Women in Sport - Business Breakfast Lookback

By Liberty Insurance on 10 October 2014
Women in Sport - Business Breakfast Lookback

To celebrate the stand-out performers of the 2014 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championship, the Camogie All-Stars banquet takes place on 1st November at Citywest Hotel, Dublin. It’s one of many opportunities to join together to celebrate the achievement of Irish women in sport.

Similarly we look back to the 12th September, when top business, sport & media professionals joined together at the Liberty Insurance Women in Sport Business Breakfast in Croke Park with the same common goal: to celebrate & raise the profile of women in sport.

In October’s edition of Irish Tatler magazine, Jessica O’Sullivan wrote an extensive piece on the popular event (see below) led by RTE sports presenter Jacqui Hurley, and was joined by a panel of speakers including the head of marketing at Liberty Insurance Annette Ní Dhathlaoi, CEO of Sport for Business Rob Harnett and All-Ireland camogie champion Mags D’Arcy.

The event provided attendees with the panel’s insight and opinions on the power of sponsorship for businesses in the women’s sporting landscape, the need for fellow stakeholders to increase support and future plans to raise the profile of women’s sport.

Out of a jam packed event, here we present four important ideas which we think will inspire the next steps for women in sport.

What does women’s sports offer?

Women will see a company is supporting women and there is a sense of empowerment in that.

According to CEO of Sport for Business Rob Harnett, the answer is simple: You reach the 50.5 per cent of the population that make most of the spending decisions. “Women don’t buy something because a company is supporting the camogie championship or the women’s rugby team, but women will see a company is supporting women and there is a sense of empowerment in that,” says Harnett. The second reason is that it is significantly less expensive than men’s sports, so it is possible to get coverage at a national and international level for less money. “Women’s sport is still a relatively uncluttered market,” says Harnett. “However, that window is closing slightly, largely because of what Liberty has done. It was the first game-changer to take an iconic women’s sports brand in Ireland and put a commercial identity with it.”

Give women in sport an identity.

As with anything that involves change, a fresh in attitude is required. Mags Darcy positions herself as a sports person first and foremost, “I don’t feel like I am a woman in sport, but an athlete who happens to also be a woman. This gives a player an identity as a person, and explains the story behind the athlete and that’s what people want.”

I don’t feel like I am a woman in sport, but an athlete who happens to also be a woman.

 

People will follow great stories regardless of gender.

From her experience in journalism, Jacqui Hurley believes that there are some great stories to be told in women’s sport. “A story is a story. Whether it is the Cork ladies footballers winning a ninth all-Ireland in ten years or it’s the Irish Women’s Rugby team beating New Zealand, it’s still a good story. Rob Harnett supported Hurley by highlighting the TV viewing numbers for the Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final. Five hundred thousand people tuned into TG4 to watch the semi- final against England in the Women’s Rugby World Cup this year, after thousands walking out of the stadium a few month before at the Six Nations. People will follow great stories regardless of gender.”

If we embrace women in sport further, this can impact in a change for women in society.

If we embrace women in sport further, this can impact in a change for women in society.

There is no one big answer to how we get women’s sport to the top of the agenda but Annette Ní Dhathlaoi believes that advocating women in our everyday lives is vital. “The GAA is more than just a sporting association – in particular parts of the country it is the cornerstone of the community. If they moved to a model that embraces women and women in sport then there is going to be an inevitable societal change and momentum in those communities, not just change in the GAA.”

We look forward to see how this events fuel the next steps for Irish women in sport.

To continue your support for women in sport follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all things Camogie and show your support using #womeninsport.

Click here to read Jessica O’Sullivan’s, Irish Tatler women in sport article in full; Irish Tatler October 2014 Liberty Insurance Women In Sport Businness Breakfast

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