of consumer demographics, thus arming marketers with the information they need to understand sponsorship impact on a national scale.

Research assists marketers to drive increased commercial benefits and the National Sponsorship Index specifically provides clarity as to which levers drive commercial impact in sponsorship and how to maximise the effectiveness of these levers.

By pinpointing where sponsorship is delivering for a brand and providing clarity on how commercial impacts can be enhanced and maximised, the index will empower better and more commercially impactful decisions within the Irish sponsorship industry.

The index shows that sponsorships can have an uplifting impact on commercial metrics (+30% growth in performance), and outlines how that uplift is more than doubled (71%) when consumers feel that their experience has been enhanced and / or a benefit has been transferred to the property itself.

That the top two spots in the inaugural National Sponsorship Index are cause and community initiatives demonstrates that sponsors who make genuine and sustained contributions to partnering with important causes generate a deep impact with audiences.

In terms of the Top 50 rankings, music properties feature prominently, especially the Electric Picnic Festival and Longitude. Electric Picnic sponsorships include Electric Ireland, Heineken, Three, Just Eat, Red Bull and Bacardi.

The power of Cultural events as a sponsorship platform is also evident. Aldi, FBD, Bank of Ireland and Eir’s sponsorship of the Ploughing Championship all make it into the Top 50, while film is present via Virgin Media’s sponsorship of the Dublin International Film Festival.

Jill Downey, Managing Director of Core Sponsorship, says: “We have been working on this initiative for almost three years and our aim was to help solve a key challenge for marketers – to demonstrate the commercial impact of sponsorship for Irish brands and to understand how these impacts can be unlocked. We have determined not only that sponsorship has a proven impact on brand metrics, but exactly how to quantify this impact and understand the levers that drive it.  

Our National Sponsorship Index demonstrates that sponsorship has positive impacts on both propensity to purchase and long-term affinity, which are regarded as key metrics for any sponsor. Different categories of brands, properties and fan bases, lead to different levels of commercial impacts, but overall the better a sponsorship is activated, the larger the commercial returns are.” 

For details on the National Sponsorship Index Top 50, please contact Jamie Macken, Deputy Managing Director of Core Sponsorship on 

Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy.

Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the ninth year running.

Core Sponsorship was voted Best Sponsorship Agency at the 2017 Irish Sponsorship Awards.


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