In 2016, Thinkhouse worked alongside Unilever to broker the deal, the first of its kind for Unilever with the GAA.
2017 was all about really driving that awareness message, and increasing sales via the link between Sure and the GAA. Sure’s aim was to provide 18–35 superfans with enhanced engagement opportunities, and to reinforce the strong affiliation between Sure and the GAA amongst a broader GAA audience (‘If it works for the players, it works for me.’). This gave birth to the creative proposition #NeverMoreSure. Confidence is key.
Sure shone a light on the preparation of the GAA community, which unlocks the ability to be #NeverMoreSure in pressure moments.
Thinkhouse identified two of the country’s most prominent GAA players who would become ambassadors for the summer – Ciaran Kilkenny of the Dublin football team, and Kilkenny hurler Richie Hogan. The duo were picked for their prominence in the game, and their interest to the national sports media. We developed and implemented scopes of agreement with both players across our key pillars and motivated and mentored them to ensure maximum opportunities for the brand.
From here, we created an epic, premium studio shoot with Hogan and Kilkenny, using the in-house Thinkhouse photography and creative team. It was shot at D-Lite Studios, and the final imagery was used in all outdoor, alongside the ‘Sure – Trusted by GAA Players’ key message. This was particularly prominent for matchday attendees to Croke Park – Thinkhouse’s work dominated billboards around Europe’s third largest stadium.
A media day at Croke Park with Hogan and Kilkenny was organised to announce the year two partnership between Sure and the GAA, and attended by all top GAA journalists in the country. This resulted in blanket coverage for the campaign, with multiple print hits landing on the same day. Sure was front of mind in all articles and branded imagery was seeded accompanying the campaign messaging.
A partnership with the Irish Sun was also brokered; the newspaper published a bespoke branded stats infographic in the newspaper the day after every game, which really enhanced the value of the editorial for GAA fans and coverage for the brand – reinforcing the partnership with earned, branded coverage.
The PR results for the campaign were particularly strong, with 24 print, 9 radio, 5 TV and 29 online lands helping the ‘opportunities to see’ figure push the 20 million mark.
TV viewers and fans in Croke Park also saw Sure’s GAA visibility via drop down stats and infographics at key moments of the game. At every step of a GAA fan’s journey, Sure was there.
2017 was a huge success for the Sure – GAA partnership and, in light of this sustained success, the partnership will continue in 2018. Planning is already underway to really enhance the sponsorship and lift it to a new level. Watch out for Sure’s GAA work coming to a TV or billboard near you again soon!