Paddy Irish Whiskey has agreed on a high profile partnership with London Irish Rugby Club for the 2018/19 season.
Distributor Hi-Spirits will also carry the sponsorship across into in-store activity with supermarkets, as well as on-trade promotions, linked to St Patrick’s Day.
The deal sees Paddy become the Official Whiskey of London Irish, with pouring rights in the Greene King IPA Championship side’s Madejski Stadium in Reading, as well as the bar at the club’s Hazelwood Centre in Sunbury.
Other selected Hi-Spirits brands will also be available on London Irish match days, including Southern Comfort and Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
Match-day hospitality packages will be available for Hi-Spirits customers throughout the season to attend the games and see the brand and team in action.
The London Irish Man of the Match award will now be sponsored by Paddy, with the lucky recipient being awarded a bottle of Paddy in the Club Room after the match.
All hospitality bars at the Madejski will showcase the brand, with hospitality customers and members able to enjoy Paddy in Irish Coffees in the Exiles, Guinness and Platinum lounges and in the Club Room post-match. Samples of the Irish whiskey will be on all tables in hospitality and at the bar in the Club Room after every match.
Paddy will be heavily involved in the club’s popular St Patrick’s Party fixture in the Supporters’ Village, and the weekly Craic E-Zine will be sent to fans in association with Paddy.
Hi-Spirits will be featuring London Irish branding on Paddy bottles in leading supermarket groups across the UK for selected promotional periods during the year, along with competitions and giveaways in the build up to St Patrick’s Day in March. The London Irish link will also be featured in high profile on-trade activation around St Patrick’s Day.
James Pattison, UK brand manager for Paddy with Hi-Spirits, said, “We’re very excited to be teaming up with the iconic London Irish Rugby Football Club. It’s a club with a great deal of history that means a great deal to the fans, and we’re proud to be working alongside them.
“We look forward to introducing ourselves to the fans, cheering on the boys in green at every game, and toasting to a successful season together on and off the pitch.”
London Irish chief executive, Brian Facer said, “Paddy is all about the Craic and our brands align perfectly. The potential to be innovative with Paddy at different points during the season are endless, and we are really looking forward to working with Paddy Irish Whiskey and the team at Hi-Spirits this season.”
Paddy owes its name to legendary distillery salesman Paddy Flaherty. Famed throughout his native county Cork for buying rounds of his favourite tipple, he became so synonymous with the whiskey he sold, that in 1913 the distillery owners paid him the ultimate tribute by renaming the whiskey “Paddy” in his honour.