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Partnership Initiative of the Year 2014

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The largest ever tourism initiative in Ireland.



€193m Increased tourism spend in Ireland

Partnership of the Year – 2014

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Depressed economic and retail environment

The challenge

Modest Passenger Growth

Minimal sales growth

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To boost passenger traffic by partnering with the Gathering, to leverage sales from the subsequent passenger growth and build greater brand awareness for The Loop, our retail brand. • To be a key driver in the success of The Gathering, Ireland’s largest ever tourism initiative, and capture the imagination of millions in Ireland and overseas, as part of our corporate social responsibility program.

The opportunity

• To showcase Ireland and some of its premium produce, connect with visitors, provide them with lasting memories and imbue staff with a genuine sense of pride in the Gathering.

This ubiquitous presence for The Gathering at key national gateways over a 16 month period was an invaluable asset in raising awareness and in enhancing the Céad Mile Fáilte for those arriving in Ireland. ARI also provided grant support for some key events in Dublin and Cork. Jim Miley, CEO The Gathering

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To engage with visitors on their arrival, during their visit and on departure to maximise the “Céad Mile Failte” welcome effect for The Gathering and commercial opportunities for ARI. • As the first and last port of call for most visitors, ARI wanted to engage customers through sponsorships, events, activities, promotions, and exclusive products. •

The strategy

To sponsor and support high profile Gathering events that both attracted overseas tourists in their own right and provided enjoyment for those visiting and resident in the country. • To engage staff and suppliers and leverage sponsorship opportunities to deliver commercial objectives. To ensure our Gathering guests received a warm welcome, had an enjoyable stay and departed with high quality memories in their heads and in their airport shopping bags.

Scan the code to get a flavour of the lasting impact The Gathering had on many thousands of people. YouTube; A Year of Gatherings

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A welcoming partnership We installed special video screens in the arrivals area of both passenger terminals at Dublin Airport to carry dedicated welcome messages and useful information for groups travelling through the airport for The Gathering. The video screens proved to be a huge hit:

Thank you very much for the message, it was wonderful for the kids to see their names on the screen, as for the Mammy & Granny it took their breath away. Mark, Dublin

Just to say a huge thank you for putting the welcome notices on the screens at Arrivals last week. The girls were absolutely over the moon and had several photos taken to show their friends. Facebook was alive the day after! Jennifer, Kildare

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A partnership with real team spirit The first event of the Gathering was the Emerald Classic American Football match involving Notre Dame and Navy, in August 2012. The game was broadcast live across the United States and attracted 35,000 American fans that were given a real Irish welcome in Dublin Airport. They each received a specially designed booklet of vouchers for The Loop to encourage them to postpone their souvenir purchases until departure.

This game represents exactly what The Gathering Ireland is all about, a unique coming together in Ireland of college football fans, some returning to their ancestral home and some travelling for the first time to Ireland. The Emerald Isle Classic presents a once in a lifetime

A romantic partnership opportunity to showcase Ireland to this group and also to the many millions of Americans watching the game through the broadcast. Chet Gladchuk, Naval Academy Director of Athletics

Romain, the winner of our ‘Reunite in Ireland for Valentine’s Day’ competition, waited with flowers for his girlfriend Julia to arrive from Germany. What she didn’t know was that the Dublin Gospel Choir was waiting in the wings!

Scan the code to see the flashmob video and hear from Romain & Julia. YouTube; The Gathering – Valentine’s Flashmob

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During their stay

A beautiful partnership (inside and out) The Loop is a major sponsor of the Rose of Tralee International Festival, one of Ireland’s largest and longest running festivals. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture. The live television coverage of The Rose of Tralee received 50% primetime TV audience in 2013, delivering substantial publicity amongst our key target audiences. The Roses visited our shops on two occasions, meeting customers, distributing gifts and participating in beauty demonstrations.

