An announcement is expected soon from Eircom and the G.A.A confirming the Telecom giant as sponsor of the All Ireland Senior Football championship.
This is likely to be worth €1.4 million a year though it may also include access to additional Corporate facilities at Croke Park and possibly sponsorships of the GAA All Stars Awards, which until the end of 2010 was with Vodafone. Usually reliable sources confirm that contracts have already been exchanged with the GAA.
It is no secret that Eircom has been holding substantial discussions with the GAA now from last Autumn onwards and for Eircom it would mean a return to big time sponsorship in Ireland, having been main sponsor of the Irish National Soccer team until early last year.
The original Vodafone sponsorship of the All Ireland series was for €1.5 million a year so in the current economic climate the new deal would represent excellent business for the G.A.A even if extras are thrown in. One intriguing possibility it throws up – though Cork, Kerry and their other rivals would strongly disagree – is of an All-Ireland winning Captain from Dublin raising the Sam Maguire at Croke Park whilst themselves sponsored by Vodafone!
All Ireland Hurling sponsors Etihad Airways ,who recently said they were reviewing their interest in possible further sponsorship, are also expected to announce a one year’s extension to the deal they signed in 2008. Again good news for the GAA if that proves to be so.