How Far Ahead are Dublin?

The Success of Dublin GAA on the field of play is a given, for now, with three in a row All Ireland Football Titles and a double this year with the Ladies Football Team winning the top crown as well.

At last night’s Dublin County convention, it was confirmed the extent to which that success is being matched by John Costello and Tomás Quinn in the securing of commercial support for the boys and girls in blue.

Commercial income from AIG and twelve other partners delivered €1.46 million into Dublin’s coffers last year, on top of the €175,000 which every county gets as an equal split share from Croke Park from central sponsorship revenues.

The overall sponsorship figure accounts for 35 percent of Dublin’s 2017 total income of €4.6 million.

It is almost three times the commercial income from partnerships that Mayo accounted for in the same period, though the overall figures actually match closely, just with Mayo getting to their figure for income more through fundraising where they hit a target of almost €1 million.

It is likely that much of this comes from companies, even if prompted by individuals, and so the fact that both counties spent well over €1 million on preparing county teams is largely driven by this concept of people and brands wanting to be associated with winning and successful teams.

The value of that will be tested in a real-world environment over the coming weeks as Dublin GAA and AIG sit down to look at a potential renewal of their deal which has now run its initial course.

Cork were actually the biggest spenders in terms of getting teams ready at senior level. They can point to the fact that the €1.74 million they spent did deliver an All Ireland in Camogie and all four teams involved in later stages of Championship action.

It was though still pointed out, that when Cork did the last double of All Ireland Hurling and Football Championships in 1990 the total expenditure on teams was £100,000 or €250,000 in today’s equivalent.

Dublin is accused in some quarters of hoovering up all the sponsorship money and using that to enhance their strength as the dominant county in Football. The figures being produced by counties around the country suggest that the gap here may not be as big as the level of success in a pure market economy might otherwise deliver.

At least they are producing a surplus of over €100,000, as did Mayo, again suggesting that success on and off the field are not unrelated.

Limerick GAA produced a deficit of €43,000 which will need to be met somehow. Their team preparation costs soared this year to €1.2 million and while a second U21 Bord Gais Energy Hurling Title will give some reward, the early exit of the Senior teams will have left Shannonside feeling shortchanged.

All the figures will be looked at in proper context when the GAA publishes its own annual review early in 2018, gathering together the collective spending and
income from all the counties and the associations.

Image Credit Inpho

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