Lidl is extending its partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association by another four years.

It is a remarkable six years since the two first came together after the playful teaser campaign promoting Ladyball. Since then it has been one of the most powerful sporting partnerships of all time and the new extension will see it come to a decade of #serioussupport.

The partnership is as the official retailer but it goes well beyond that and has also become a best in class case study of a sporting organisation working with other partners for the common good, in this case especially TG4 and Sports Direct, but not just limited to them.

The investment has also been revealed as being worth €5 million over these next four years, the same amount as has gone in over the previous six.

Initiatives

That has gone into various initiatives, advertising and funding in order to increase participation in the game, gain more exposure in the media and support grassroots clubs in particular with sporting equipment and jerseys.

It has always been about more than the elite as well. 68 schools have taken part in the #SeriousSupport Schools Programme. Over 200 schools have received new jerseys and/or equipment. Over 500 clubs have received new jerseys and/or equipment. Over 200 clubs have received cash donations.

A key objective since launching the partnership has been to increase attendance at the TG4 All-Ireland Finals. This objective has clearly been achieved with attendance records being broken in every year of the sponsorship that Croke Park did not have a limited capacity – rising from 31,083 in 2015 to more than 56,000 in 2019.

Lidl are committing to encouraging even greater attendance and helping to fill Croke Park to full capacity at the TG4 All-Ireland Finals by 2025.

Programmes

The brand has developed and mobilised dedicated programmes specifically designed to increase participation at all levels of the game.

These programmes include the #SeriousSupport Schools athlete mentor programme and the One Good Club programme in association with Jigsaw, developed to raise awareness and improve understanding of youth mental health while empowering clubs to positively affect their members and communities.

In launching the partnership extension, Lidl plans to continue to increase participation, investing in programmes that break the trend of drop-out rates among girls, particularly as they hit their teenage years.

In the period since Lidl partnered with the LGFA, there has been a 73 per cent increase in underage playing numbers.

This week, Lidl also relaunched the successful Lidl Plus LGFA Club Rewards Scheme giving LGFA clubs across the country the opportunity to raise funds for their local club with the maximum amount of €20,000 up for grabs in each of the four provinces.

Extension

“We are pleased to announce the extension of our partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association through to 2025 – a commitment of €10 million investment in 10 years of sponsorship,” said JP Scally, CEO of Lidl Ireland.

“Our partnership with the LGFA has been one of the more significant sponsorships in women’s sport in Ireland to date, and a move that has been hugely supported by our customers and our employees alike. We are exceptionally proud of the progress we’ve achieved together so far and look forward to building on this over the next 4 years.”

“As a long-standing supporter of not only women’s sport, but women and girls across the country through impactful initiatives like period poverty, menopause and support for those affected by miscarriage, we are determined to use our resources as one of the biggest retailers in the country to have a positive impact on the communities we operate in and our continued support of the LGFA is a great opportunity for us to do just that.”

“We are thrilled at the prospect of even more #SeriousSupport from Lidl Ireland,” added LGFA President Micheál Naughton.

“This absolute dedication to our sport is another huge boost as we look forward to our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2024. Lidl Ireland has been with us since 2016 and, during that time, they have helped to elevate the profile of Ladies Gaelic Football to new levels, while engaging with our grassroots members through various and innovative initiatives.”

“This year, the Lidl Plus LGFA Club Rewards Scheme has returned and I would our members to get behind this scheme and help to earn real rewards for their local clubs. On the field of play, we’re looking forward to another memorable Lidl National League campaign, with all of our games once again available to viewers at home and across the world.”

The 2022 Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues commence next Saturday evening, February 12, with the TG4 cameras present for the live TV fixture between Donegal and Galway in Ballybofey at 7.30 pm.

All of the other weekend games can be watched by signing up to the LGFA’s live subscription service which we covered in detail this morning on Sport for Business.