Career Corner with Jennifer Gleeson of Lidl Ireland

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Jennifer Gleeson, Sponsorship Manager for Lidl Ireland, gives a short account of what it takes to work in Sponsorship in our first Career Corner Feature.

1. How did your career get off the ground? Were you always focussed on working in sponsorship or did it happen over time?

I was nearing the end of a degree in Social Science in UCD and I attended a careers talk one evening hosted by then MD of WHPR, Roddy Guiney. A testament to the power of PR, I was won over and started an internship in their Sports Marketing and Sponsorship practice some months later. I had always enjoyed playing and watching sport so it was a super role and I just gained such a wealth of experience which stood to me when I moved to the GAA and more recently to Lidl. I feel very lucky with the career I’ve had so far.

2. Has there been a key event or campaign in your career that has been particularly important to you?

It’s hard to look beyond last year – to have been a part of what was a really successful campaign with Lidl and our sponsorship of Ladies Football. As someone who played Football for many years, I’m personally very gratified to see it making a real impact 

3. What people, brands, rights holders or campaigns have you looked to for inspiration and/or guidance in your career?

I worked with AIB and their sponsorship of the Club Championships and more recently Senior Championships from an agency and rights holder side. I think it's commendable how they’ve managed to retain such a long-standing relationship with the GAA and still breathe new life into their campaigns. 

4. What advice would you give young professionals who want to build a career in the sponsorship industry?

Try and get a foothold in somewhere and just graft; meet people within the industry, attend events and read up on sponsorship – it’s a relatively new marketing tool so there’s a lot to be learned. 

5. What kind of people do you want to meet/hear from at ISS 2017 and what are you looking forward to about the event?

I’ve heard Lesa Ukman speak in previous years and she’s so knowledgeable about the industry and a great speaker so I’ll be interested to hear about her new venture. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues also.