As revealed on SportsNewsIreland last month Eircom were unveiled as the new sponsor of the GAA’s All Ireland Football Championship.
The initial agreement which commences with this year’s Championship is for a three year period with an option to extend. Details of the agreement were announced this morning at a function in Croke Park.
Welcoming the Eircom agreement GAA President, Christy Cooney, said that it was further endorsement of the power of the GAA brand and the value that sponsors put on the association with both the GAA in general and the All Ireland Championship in particular:
“It is another major boost, not only to the GAA Football Championship but to the Association as a whole, that we are entering into an exciting partnership with a company possessing a profile and pedigree such as eircom’s as the start of this year’s competition comes into sharp focus.”
“Like us, Eircom reaches into communities all over Ireland and we are enthused about the prospect of working with our new partners in an imaginative and proactive way as part of our ongoing efforts to generate even more interest in our games. I look forward to GAA Football Championship 2011 and Eircom’s role in promoting what is Ireland’s most eagerly followed sporting competition.”
Speaking on behalf of Eircom, Carolan Lennon, Chief Commercial Officer, said that she believed the partnership would have many benefits both for Eircom and the GAA brand. She said that Eircom saw the sponsorship as one with huge potential.
“For me, the All Ireland Football Championship is the single biggest sponsorship in the Irish sporting calendar. What other sponsorship embraces every county, every town, every village and every community in Ireland. Everyone is interested in the outcome.
“The Football Championship is the Summer in Ireland. Embracing as it does the colour, vibrancy and passion of all that is good about sport and Irish sport in particular. Our challenge is to see how we can add to the occasion. It is as simple as that.”
She said she believed that in realising the potential of any sponsorship it was vital to have an intimate understanding of those involved in the sponsorship, in this case the managers and the players. She said that helping Eircom in delivering its GAA strategy and programme would be Mickey Harte, Colm Cooper, Ciaran Whelan, Donie Shine and Johnny Doyle.
Carolan said Eircom’s strategy would initially focus on the fans in particular: “The task we have set ourselves as sponsor is to enhance and create a deeper experience for everyone associated with the Championship but in particular for the fans. We essentially want to help them “experience more” both on and off the pitch.
“We believe that Eircom’s technological abilities – both fixed and mobile – coupled with our strong presence in Irish households the length and breadth of the country, means we are uniquely placed to enhance and enable fans to experience every moment of the All Ireland Football Championship whether they are at home, at work, in Ireland, abroad or even in the stadium itself.
“As we explained to the GAA from the outset we are firmly committed to being an active not a passive partner.
In conclusion she said that Eircom would be announcing the details of its marketing campaign for the 2011 Football Championship over the coming weeks. She said it would focus heavily on how eircom’s technology can and will enrich the fan’s enjoyment of the Championship.