The FAI have agreed a three year extension of the sponsorship agreement with Spar which will keep them as the Official Convenience Store of the FAI through to 2021.
The announcement took place at the Aviva Stadium with FAI Chief Executive John Delaney, Republic of Ireland’s new manager Mick McCarthy along with Head Coach of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team, Colin Bell in attendance alongside Spar Sales Director Colin Donnelly and children from Clondalkin, Lucan and Irishtown.
The partnership between SPAR and the FAI began in 2015 encompassing the Irish national football team and the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme.
The renewal will see SPAR continue with those areas, encompassing grassroots level up and down the country as well as supporting Irish hopes on the international stage.
The food retail sector is one of the most competitive in Irish sports sponsorship with Lidl, Aldi, Supervalu and Centra all active at the highest level across Gaelic Games and Rugby.
Spar’s title sponsorship of the FAI Primary School 5s Programme has been particularly impactful for the last four years, helping to grow the programme from 20,000 participants and 1,000 primary schools in 2015 to 31,728 participants and 1,528 primary schools in 2018. 41 per cent of the players are girls.
Its network of over 400 local retailers have championed the programme encouraging young people to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and helping make it the largest primary schools’ competition in the country.
“We are very excited to be extending our relationship with the FAI for this unique partnership that, at its essence, encourages children to get involved in sport,” said Spar Sales Director Colin Donnelly.
“We have achieved a 63% increase in overall participation numbers since 2015 and have ambitious plans to continue to grow and develop the Spar FAI Primary School 5s Programme.”
“This is a very exciting time for Irish football with Mick McCarthy returning as Ireland manager and we’re looking forward to being a part of the FAI’s next chapter.
“The FAI are delighted to extend our partnership with Spar, who have played a huge role in helping to increase participation amongst kids with the excellent Spar FAI Primary School 5s Programme,” added FAI CEO John Delaney.
“SPAR are one of the premier brands in Ireland and we are excited to continue working closely with them for the next three years.”
Image Credit: Seb Daly Sportsfile