If you thought that sporting sponsorships only come in two sizes, one for mega bucks multinationals and one for the local club raffle, think again.
The magic of sport at every level is open to any business with a dose of imagination and a helping of confidence. Two of Ireland’s brightest Olympic hopes Katie Taylor and Adam Nolan were celebrating this week after opening the newly refurbished Bray Boxing Club where they train.
In May as she was returning to Bray after winning a fourth successive World Championship, Taylor was looking forward to getting into her newly refurbished club but was also perhaps just a little concerned about how the €7,000 shortfall in the cost of it was going to be met.
The Irish Amateur Boxing Association, through funding from the Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport had given grant funding of €24,000 to the club but this was mostly eaten up by the need for structural improvements and there was a shortfall of €7,000 to build a new shower and toilet.
Step forward then Paddy Mallon of Mallon Sausages, an award winning family company based in Monaghan. Mallon put up the money to sponsor the club and has reaped national goodwill and doubtless commercial benefit through making up that money.
At least in Irish terms this has put them right up among the elite sponsors of Olympic Sport and, given Taylor’s high profile in the debut of Women’s boxing at the London 2012 games, the PR benefit for the company is likely to remain strong for an extended period.
It is great to see examples of how commercial interests working alongside public funding can produce the right result for a facility that will hopefully be producing champions many years into the future as well as over recent years and for the summer ahead.