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It’s that time of year again as entries are now being accepted for the Bank of Ireland Sponsor for a Day 2016 competition. Now entering its fourth year, the competition is open to small and medium enterprises with the grand prize for two businesses (one from Leinster and one from Munster) to sponsor the Leinster and Munster rugby teams at a European Rugby Champions Cup match.

As mentioned above, it’s the fourth year of this fabulous competition and the past winners have included Accutrace (2015), Big Red Cloud (2014) and Gahan Meats (2013) in the blue of Leinster and in the red corner down in Munster, CelgenTek (2015), Irish Yogurts (2014) and Ryan Stoves (2013).

This competition has gone from strength to strength and this is represented by Bank of Ireland’s own stats which show a marked increase in voting numbers year-on-year. This is partly driven by the way the competition has captured the public’s imagination but also by the drive of the individual competing companies as the prize on offer is nothing short of remarkable.

This year’s mouth-watering prize, estimated at €50,000 in value, includes:

The winner’s company logo on the front of the jerseys (replacing our Bank of Ireland logo)

Pitch signage

Corporate hospitality for ten guests

An advert in the match programme

Photographs with the Leinster or Munster team

International brand exposure via live television coverage and ensuing media exposure

Promotion of your business from Bank of Ireland and Munster/ Leinster Rugby through the press and media for all shortlisted companies and winners.

Needless to say, as past winners, we’ve more than a passing interest in Sponsor for a Day 2016. Where will the five shortlisted companies come from? What specific industry do they represent? What size are they? Do they have a social media presence to help with their campaigning? These and lots of other questions fly around the office come voting time.

As past winners, we’ve also a few words of advice especially to those of you sitting on the fence and thinking you’ve no chance. If you stay on the fence, then you’ll never know. We took a punt on the 200-word entry form and then we got the nod for the shortlist. We’d no idea where it would lead but once we hit the shortlist of 5 companies we upped our performance and intensity and fostered a belief that we would do our utmost to win.

Our parting words to any aspiring Sponsor for a Day 2016 contestant – you didn’t build what you have today by sitting on the fence. Click here and complete the Sponsor for a Day entry form. It may well be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career. It was for us.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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