I got to know Rebecca Doyle, Boland’s BMW Head of Business, last year when she introduced me to New Ross Triathlon Club. She is one of the most determined, positive and encouraging people I know. Following an insane (for me) amount of training, this year I took part in the Boland’s BMW By Hook or By Crook Triathlon. It was the toughest thing I have ever done but there were lots of positives from it.

Besides all the great people I met there, the support from the organisers along the routes at every stage and the sense of achievement just to have finished it, I was blown away by the sponsorship. The Boland’s BMW branding at the event was excellent, the merchandise – goodie bags and a cool T-shirt (that I will wear with pride at every opportunity :-)) and the all important follow up photos and video were all of an unbelievably high quality. I am sure that everyone at this Triathlon has Boland’s BMW embedded in their minds now and will consider them first when they are in the market for a new car – trying to recapture some of the emotion they felt and shared on that day with this brand.

I asked Rebecca to share a little of what went into making this sponsorship work so well and she very kindly agreed – here’s Rebecca’s answers to a few questions I had about it.

PR: How did you identify the By Hook or by Crook Triathlon as a good match for Boland’s BMW? 

RD: BMW Ireland have been the main sponsors to the National Triathlon Ireland Series for the last three years.

Martin Condon, previous race director for Waterford Triathlon Cclub reached out to Boland’s BMW with an invitation to become main sponsor specifically for the Dunmore East leg – “By Hook or by Crook”. 

We considered this an interesting proposition as it not only gave us the chance to promote our business as the local BMW retailer, it complemented and strengthened BMW’s national campaign. 

When we met with Martin and the committee of the WTC we instantly knew it was a partnership worth developing. The event structure was clearly well developed, professionally designed, and excellently executed allowing our branding presence naturally fall into place with theirs.  

PR: Did you undertake any research to show that your target market segment was taking part in triathlons or aspired to? Do they have a big interest in fitness?

A sponsorship partnership will develop around the conversion of market segments and the emergence of customer profiling. The great corner stone of Triathlons is that is encapsulates all variants of age demographics and covers an all-Ireland geographic which is in line with our industry. 

PR: Is this sponsorship a part of a broader strategy to target your customers through lifestyle / sports interests?

RD: We focus our sponsorship in the areas of lifestyle and sport interests. It is an area that BMW has always had a relationship inwith, via Golf, Motorsports and now Triathlons. 

We are annual sponsors of the Lady’s Day at Faithlegg House Hotel and previously have sponsored the Hole in One for the Pro-Am at Waterford Castle and Gowran Ffestival of Sspeed.  

PR: In what ways have you built up your presence and engagement with the Triathlon since the first event?

RD: As the event is so well organised it allowed our sponsorship presence and engagement to kick off from the very start at the desired level. It then allows us to stay consistent year on year, helping to retain the brand awareness element which is our core activity requirement as sponsors. 

PR: How do you work with the organisers to maximise the impact of your sponsorship? 

RD: With such a well organised and professionally executed event it allowed us as sponsors to take a helicopter view and assess the natural placement of our branding. 

We provided our strategy online to the race director who reviewed such with the committee and we worked together to implement. I must admit it was a seamless process. 

PR: How do you measure your Return on Investment from this sponsorship? Do you measure how participants feel about Boland’s BMW before and after the event?

From the outset we wished this sponsorship partnership to be a brand awareness exercise as opposed to a hard sell sponsorship. Therefore, we measure the result on how we present and promote our brand via

PR: How do you follow up with participants after the event? 

Being mindful of GDPR we take a gentle approach to this by congratulating all who took part in the event via social media platforms and would only follow up directly if consent was obtained via the means of the competitions we would run. 

PR: Can you make the course way less hilly please? I am sure that 90% of participants would agree to buying a BMW on the spot if they could choose a flat run – I know I would!

BMW “Designed For Driving Pleasure” The By Hook or by Crook Triathlon is known for Designing a course that Drives the best from their participants by virtue of those hills, it just wouldn’t be the same without them. The pleasure you feel by completing the course, I promise is the same pleasure you feel when you drive a BMW. 

Picture credit – Waterford Triathlon Club
Picture credit – Triathlon Ireland
Picture credit – Waterford Triathlon Club

If you want to buy a beautiful BMW from some nice people visit bolandsbmw.ie/

If you want to start training for triathlons visit https://www.triathlonireland.com/

If you would like to talk about your marketing email me – paula@ronanmarketing.ie