Two All Ireland Finals, Three Counties at Senior Level, the Sam Maguire and Brendan Martin Cups on the line. It promises to be an almight weekend of Gaelic Football.
We know that tickets for the men’s replay are harder to come by than ever before and we are confident that the Ladies Final on Sunday will smash through last years record attendance of over 50,000.
Is it any wonder that brands are keen to get involved.
As part of a summer series in partnership with AIB we are running through the sponsorship arrangements for each of the 32 counties.
Here are those long term deals in place for this weekend’s competing senior counties.
On the field and off the field Dublin is the county that creates the most noise in the playing and in the commercial space.
AIG has been on board throughout the halcyon days for Dublin’s footballers and is the largest single contributor to the coffers at Parnell Park. We have been privileged to see and cover many of the workings of the sponsorship and the detail that goes into measuring its success.
The brand went from being almost unknown in the Direct to Consumer Space when they came on board in 2013 to having the higehst levels of recognition. From a business point of view the brand has invested in making sure that the brand is seen, and seen as a partner.
Through a high level of quality video content they have raised the bar for every other county and county sponsor in terms of what is possible. At every stage as well they have included all four codes and all the juvenile teams. They sponsor the Dublin Ladies Féile at underage level and have a programme of direct investment into clubs which explains the banners you see driving around the city.
They have given over the jersey to charity on an annual basis and are an important part of the winning mentality that has characterised Dublin’s seven senior All Ireland titles since they have been on board.
The appointment of Tomás Quinn as Commercial Director was an important one by CEO John Costello. He has not only managed AIG’s engagement but also brough on board brands including AIB, Intersport Elverys, Ballygowan, Subaru, Energise Sport, Ballygowan, Linwoods, The Gibson Hotel and O’Neills.
This really is the gold standard.
In 2018 the firm extended the partnership for another five years bringing it all the way through to 2022. It now coveras all Inter County teams across all four codes of Hurling Football, Ladies Football and Camogie.
The Camogie team have guaranteed at least one more All Ireland Final for the county and the brand having beaten Cork to secure a place in the Camogie All Ireland Final. The County Minor Hurlers won their All ireland at the weekend as well.
Pat McDonagh has also included the Papa John’s brand on the back of the shirt.
“Our sponsorship of the county teams is an important part of our relationship with the GAA but equally as important for us is the sponsorship we provide at local club level,” McDonagh told Sport for Business in 2018.
“In the 28 years that we have been sponsoring Galway the one thing that has remained constant is the relationship with the supporters. It is the connection with supporters via club and county that makes the GAA the special organisation that it is.”
Tradition runs deep in Kerry GAA and it is hard to imagine the teams taking to the field in anything other than a Kerry Group sponsored jersey.
The multinational food producer has been there since 1991, zeroing in on 30 years of association with the county team and you can glean an insight into why by listening to Group Head of Corporate Affairs Frank Hayes who was quoted at one of the many renewals down the years as saying “The GAA is part of the life-blood of communities in County Kerry and Kerry Group has a long record of partnership with Kerry County Board in the development of Gaelic games in the County. It is important to all our stakeholders that Kerry’s success in Gaelic Games continues to flourish into the future.”
They invested €1 million in the development of the Kerry Centre of Excellence, alongside other generous philanthropic donors through the friends of Kerry.
The partnership extends to Ladies Football and Camogie as well and if there was one that would stand the buffeting winds of change, you’d have to think it was this in the Kingdom.
Image Credits: Tommy Dickson, Inpho.ie