HE’S been in his role for just over a year at the club’s most difficult time for many years.
However, Cork City FC commercial and marketing manager Paul Deasy believes the Rebel Army are now going in the right direction.
The 31-year-old former Cork City player took on the role in January 2019 and although it was very challenging on the pitch, it was in fact the best year commercially, bringing in the highest revenue through sponsorship.
“I have a huge love for the club since as a kid,” said Deasy.
“They were the club I supported and the club that I went on to play for. I joined the U17s when I was 16 in 2006.
“I worked my way through the academy and progressed to the U20s and U21s before signing a two-year professional contract in 2009 under Paul Doolin.
“That was around the time the club got into trouble, FORAS stepped in, so I then played in 2010 under Tommy Dunne before leaving at the end of that season.”
He changed tack as a result.
“After that, I returned to CIT on a soccer scholarship while I finished my marketing degree which was great as the set-up was very close to being professional, with lots of training, matches and gym work,” he said.
“When I graduated in 2014, I came back to my local team, Ringmahon Rangers, where I have been ever since.
“While I was a student in CIT, I worked part-time in Windsor Motors, the Nissan garage based on the Straight Road, helping out the sales team.
“When I graduated with my marketing degree in 2014, I spent the next five years in the Cork Independent which was great as it gave me the opportunity to cut my teeth further in sales and it also helped me build up a strong client base both in Cork and nationwide.”
The father of two is enjoying his role at City and his aim for the season is to keep the standard high in all the relevant areas such as marketing, commercial partnerships, merchandise, and operations, as well as to put the clubs stakeholders, such as the fans and sponsors, to the forefront of that.
“To be back working with a club that I watched and supported as a kid, and played with, it’s great,” he said.
“Last year was the most difficult in recent years on the pitch, but in fact we actually had the best year commercially off the pitch bringing in the highest revenue through sponsorship.
“We had some great success with Win a Gaff and we also tried to further improve certain areas, such as our LED hoarding which was a first for a League of Ireland domestic game.
“There is a small but very good team off the pitch and we all row in and help each other out in the different departments.
“I could be doing anything from meeting and liaising with our sponsors, creating marketing plans and media duties, to being out and about at community initiatives such as school visits or getting players’ contracts ready and getting footballs signed by players. But again, I love it.”
He think it’s now time the club and fans to put last year completely behind them.
“We need to enter the coming season with a positive mindset and get completely behind Neale and the team, starting with the Shels game on Friday night,” he said.
“The club had been riding on the crest of a wave for the past five years, winning the league and cup double, further cup wins, appearing in continuous cup finals, as well as second-place league finishes and earning a European spot every year.
“To go from that to the difficult season we had last year, it left the club in an unfamiliar scenario.
“I hadn’t been at the club for the success so I just tackled the job with the same approach. I tried not to let it affect me as much as I could and continued to do my best in all departments.
“Like any year, there are changes in sponsors. While some won’t be continuing in 2020, the majority of those who sponsored in 2019 are backing us again for the coming season, none more so than UCC and Mardyke Arena and I’m sure we are the envy of other League of Ireland clubs with fantastic support of such entities.
“We’re quite lucky with the fantastic support we have from our sponsors in Cork. I think a lot of our sponsors can see past big players or weekly results on the pitch and see the club what it is for —a fan-owned entity where every cent that comes in is ploughed back into the club to support, not only the first team, but also the women’s team and five strong academy teams.”
They recently announced a new partnership with Johnson & Perrott and will be announcing more over the coming weeks.
“2019 was a difficult year for the club, that’s no secret; when things on the pitch don’t go well, it impacts the whole club, but the response I am getting from sponsors is very encouraging,” he said.
“We have been blown away with season ticket sales after already exceeding our target, which shows the fantastic support that the club has.
“This has also been helped with the introduction of our new family incentive where, if you buy an adult season ticket, you can get a child’s ticket half price. It seems to have gone down very well.
“The message for current and potential sponsors is that now is when we need your support more than ever. We are A City Rising again. Be a part of it.”
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