Specsavers is to be the official sponsor of the new Hawkeye points detection technology at Croke Park.This state of the art system will be used for both Hurling and Football games at Croke Park, and will support the decision making of the referee in the eventuality of any ambiguity as to whether a point has been scored or not.
Hawkeye technology has long been in use through tennis and cricket and the same company was recently appointed to provide the goalmouth technology to the Barclays Premier League in England.
Hawkeye at Croke Park will be utilised for the first time on 1st June at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter Final between Westmeath or Carlow and Dublin. The match will also be televised live on RTE.
‘Specsavers is very excited to be involved in such an innovative piece of technology as Hawkeye at Croke Park,” said Specsavers joint venture partner Seamus Breslin, speaking at the launch. “We are delighted to be working with The GAA on providing the best possible view for both referees and spectators.”
“Hopefully this will significantly reduce the number of times we hear ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ addressed to the referees”.
Hawkeye, which is a Sony company, has been trialled over the last two years at Croke Park. There will be six cameras in the stadium, four located in the stands and one behind each goal.
During play, if there is uncertainty as to whether a point has been scored the referee will refer to Hawkeye which tracks the ball in real time. The height of the posts can be virtually increased if the ball has gone higher as is often the case. The big screen at Croke Park will show the trajectory of the ball and say whether the shot is a point or not.
“This is an exciting development that we believe will bring further clarity to our games and crucially to the detection of scores,” said GAA President, Liam O’Neill.
“We have worked hard to ensure that the system will work for Gaelic games and I am confident that the technology involved will ensure accuracy and fairness.”
“I look forward to our partnership with Specsavers and believe the roll out of the system has the potential to add further intrigue to what are already hugely exciting games, both for those in attendance at Croke Park but also for viewers at home.”
The Specsavers deal is a smart and relevant way to bring in additional sponsorship revenue across both the Hurling and Football Championships without stepping on the toes of existing sponsors.
The mark of a good fit is when the thought that comes to mind in relation to a new commercial partner when you ask ‘well who else could it have been?’
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