Hurling at the Heart of Bord Gais Strategy

Bord Gáis Energy became the first of this year’s All Ireland Hurling Sponsors to launch their sponsorship season at Croke Park yesterday.

#HurlingtotheCore is the theme of the campaign and a hashtag that we will be getting used to over the course of the summer.

#HurlingToTheCore celebrates Bord Gáis Energy’s belief that hurling is more than a sport or pastime – it is deeply ingrained in Irish history and stitched into our national identity.

“Our sponsorships are all about what matters to our customers, and hurling most certainly matters to them,” said Bord Gais Energy CEO Dave Kirwan.

“That’s why we’re delighted that, through our Rewards Club, we’ll be able to bring them and their families closer to the action.”

“We’ll be offering exclusive access to tickets and competitions, and even chances to participate on match-day at the big games – at both senior and U-21 level.”

“We’ll be giving customers the chance to present the official man-of-the-match trophy after games or to welcome teams onto the pitch as flag bearers and much, much more.”

“Our customers are ‘hurling to the core’ and we’ll recognise that right across the summer.”

“We researched with our customers what they liked about what we’ve been doing with the U21 games,  added Sponsorship Manager Sorcha Fennell- Sheehan speaking with Sport for Business at Croke Park.

“We are now bringing that to the wider audience of the Senior Championship.”

“We don’t enter into sponsorships lightly and only do so when we know we can add value and be genuine in how we bring it to the attention of existing and new customers.”

“If you ran the numbers over our bullseye target customer you would find that they were an almost exact match with the picture of hurling fans.”

Bord Gais have also unveiled an innovation in being the first sponsor to partner as an online ticket seller for matches in both the senior and U21 Hurling Championships.

They have worked closely with the GAA and to bring this project to life and wil enable them to control their allocation of sponsor tickets through to fans as well as providing easy access, and accessibility to customers as fans.

The technology is there and we would expect that others with a strong online database including AIB, eir and Littlewoods will be interested in doing something similar.

From a GAA perspective it’s a winner as well, broadening the marketing reach for games to a receptive audience in a way that is trackable, measurable and positive.

Over the course of the summer, through their partnership with the GAA, Bord Gáis Energy will shine a light on people who are #HurlingToTheCore in communities around Ireland.

Some are past players whose lives have taken them away from hurling and some are fans who never miss a game.

First up is a video featuring Munster and Ireland rugby star Simon Zebo. you can see this as today’s Daily Video on Sport for Business.

“Bord Gáis Energy has been a long and loyal supporter of the GAA and, more specifically, hurling,” said GAA Director general Paraic Duffy.

“They understand the game and appreciate how we want to see the game developed. That is why I believe the #HurlingToTheCore message is very appropriate.”

“You can see that in the ambassadors they have here today. They’ve developed long term relationships with players who are the embodiment of #HurlingToTheCore like Joe and Conor, while Patrick’s presence, representing the U-21 All-Ireland champions, shows they intend to continue that into the future.

“I’m looking forward to seeing lots of #HurlingToTheCore stories being told by Bord Gáis Energy this summer and beyond.”

This will be Bord Gáis Energy’s first year as a sponsor of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, but the company has a long association with the GAA and particularly hurling.

This is the company’s ninth year as sponsor of the U-21 hurling championship and it also sponsors the GAA Legends Tours at Croke Park.

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