Partnership of the Year – 2014

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ARI’s Communications Manager Adrian Fennell ”enjoying” The Rock’N’Roll Marathon.

The O’Callaghan family welcoming their son home from Sydney.

A partnership with global appeal “The Big Welcome” competition, offered winners the opportunity to fly friends or family home to Ireland for a week in an Irish heritage property. Five lucky winners of “The Big Welcome” won six free return tickets each to fly guests to Ireland from anywhere in the world during 2013. This competition was promoted over five nights on primetime television, generating huge media coverage for The Loop. ARI’s media partner, TV3, deemed it the station’s most successful ever competition with over 7,000 entries.

Scan the code to see the ‘The Big Welcome’ video. YouTube; Irish Gathering – A Surprise Homecoming

A well run partnership that finished with a flourish The Rock’N’Roll Marathon The Loop sponsored this Gathering event. It attracted over 8,000 runners to the capital including 3,500 overseas participants and was deemed the largest official Gathering event. All entrants received a bottle of The Loop’s own brand Plane Water and a booklet of vouchers to spend on their departure through Dublin Airport.

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A gathering of ARI’s partners We were determined to participate fully by holding our own authentic Irish Gathering experience for a small number of industry peers in Adare, Co. Limerick. We celebrated ARI’s 25th birthday and looked ahead to our next 25 years of retail excellence, showcasing Ireland, the home of duty free.

Thanks for a wonderful 25 year celebration and

“Gathering” last week in the superb surroundings of Adare Manor… you demonstrated that Irish hospitality is definitively second to none the

world over.

Peter Jacboson,

Travel Retail Director – Diageo (retired)

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A partnership of traditions Special Irish-themed live entertainment was provided at peak passenger periods such as Christmas and St. Patrick’s Festival to enhance the “Céad Mile Fáilte” Irish welcome”. The airport hosted a Riverdance performance and a gospel choir flashmob that delighted both Irish and overseas passengers. We also participated in the Irish Food Festival. We showcased the best of Irish food through tastings, festival menus and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs.

Partnership of the Year – 2014

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tition Compe Reader

A true “Trinity Partnership” The Gathering Whiskey, a unique bottling of 11 Year Old Single Malt Irish whiskey was produced exclusively for the Irish Whiskey Collection by the Teeling Whiskey Company to commemorate The Gathering. A tangible memento for Irish whiskey lovers.

There is nothing I would want to change about this whiskey. I’m really enjoying it. We are promised further collaborations between Teeling Whiskey Company and The Irish Whiskey Collection at the airport but this first one is already a winner. David Havelin, Liquid Irish Whiskey Blog

D EEKEN W R A T FIVE-SFOR FOUR hiskey A N I W BREAK thering, The TegelelinMgaltWIrish whiskey,

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The Irish Times competition attracted over 9,000 entries generating 4,000 additions to our customer database.

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Substantial growth across all regions (%)


extra passengers

4.9 Rest of Europe




Other International

10% 8% We targeted inbound passengers with voucher booklets to prompt them to postpone their souvenir shopping.


sales increase on 2012




The Loop

European average

European Average






The combined efforts of ARI at Dublin and Cork airports ensured that visitors throughout the year, including those who had not previously heard of The Gathering, were alerted to it and directed to Gathering-related events. Official Government report on The Gathering

-2% -4% -6%

A partnership that delivered results


+12% 12% sales up on 2012 made IRISH WHISKEY our fastest growing spirits category. 100% sell through on our 1,000 bottle limited edition Gathering whiskey


sales on IRISH SOUVENIRS from 2012


sales on commemorative merchandise



Redemption rate on The Gathering

industry average



€85 average transaction value (3 x the shop average)

Partnership of the Year – 2014

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A partnership worth celebrating. Please raise your glasses and join us in a toast to a most successful Gathering.

Partnership of the Year – 2014

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Partnership Initiative of the Year 2014

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Partnership of the year fa (4), completed