Early morning commuters in Dublin yesterday were the first to get full sight of the new Dublin GAA playing kit.
The AIG Head Office on North Wall Quay displayed an XXXXL version of the jersey with the activation team on sight since 0530 and the job fully complete by 7 AM.
The new kit, manufactured by O’Neills will be worn by all 4 codes from underage up to senior and masters level. It is on sale from this morning exclusively for two weeks through Dublin GAA’s new Official Retail Partner, Intersport Elverys and then from early November through other retailers.
This is the first new Dublin jersey in a little over two years and it replaces one that delivered three Senior All Ireland titles for the men as well as two for the Ladies Football team.
Sport is a superstitious business and Dublin GAA Commercial Manager Tomás Quinn did admit to there being some thought given to change in the midst of such a successful run.
AIG Sponsorship Manager John Gillick calmed nerves though by reminding us that the last switch did occur after the start of the current four in a row run.
A new Goalkeepers shirt will be unveiled shortly and thought is being given as well to a proper Away kit which Dublin has never really adopted but which may be coming for 2019 with a guaranteed clash with Cavan in the Allianz League and potential meetings with Wicklow, Laois or Longford in the Leinster Championship all of whom also wear blue.
“It is something we are considering with O’Neill’s at the moment as well as other elements within the range which always are popular with Dublin fans,” said Quinn.
“This is part of a two-year cycle of a new jersey, which we believe is fair and gives certainty for fans who know that we will be wearing this for the next couple of seasons at least.”
Quinn also pointed out the importance of a consistent look across all the Dublin teams.
“We work closely with Dublin Ladies Gaelic Football and Dublin Camogie to ensure that there is a consistent look and feel.”
“There are small changes like the Ladies Football second AIG badge is on the sleeve rather than the back but we all think its important that the teams who represent Dublin do so as one.”
He smiled at the perennial suggestion that Dublin might have looked at Adidas or another major international brand.
“It always comes up but the GAA only licenses two official kit makers, O’Neill’s and Azzurri and we have had an excellent relationship with O’Neill’s over many years. That’s the way it is and we are really pleased with the new kit as we are sure the fans will be too.”
“There was a great sense of this being a shared project between Dublin GAA, Intersport Elverys, O’Neills and AIG,” said Gillick.
“There was a lot of speculation and the jersey being such an iconic part of being a fan, we wanted to keep a sense of mystery.”
“The jersey on the building is a great option for us. We couldn’t do it for this year’s Men’s All Ireland because the crew who put it up were full on at the Electric Picnic but that gave us the chance to unveil in a special way and there were lots of photos being taken this morning as people rounded the corner from Macken Street on the southside or came down the Quays on their way to work.”
Ladies Footballer Olwen Carey, camogie’s Eve O’Brien, footballer Brian Fenton and hurler Chris Crummey were on hand at today’s launch to help reveal the new jersey and playing kit.