The complexities of navigating administration in the GAA can be tiring with each of the GAA Ladies Gaelic Football Association and Camogie Association having their own boards, policies and approaches.  It gets tougher when you have to deal with the intricacies of gender but today gives us an example of how it can be done, together with a question over why brands should continue to do it.

When it comes to promotional and sponsorship opportunities, Dublin provides a refreshingly positive attitude towards inclusion.

AIG is sponsor across all four codes and always has four-player representatives for a photoshoot.

The willingness to do that runs deeper as well though with yesterday’s photoshoot for the launch of new bottles from Ballygowan including Cian O’Sullivan and Danny Sutcliffe from the men’s games but also Aoife O’Kane from the Dublin Ladies Football team.

No player was available from the Camogie set up but that is not the norm.


It costs nothing extra as such to have an additional player or two in the picture and the message it sends to those willing or able to listen is one of equality.

Dan Sheridan of Inpho’s picture above is one that speaks of equal billing and even if we know that is not fully there in terms of a variety of metrics for sport, it represents another step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the only media outlet we have been able to find this morning where this picture including Aoife is reproduced is here.

The Irish Examiner carries two interviews with Danny Sutcliffe and CXian O’Sullivan, The Irish Independent and the Irish Times just with O’Sullivan.  Ballygowan pictures with the individual players adorn the first two while the Irish Times has chosen an action picture of O’Sullivan for their online piece.

The Times indeed makes no reference to Ballygowan at all which kind of breaks the code of the brand being responsible for making the players available in the first place.

Commercially Focused

We accept that as a commercially focused media the story of the brand is important to us, more so than it is for a sports editor looking to provide readers with the best of material around the key games and stories.

That’s why the story of the being completely recyclable into a polyester material when disposed of correctly, and being used to make long-lasting products like back-packs, t-shirts and shopping bags is of interest.

So too is the fact that all the materials for the bottles have been sourced locally rather than transported hundreds of miles, meaning that Ballygowan bottled water has a much lower carbon footprint than other imported water brands.

To get that message across is important for a brand like Ballygowan.  It’s a key reason why they sponsor.  The job is done when a picture lands and to be fair they have done their part by including Aoife Kane in the photoshoot.  How each media chooses which shots to use is down to individual editors.

In the midst of the 20×20 campaign urging us to ask a question on equality when we think of one, then maybe the media that illustrate the world around us could ask itself is it doing enough when the opportunity arises.