Gowran Zoo in the fast lane

Kilkenny company Reptile Village Zoo “Zoo to You” won Vodafone Ireland’s competition to have their logo on Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 driver Jenson Button’s car at Sunday’s Bavaria City Racing Dublin event in front of over 100,000 people.

Kilkenny company Reptile Village Zoo “Zoo to You” won Vodafone Ireland’s competition to have their logo on Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 driver Jenson Button’s car at Sunday’s Bavaria City Racing Dublin event in front of over 100,000 people.

The company was selected ahead of hundreds of Vodafone Ireland customers who entered its competition designed to provide a unique opportunity for a start-up company to raise brand awareness at one of the largest outdoor audiences of 2012 in Ireland.

Announcing the selection of Reptile Village Zoo “Zoo to You” for the prime slot, Vodafone Ireland Head of Enterprise Marketing Jonathan Rutherford said: “Being innovative, different and mobile gives you an edge in what is a challenging operating environment and Reptile Village Zoo certainly delivers all that.”

Responding to the selection of his company for the prime promotional slot, Reptile Village Zoo founder James Hennessy said: “Jenson Button was the biggest attraction at Sunday’s event and probably the biggest sports star that will come to Ireland this year. A business the size of mine could not buy this type of publicity and I am absolutely thrilled with the opportunity.”

The company, which employs four full-time and six part-time employees, was founded by James Hennessy, who has three decades of experience working with reptiles and other animals all over the world. Reptile Village Zoo brings its reptiles - including snakes and crocodiles - to schools, parties or events and is the only licensed and insured operator offering this service in Ireland.

To enter the competition, companies simply had to fill in a short questionnaire about their business.