Sunday January 19, 2020

When sports sponsorship backfires

The right associations can do wonders for a brand, but things can quickly turn toxic – and then it’s crucial for companies to act smartly

28th July, 2019
5
Paddy Jackson: Diageo pulled its sponsorship of London Irish rugby club after the former Ireland and Ulster player joined the club Picture: Sportsfile

Valued at €140 million in 2018, sports sponsorship in Ireland is big business, but as Diageo, Connolly’s Red Mills, FBD Insurance and Barry’s tea all recently learned, it is not without its risks.

Guinness owner Diageo withdrew its sponsorship of London Irish in June following the English rugby club’s decision to hire former Ulster and Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson, who was acquitted of rape at Belfast Crown Court in a high-profile case...

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