Gala Retail is one of Ireland’s most progressive convenience retail groups. Created by a consortium of Irish wholesalers back in 1998, this year marks Gala’s 25th in the business. The Group has approximately 200 stores operating within Gala Retail under the Gala and Your Stop symbol brands. 

Since 2015, Gala Retail has been a platinum partner of Special Olympics Ireland – a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability from 4 years old with no upper age limit.

Now in its 10th year, Gala’s sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland is its longest-standing charitable partnership. It’s a partnership that has grown in strength year-on-year due to the Group’s commitment and admiration for the impact that Special Olympics Ireland delivers to thousands of families across Ireland - families that are part of communities in which its stores operate. 

The Brief

  • Reinforce Gala’s commitment to communities throughout Ireland, encouraging engagement from its consumers and reinforcing its values of Irishness and community.
  • Further support Team Ireland and Gala’s support of Special Olympics Ireland.
  • Expand the partnership to recognise the family and friends of athletes.
  • Create original content from the Games, bringing this message back home to its customers across Ireland.
  • Continue to reward those within the Special Olympics family who are committed to helping the athletes achieve their very best.

The Solution

The World Summer Games were to be the highlight of the calendar, supported by a sustained calendar of events throughout the year - created to ensure an ongoing interest in the partnership from Gala retailers, Gala shoppers and the wider public.

  • Launch of ‘Gala Gifts for Clubs 2023’ – an initiative that aims to acknowledge and honour the commendable efforts of Clubs in supporting their athletes and volunteers with monetary donations.
  • Sponsorship and support for Special Olympics Ireland’s Polar Plunge with Gala Retail (Nov / Dec 23).
  • Attendance by Special Olympics Ireland’s CEO - Matt English, and athletes at the Gala Retail annual conference, unveiling of the Gala Retail impact report.
  • Platinum sponsorship of Special Olympics Team Ireland.
  • Store Engagement: Special Olympics store packs were produced for every store including personalised window stickers and posters for each retailer, featuring their local athletes, to display in the lead-up to and during the games.
  • PR Launch: Photography shoot with Team Ireland’s basketball team and their families, sporting the new branded merchandise.
  • Gala Gifts: Gala commissioned almost 2,000 items of family and friends supporter items including Go Team Ireland baseball hats, breathable t-shirts and drawstring bags to help equip family members and volunteers for the summer weather in Berlin - and ensure a ‘green army’ delegation to cheer on athletes.
  • Creation of #GalaSpecialMoments.
  • Post Games homecoming – commissioned hundreds of branded flags that were distributed to family and friends at Dublin International airport to welcome the athletes home.

The Outcome

Independent research commissioned with B&A in Dec 2023 found that:

  • Almost 1 in 2 (46%) Gala shoppers aware of sponsorship.
  • Gala’s sponsorship with Special Olympics is the best-known of all Gala’s marketing activations with both Gala shoppers and non-Gala users.

Specific outputs:

  • X4 Gala Gifts for Clubs awarded, accompanied by regional press.
  • World Summer Games: almost 2,000 branded items, creating the ‘Green Army’ – the biggest delegation of supporters outside of the home nation.
  • National & regional press reach surpassing 3 million.
  • 147 social posts / reels and videos shared across Gala Retail platforms
  • Creation of 87 #GalaSpecialMoments (416,896 views)

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