Eir: 21 years of Special Olympics


Company Description:

Eir is in 1.2 million homes, has a turnover of over €1.6M and employs 7000 people throughout Ireland. We recognise that we belong to a wider community. How we respond to the needs of our customers, how we interact with our staff and the environment and our commitment to the communities we work and live in, is important to us.

Business Issue:
Following 20 years of involvement with Special Olympics Ireland, to create an innovative sponsorship campaign and build brand loyalty by demonstrating that Eircom is a company that gives back to the communities in which it is based.

Solution Applied:
• Becoming proprietary sponsor of the ‘Go Campaign’, a nationwide fundraising initiative to treble the number of participating athletes in the Special Olympic World Games.
• Supplying technical services and equipment such as broadband, telephone systems and hardware and a wide area network structure so that all regional offices are network-linked.
• Volunteering Eircom employees’ skills and time to assist in fundraising, training of athletes and providing technical expertise.
• Assigning a full-time project manager to the sponsorship campaign and giving two members of staff the opportunity to work full-time for six months at Special Olympics Ireland.
• Providing work experience for Special Olympic athletes.
• Motivating 7,000 Eircom employees to participate and fundraise for the campaign by creating a sense of fun in the workplace.

Company Benefits:
• The Special Olympics sponsorship is working well to build brand loyalty. According to Millward Brown, IMS Eircom research April 2005, on the question to consumers regarding ‘a company I would prefer to buy from’, those aware of Eircom’s sponsorship were more satisfied with Eircom overall.
• According to Eircom employee Paddy Quaid: “Special Olympics Ireland has been good for my own personal development. I feel like I’m giving back something.”

Stakeholder Benefits:
Employee secondment provided valuable experience for those involved. “The eircom secondees were an incredible bonus to our team. They continually promoted the benefits of the Programme not only to eircom employees but throughout the country. Eircom staff alone raised over €50,000. This demonstrates the commitment they have for Special Olympics Ireland and the hard work undertaken by secondees in getting 75 events organised.” Mary Davis, CEO Special Olympics Ireland.

Departments Involved:
Sponsorship Unit

Solution Champion:
Carol McMahon cmcmahon@eircom.ie

Padraig Corkery pcorkery@eircom.ie