The last Saturday before Christmas would usually be all about Santa and with sport taking a rare weekend back seat. Not so in 2020 when the biggest day of the Irish Sporting Calendar will be grabbing the attention as Mayo seek to dethrone Dublin as the All Ireland Men’s Football Champions.
History was secured last year for Dublin, but Mayo have always been close and maybe in this year of years it will be their time. For a county whose fans have been there for so much disappointment in the last 60 year, there would be irony should this be the day at last.
The bookies and the pundits suggest that is unlikely but it is sport and anything can happen.
Today we take our traditional look at how the sponsors of the teams and the Championship as a whole have been preparing for the big day in circumstances like never before.
AIB’s award-winning The Toughest campaign was a perfect fit for this year across club and county. The brand transitioned to a celebration of the spirit it took to get pitches back open and the GAA communities back to something like a regular beat.
They captured those moments along the way in a video content series and RTÉ documentary directed by Ross Witaker that went down a storm in late summer.
Then as the year drew to a close they moved into photographic mode with the team at Sportsfile and amateur photographers from across the country coming together to produce a beautiful hardback publication ‘The toughest Season.”
While the action remained and has now come to the eve of its conclusion it is the strangeness of the year that will stand out longer in the memory and they have done a great job attaching the brand to that.
They even got poetic, commissioning Rye Aker to pen ‘All Togged Out’
SuperValu, Centra and the GAA come together with local authorities across Ireland in the first stage of lockdown to launch ‘Club Together’, an initiative to support the elderly in our communities, using the powerful club networks that exist across the country
They created a centralised way for people who might have been outside the net of the GAA reach to make contact and ask for help on a local basis.
The Initiative provided a safe and trusted way to make sure those who were vulnerable, lonely or without their own network would be OK while at the same time providing a sense of real connection between clubs and their local populations.
A GAA survey in May found that 86 per cent of clubs had got involved in helping out through their communities, and that almost 20,000 volunteers had helped out with the delivery of essentials.
Pretty much every store had a link-up through the local authority helplines into a local club and the process of registration meant that everybody felt comfortable.
Players and coaches, parents and officers all weighed in at a time when a friendly knock on the door was invaluable.
This was a model for sporting partnership with business coming together for the greater good and is one of the stand out activations of the year.
They have also tapped into the lighter side with a series of video content ‘from the sofa’ of fans of each of the competing counties, and they have backed OTB Sport in their coverage of Gaelic Games and Bernard Brogan’s new podcast.
eir’s last extension of its GAA sponsorship, through to the end of the 2022 season, included the right to the GAA archive, a move which suddenly became more valuable this year as the summer schedule of Championship action was wiped out and eir Sport’s showing of classic matches became the only show in town.
They have done a preview of Sunday’s game with pundit Joe Brolly and Alan Brogan which has been shared out in bite-size chunks on social media.
AIG has gone back to the future this week with two videos talking to Eoghan O’Gara and Sinead Finnegan about the losses it took to make Dublin’s men’s and women’s teams into winners.
Their promotions have been following the theme of effort being equal and focusing every bit as much on Sunday’s Ladies Football All Ireland.
As a Myo company and long time supporter, Elverys have as much of an emotional investment in the team as any fan. When it comes to business though they have to be even-handed and have been promoting Dublin gear as much as their own home county in the run-up to the weekend, and of course, to Christmas.
Check out all we have in-store or online 👇
— Intersport Elverys (@Elverys) December 16, 2020
Dublin supporters, get ready for the All Ireland football finals this weekend! #TheHeartofSport
Head into one of our stores to pick up your Dublin gear!
— Intersport Elverys (@Elverys) December 17, 2020
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