Onside appoints Rory Best as sponsorship consultant

31 May 2019 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Irish sponsorship consulting firm Onside has installed a new expert to its sports advisory panel in the shape of Ireland rugby captain Rory Best. The hooker, who is one of the nation’s most capped players of all time, will begin work as a Senior Consultant at Onside after retiring at the Rugby World Cup.

Founded in 2005, Onside is Dublin-headquartered management consultancy specialising in research, advisory, and strategic sponsorship management services across Europe. The firm leverages expertise in independent insights, negotiation, activation management, evaluation and analysis to provide clients with synchronised intelligence and a deepened competitive advantage. Onside provides a number of services, partnering with companies to develop new strategies and design breakthrough evaluation models.

While it looks to grow its pool of expertise and public exposure, Onside has completed something of a marquee signing. Ireland’s rugby captain Rory Best has been confirmed as a Senior Consultant on its sports advisory panel, having announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the season.

Onside appoints Rory Best as sponsorship consultant

Best made his international debut for the Irish rugby union side in 2005, taking his tally of caps to 117 – the third highest in Ireland’s history. Playing for Ireland as a hooker, Best succeeded Paul O'Connell as captain in 2013 and led the national side to three Six Nations titles, including the Grand Slam in 2018. He also led his hometown club Ulster Rugby to the Heineken Cup final in 2012. Having made his final appearance for Ulster at the end of the domestic season, Best will now bow out from professional sport at the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September.

On arriving at Onside, Best will join GAA star Joe Canning and former head of strategy at the International Cricket Council Jon Long in the firm’s increasingly impressive roster. The news comes as the demand for sponsors in professional sport is evolving beyond the traditional role of slapping a logo on a team’s merchandise.

Onside Chief Executive John Trainor explained, "Our most recent research found 57% of Irish adults are asking for sponsors to go beyond putting their name on something and to interact with fans in more creative ways. Now, more than ever, fans want sponsors to help them experience real, rather than digital, life experiences through their sponsorships.”

Rugby endorsements have been increasingly making an impact with the public in line with the growing popularity of the sport. This has led to a number of professional services firms becoming involved with sponsoring teams, not only providing money but also insights into the sport in the process. BearingPoint recently inked a five-year deal with Leinster Rugby, while PwC continues to hold a lucrative sponsorship deal with the Irish national teamCapgemini, meanwhile, is the incumbent innovation partner of the Rugby World Cup 7s