Sponsorship Deals: Made to Fool You?

Following on from Tuesday’s article about “Celebrity Endorsements”, we take a look at “Sponsorship Deals”. We are all used to seeing these especially in sport, it may be individual sponsorship of say a boxer, or it could be a whole team such as in football. Today we highlight one Sponsorship deal that as “Baldrick” would say, “I have a cunning plan my Lord.” As you will see from the article and the links, this one was certainly a “Cunning Plan my Lord.”

By now most of you already know the story of Eze Group, the court case at Birmingham Crown Court, resulting in the conviction of the O’Reilly’s. This was following a huge investigation into the scams operated by this company. But how did they fool so many people?

The chances are you were on holiday at the time, probably just left your hotel to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, the euphoria of being on holiday and out in the sun is overwhelming.

Your guard is down, and you encounter a “ticket tout” with scratch cards, these are the OPCs, their job is to get you in on a presentation. Suddenly you have won the “STAR PRIZE!”

Great, but to collect it you have to go to their office first, no problem they pay for a taxi, so off you toddle. The next thing you know you are on a sales presentation, usually a largish room, possibly a terrace, along with dozens of others.

You now endure several hours of hard sell and you succumb.

It may be that you are a timeshare owner and receive a “Cold Call” offering you a free holiday in Tenerife, the purpose is to get your timeshare off you and sell you their product. So off you go and have a free holiday, get bombarded with sales patter, and yes, before you know it you have signed the contract.

OK, we all know how they paint the product, they make it sound so fabulous that you cannot resist. The wonderful holidays you are going to have, all at a fraction of the cost of timeshare or travel agents. The “5 Star” luxury apartments and hotels. For timeshare owners, they are also “free” of their high annual maintenance fees.

Then they will have also told you about how they sponsor Birmingham City Football Club.


You think to yourself, they sponsor a professional football club, this must be legit.

Low and behold, they are not, even the football club has been duped by them.

This is only the tip of the proverbial “ICEBERG!”

The launch of the new Men’s and Ladies kit.

How many other, to put it mildly, “dubious” companies are using the same tactic, not just in timeshare, but right across the board. Just look at the number of sponsors in sport. Imagine the coverage they get with these sports being shown all over the television, and internationally!

Sponsorship makes sense, after all, the coverage and credibility the sponsor gets is phenomenal, and it comes at a fraction of the cost of standard advertising.

This is where O’Reilly’s “cunning plan” paid them dividends, they even had the main stand named after the company, “The Eze Group Stand”, below is a link to the BCFC website publishing the launch of the stand.

What great publicity, great credibility and plenty of TV coverage to promote their name and business, plenty of punters out there to fleece.


Stephanie O’Reilly MD of EZE Group opening the EZE Group Stand. She was later convicted at Birmingham Crown Court.

The next links are the original sponsorship deal and the renewal of the deal.



So how do you view “Sponsorship” now, as an act of philanthropy or a “Cunning Plan”?

As usual, your views and comments are welcomed by using our contact page or the comments section.

For our readers across the Great Lake, Baldrick is the manservant of Lord Black Adder, another classic British comedy. Have a look at the “Cunning” moments on the YouTube link below

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