Leicester City cast net for Irish sponsors

Leicester City are keen to bring Irish companies on board as commercial partners as the club looks to build on its remarkable achievement of winning this year’s Premier League.

5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, Leicester’s title success — which will see them compete in next season’s Champions League — is widely regarded as one of the greatest surprises in the history of sport and has turned the previously unheralded midlands club into a global phenomenon.

Now, Leicester’s Cork-born commercial director Ian Flanagan — who was hired by the club’s Dublin-born chief executive Susan Whelan four years ago — has said that that he would like to see Irish companies added to their sponsorship portfolio.

“In terms of our commercial stuff, we’re speaking to lots of global companies now,” he told the Irish Examiner.

“We’re dealing with companies from Thailand, China, Japan, South Africa, the Middle East, and our club partners come from all over the world. And it would be great to have some Irish companies in the mix given we’ve got an Irish influence in the club.”

Mr Flanagan added: “When we speak to the partners now, we are positioning ourselves as a club that is going places and achieving. And we want that to continue.

“There are no guarantees in football, as this season has shown, but we want to be competitive next season and in future seasons.

“And that that’s why brands want to partner with us. This season we’ve shown what you can achieve with hard work and determination and ambition. You can achieve anything and take on established brands.

“That’s a great message that we go out with to the corporate world. Ambition is everything, hard work is everything, team spirit is everything.”

Bloomberg has reported that Leicester City are poised to land a £50m (€45m) earnings boost from winning the Premier League.

Leicester will receive more than £90m from the Premier League for coming first, compared with the almost £72m it got after finishing 14th a year earlier.

Its television audiences globally have grown by 23%, according to sports marketing research firm Repucom, meaning a boost in the value of its sponsorship.

Playing in the Champions League is worth at least £30m for the first debut English football champions since Nottingham Forest in 1978.

“The task now is to optimise the value of those assets and ensure they attract the incomes Leicester City could now generate,” said Spencer Nolan, head of consulting at Repucom for the UK and Ireland.


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