Earlier this month, Toyota and Cricket Ireland announced they were teaming up. The Federation spoke to Ian Corbett, Marketing Operations Manager, Toyota Ireland who kindly told us more….
Toyota, has a long tradition of supporting Irish Sport what do you see as the benefits for a brand such as Toyota in supporting Irish sporting bodies?
As a nation we love sport, it’s a big part of our lives so given our broad customer base in Ireland of over 320,000 it is a good strategic fit for Toyota to be involved in sports.
We believe that sports sponsorships allow us to have greater engagement with customers beyond pure product communications and we have been very fortunate to be associated with organisations such as the GAA, Munster Rugby and now Cricket Ireland.
Cricket Ireland have enjoyed significant success in recent years both, on and off the wicket, were there any particular aspects of their success that were attractive to Toyota in developing this partnership?
Cricket Ireland has been very successful in growing the appeal of the sport in Ireland since the success of the Irish team at the 2007 World Cup. As an organisation we were impressed with their strategic plan which is very focused yet ambitious.
Sponsorship support will go some way to Cricket Ireland reaching a number of key milestones including the development of a 12,000 capacity stadium in Malahide (slated for completion by 2015) and the interprovincial series starting this year. As a measure of their ambition Ireland are aiming for full test status by 2020 and we wanted to be part of this success story over the coming years.
Has Toyota’s approach to commercial partnerships changed in recent years?
No we always apply the same process of analysis when examining any commercial partnership but there is a greater emphasis on how any partnership will deliver additional engagement with the brand digitally as well as leveraging opportunities through our Dealer Network.
What advice would you give to any sports organisation looking to secure sponsorship in the current environment?
I would say clearly articulate why you think your organisation and the company you are approaching are a good strategic fit as well as highlighting what the benefits are for that organisation. Believe it or not, very often this Is not well thought through by those making the sponsorship proposal. Culturally, the working relationship between the two organisations is just as important. Finally, given budget restraints in the current economic climate ask yourself is there a different way the sponsor can help your organisation such as through BIK.
Many thanks for taking the time to talk to us, finally what was your personal highlight of the sporting year 2012 and anything you are particularly looking forward to in 2013?
There can only be one winner for 2012, it has to be Katie Taylor winning gold in London. For 2013 I’m personally looking forward to the RSA Challenge, Ireland V England cricket international in Malahide on September 3r.d. With an attendance of 12,000 expected at the future home of Irish Cricket it should be a great occasion and even better if the weather is good.