The picture caption accompanying the photograph above says that Dean Rock, and his colleague Dublin hurler Liam Rushe were ‘in flying form’ yesterday when announcing details of a range of autumn offers from Aer Lingus.
The airline is an official partner of Dublin GAA and that brings with it the opportunity to use Dublin stars for promotional activity.
When this was booked in some weeks ago it looked like it would be a relatively straightforward set up with some imaginative pictures, the message out there that you can fly to new York for €199 and an opportunity for the GAA media to access players.
This in itself is a rarity and the access granted through sponsors is the reason why you will see a lot of Dean and Liam in today’s media, and of Michael Murphy and Alan Brogan from another media event held just down the road.
In principle the idea works and everybody is a winner. The players and teams make a bargain on some access in return for not having to field questions 24/7. The media, despite many grumblings do at least get access to craft stories for their readers and the brand gets out there as well.
Yesterday though was all about Ger Cunningham for Rushe and Diarmuid Connolly for Rock.
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Neither were subjects that the players or the teams wanted to talk about. Both were the main reason why there was such interest in talking to them in the first place. A case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
Brendan O’Brien writing in today’s Examiner paints a picture of a interview which ‘lurched on like a drunk looking for a bed’ with Dean Rock fending off questions about Connolly with care and precision.
There was nothing controversial, nothing that would let Connolly feel his team mates weren’t behind him, nothing to suggest his absence would give hope to others hoping to topple the champions.
Some of the stories emerging from Rushe’s interviews focused on the reaction to his wearing ankle socks against Galway, much less contentious than on the future of the Dublin team and its management after a performance that was less than expected by many.
The lads got through it though, both players and media. Dublin GAA were happy that they had fulfilled their obligation at a time when it would have been easier to say ‘sorry lads, we can’t do that.’
The world of commercial partnerships is a grown up one. Everybody gets something from it, including the fans who got to read more than if the event had not taken place. The pictures were good and will feature across this morning’s newspapers. And if it persuades some of us to realise that flights to the US are pretty good value then that’s a winner for Aer Lingus, delivered through their partnership with Dublin GAA.
Just like the Carlow game, it’s done now, time to move along.
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