When Circle K entered the Irish market in 2018, it wanted to become a popular and well-trusted brand within communities across the country. Its sponsorship of Team Ireland, the Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo 2020 Games, gave the brand this opportunity.
Circle K’s Here for Ireland initiative allowed the retailer to both establish closer links with Irish communities and help forge a strong connection between the public and the athletes that have come from those communities to represent Ireland on the world stage.
The postponement of the Tokyo Games due to Covid-19 not only disrupted the training cycles of these athletes, but also impacted them financially. By creating an innovative in-store campaign late 2019 at the outset of the sponsorship, where customers could generate digital coins for athletes to redeem against fuel and in-store items, Circle K made it easier for the Irish public to tangibly support Ireland’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes while also delivering a positive business impact. In 2021, these athletes needed one last push to get to the finish line at the delayed games, and Circle K put in place a communications campaign to drive awareness and generation of the digital coins, platform additional initiatives to support the athletes, and tell some lesser-known stories of Team Ireland athletes to a wide audience.
The campaign was a resounding success, with over €1m worth of digital coins generated for athletes and 68% of the public agreeing post-Tokyo that Circle K is a part of local communities.