Centra Hurling2013 has been the fourth year of Centra’s involvement as one of three title sponsors of the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship. The retailer is part of the Musgraves Group and came on board initially in 2010 replacing RTE Sport alongside Guinness and Etihad Airways.

Centra had previously had an All Ireland involvement in Gaelic Games through sponsorship of the Camogie Championships.

One of the key ways in which it applied itself to branding the Championships was to commission Aardman Studios, creators of the Wallace and Gromit movies to produce stings around RTE and TV3 coverage of live matches.

These have been running since the start of the partnership and the blend of humour, colour and animation would still make them one of the most successful examples of a TV ‘sting’ that we have seen.

An important part of the relationship between Centra, its partner retailer Supervalu who support the Football Championship and the GAA has been through the sale of tickets in local outlets.

Local retailers are as much at the heart of local communities as the GAA club they have often been associated with and the ability through technology provided by Tickets.ie that enables sales of tickets at local level is a great way to integrate the association of the sponsorship within the objective of the sponsor. In this case that is to increase footfall and sales.

Community was also central to the local skills and family events held under the Centra banner in venues from Donegal to Cork throughout the Summer.

Families were invited to come along and competitions were held to provide skills training sessions with stars including Henry Shefflin for kids aged between 5 and 12.

In the run up to this weekend’s Final the brand is running major twitter based treasure hunts around Cork and Clare with prizes of tickets to the match up for grabs. Given their scarcity there is little doubt that Centra will be to the fore from Ennis to Scarrif and Cloyne to Carrigtwohill.

The brand has effectively branded its social media assets with the GAA Hurling Championship branding and local stores have benefitted from the excitement that has been generated around this year’s Championship.

Liberty activation of the Hurling Championship

Tomorrow we will complete this three part series by looking at the way in which Etihad Airways has activated its sponsorship of the Hurling Championship.

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Sports Tourism Seminar at Croke Park (September 19th)
Sport for Business 20/20 at Ulster Bank HQ (October 8th)
The Business of Youth Sport Seminar (November 28th)