The long established Castlebar firm Elverys Sports has been secured the naming rights to the town’s McHale Park, home of Mayo GAA, which for the next five years will be known as Elverys McHale Park.
The County Board spent over €16m redeveloping the stadium and it is no secret that the Board, in the current difficult economic climate , has struggled to meet the huge repayments on the 38,000 all-seater McHale Park debts.
Speaking to the ‘Irish Examiner’, County Board Secretary, Seán Feeney said : “Money has to be raised to repay our loans. ” . “We got a fair bit of advice from Dermot Power (GAA Commercial Manager) and Peter McKenna (Croke Park Stadium Manager). Clubs are always the first port of call when fund raising but there’s a limit on what you can ask them because they all have their own debts.
“The fact a Mayo company has won the naming rights makes it all the more satisfying,” Feeney went on.
Elverys Sports was established in 1847 and is the oldest sports store in Ireland. Following a take over by Stauntons Sports in 1998, Elverys have expanded from a single store operation in Castlebar to fifty stores throughout Ireland. Today the Company employs over six hundred people and proudly remain wholly Irish owned.
A long time supporter of the GAA, they sponsor the Mayo Men’s and Dublin Ladies GAA teams but have expanded and are also the Official retail Partner to the 3 three largest sporting organisations in the country, the GAA, IRFU and the FAI. Indeed they opened stadium shops both in Croke Park stadium and in Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium) . They also operate the online web shops for all 3 associations.
Great to see that a wholly Irish owned company has won those naming rights and though there may be some traditionalists within the GAA and perhaps even in Mayo who may not approve, in this day and age it makes excellent financial sense.