It should have been played in August and celebrated in a way that would bring one whole county together in love for a team that has delivered.
That has not happened in 2020 but as we prepare for Sunday’s All Ireland clash between Limerick and Waterford we can be simply grateful that it has got to this stage.
The action throughout has been stunning and has drawn massive TV audiences. Sunday will be one final push for the hurlers of either Limerick or Waterford.
There is good reason to believe that both could win. Limerick are the bookies’ favourites but in a decade where both they and Galway have secured historic breakthrough wins, perhaps history’s finger is pointing towards the Deise. They have not won the All Ireland since 1959 and this would be only their third in history.
Analysis of their chances can be found in many places but 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.
Littlewoods Ireland has been running its #StyleofPlay campaign across social media this year, to very good effect, particularly on Instagram
They have created visually strong content such as that pictured above and have also created a popular filter on Instagram stories that allows you to raise the Liam McCarthy cup above your own head in the way that one of our captains will on Sunday.
They have also brought the sponsorship into the heart of their mainstream advertising and promotion with this powerfully evocative TV Ad.
Bord Gáis Energy
Bord Gáis Energy has raised €20,000 for Focus Ireland and kitted out 500 fans for this weekend with a special Christmas Jumper that sold out with all proceeds going to the charity in 24 hours after the two finalists became known.
They have gone down the humour path in terms of creative video content with the GAAGAA box.
This saw cameras set up to record the most passionate and at times bonkers fans from each of the key counties watching games live and reacting in a way that only sports fans can.
There won’t be any real fans in the stands on Sunday but Centra have given the opportunity to 300 schoolchildren to be there in the shape of cardboard cut outs that will be placed on the seats after the conclusion of Saturday Night’s Camogie Final.
Thirty primary schools were selected from the two competing counties and the children have been painting their own self-portraits on a 100% recyclable board which will be seen by the players and by what could be a record TV audience.
Centra and SuerValu stores will also be selling copies of the All-Ireland Hurling Final programme, made with the same effort as would have been the case for an 82,000 crowd and one that is likely to become a real collectors edition.
Team Limerick Clean-Up an initiative supported by Limerick GAA backer JP McManus called on Limerick GAA fans across the county to show their support for the team via The Treaty Rallying Call.
They have now been gathered into a specially produced video which will be shown to the team before Sunday’s Final.
The callout was simple – “Croke Park will be empty, so let’s make Limerick heard.” Hundreds of entries came in from all corners of the county and beyond including from schools, GAA clubs, ex-players, politicians, families and the diaspora.
“We have been amazed by the messages of support for the team we have received over the past 10 days, said McManus.
“With the semi-final win over Galway less than two weeks ago, we knew timings would be tight to get Limerick heard via the Treaty Rallying Call, but in typical fashion, our fans responded magnificently, and the video will be a testament to their creativity. I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish both counties the very best of luck on Sunday – may the best team win.”
Waterford’s sponsors have been active locally running competitions to win jerseys and bags of branded sliotars for schools and clubs.
As a business to business data specialist there is a different approach to that of the Championship sponsors looking out to a mass audience.
The company is based in Lismore and has team members Austin Gleeson, Conor Gleeson, Kieran Bennett and Neil Montgomery working with them.
Sport for Business Partners