AIB has launched the fifth year of its sponsorship of the All Ireland Football Championship bringing together players from Galway, Dublin, Donegal and Kerry for a media day that has secured significant coverage across mainstream and online channels over the past 24 hours.
James McCarthy of Ballymun Kickhams and Dublin is to the fore as is inevitable with Dublin opening their own ‘drive for five’ in two weeks time against Louth and he is talking about the return to the panel of full-back Rory O’Connell across most media.
Ryan McHugh is being quizzed more about the absence from the Donegal panel of Odhrán MacNiallais and both stories are pushing football back to the fore after a bigger role for hurling in the collective media coverage over the weekend.
Backing both Club and County, AIB is also the long-term sponsor the AIB GAA Club Championships which sees footballers, hurlers and camogie players battle it out through the winter months to claim #TheToughest prize of all.
This is AIB’s 28th year in association with the GAA, and the joint sponsorship across the club and county Championships has been managed to bolster both.
#TheToughest has won multiple awards and has been rightly hailed as one of the most imaginative and effective sponsorship campaigns if recent years.
The focus this year will be on building awareness from last year’s introduction of the online game which enabled players to make their way through a Gaelic Footballer’s career but there will also be more of an emphasis on getting people more physically active within their local clubs.
We spoke to Sponsorship Marketing Manager Paddy Somers at an event to mark the fifth year of the sponsorship last night.
“The crossover between club and county is important. This year we want to build on the success of past years and on bringing the game to life in real terms.”
“There will be activations at stadia around the country which will be aimed at encouraging people to get active as players within their clubs.”
“We will be activating through our branch network and at grounds across the Provincial Championships and the Qualifiers before moving into the All Ireland phase.”
More details of how those activations will look will be revealed in the coming weeks and we will bring them to you right here on Sport for Business.
“We are very proud to be backing both Club and County and delighted to now enter our fifth year sponsoring the GAA All-Ireland Football Championship,” said Denis O’Callaghan, AIB Head of Retail Banking.
“We have been involved with the Club Championships for 28 years but our 5th year sponsoring county is an honoured milestone for us.”
“Our involvement with the Club Championships has given us a real understanding of the hard work at club level. They are one of the most unique, competitive and toughest competitions to win in sport. This hard work is what fuels the County Championship and the enjoyment that it provides to communities right around the country.”
“As one of the GAA’s longest continuous sponsors, AIB have demonstrated real commitment and support for Gaelic Games,” added GAA president John Horan.
“This has been enhanced by the significant promotion they have provided the GAA with through the activation of their sponsorship, even succeeding in bringing GAA to an international audience be it through the live streaming of Club Championship fixtures or introducing globally recognised figures to GAA.”
“We work really well with AIB, share an understanding of the importance of Gaelic Games to Irish community life and we are very excited to see what they have in store for the 2019 season.”