Allianz has formally launched the 26th year of its partnership with the GAA on the Allianz Hurling Leagues and has also renewed its partnership with GAAGo making 50 games from the Allianz Leagues available to a global audience in over 140 countries around the world.
Due to the new GAA calendar in 2018, there is an earlier start to the campaign than in previous years and the action gets underway this Saturday with double headers in Croke Park and Pairc Uí Caoimh.
Dublin take on Offaly in the first game of the League at 5 pm while Cork, under new manager John Meyler, will be in action against old rivals Kilkenny. Both games will be televised live on eir Sport.
Meyler is back in the intercounty spotlight after previous spells as manager and selector with Cork teams, Wexford, Kerry and Carlow. He is the father of Republic of Ireland football international David Meyler.
Galway and their goalkeeper Colm Callanan (pictured above) head into the new season as Allianz League and All-Ireland champions after an outstanding 2017, during which they lost only one game.
That defeat cost them promotion so the Tribesmen will again be in Division 1B, the group that produced the outright winners in 2015 (Waterford) and 2016 (Clare). It leaves Kilkenny in 2014 as the last winners to emerge from Division 1A, the supposedly top flight.
Galway begin their 1B campaign in Pearse Stadium on Sunday against Antrim, who have come up from Division 2A.
Tipperary, runners-up to Galway in last year’s Allianz League, travel to Ennis for their opening game on Sunday while Wexford take on Waterford in Walsh Park.
“2018 marks the 26th year of our partnership with the GAA as sponsors of the Allianz Leagues,” said Seán McGrath, CEO of Allianz Ireland.
“In the time we have witnessed the Allianz Hurling Leagues grow in stature to become one of the highlights of the GAA calendar and we look forward to another season of high intensity and competitive action.”
“We believe Gaelic Games is one of the most important global exports this country has to offer and Allianz is extremely proud to support the GAA in bringing our games to an international audience as we announce the renewal of our partnership with GAAGO for the coming Allianz League season.”
“Another Allianz League campaign beckons and if 2018 can match last year’s excitement levels then GAAGO viewers can really look forward to more fantastic action direct to their connected devices no matter where they are in the world in the coming months,” added Peter McKenna, GAA Commercial Director & Croke Park Stadium Director.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Allianz around our coverage.”
“They are a perfect fit for the service, given their long-standing competition association. More than 50 Allianz League games will be broadcast on GAAGO.ie with a huge opening weekend in store this coming Saturday, January 27th.”
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Image Credit: Brendan Moran, Sportsfile