Posts Tagged ‘GAA’

Sponsoring sport’s a risky business but GAA might be the exception

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


Ballygowan & Energise Sport Unveiled as New Official Hydration Partners of Dublin GAA

 Soccer’s in the spotlight again, but for all the wrong reasons.  As FIFA descends into corruption chaos, the aftershocks to the sport’s sponsors are catastrophic.  Soccer’s goodwill and the halo effect that attracted the brands to FIFA in the first instance is depleting rapidly as the news story takes hold.

Sponsoring sport always carries a risk, but usually when individual stars are involved – hence many brands’ preference for sporting categories rather than heroes.  Thorough risk assessment pre-signing is not just prudent it’s also pragmatic, allowing concerns and caveats to be aired at the outset.

Few sports are beyond reproach, especially as sport has now been elevated to the heady heights of God-like achievement and aspiration.  To many, clubs are like a religion to be followed and adored with passion, which is why certain clubs and sports attract such willing investors, but at what price and at what risk?

The GAA may just be the exception, as a brand and a sport that is reasonably removed from adverse publicity.  I’m not suggesting it’s squeaky clean in publicity terms, but it courts less chaos than other sporting factions.   There is still all the zeal, the pious fervour and the commitment that brands want to emulate, but with more opportunities – from local, to families, to national events – and less exposure.

And, with the smell of freshly cut grass in the air, summer is when GAA really comes into its own as the memory of the National Leagues fade into obscurity and Championship fever kicks in.

According to the Onside Industry Survey 2015, GAA is seen to offer the best ‘va


lue for money’ in terms of Irish sponsorships and this is the case for many reasons – not least of all is the relevance of GAA at local community and county level.  It could be argued that the ordinary ‘man on the street’ identifies with GAA stars more so than other sports stars, for an array of reasons, including the likelihood of seeing these players active in their local communities (not just on the telly!), recognising the level of dedication and commitment that’s required of amateur players, and an appreciation of the skill level of a truly unique sport.

Sponsorship is more than just a logo on a county jersey.  Sponsors demand more and the Championship delivers: providing players and management for media events, engaging with the sponsor’s own business and CSR initiatives; and offering exclusive competition prizes, can all be effective methods of maximising the value and impact of such a sponsorship asset. Experiential activity too has proven itself as a way of extracting additional value, using the available properties to leverage the brand in the eyes of existing and potential customers.

The digital space and access to social media channels adds a further important platform to sponsors. Building up digital content is an extremely effective method of engaging fans and reinforcing the association between brand and sponsor.

It’s important to consider some simple guidelines from the outset to maximise GAA sponsorships.  These include:

–          Undertaking a pre-sponsorship appraisal to ensure the sponsorship fits as part of an overall strategy and assess potential risks involved

–          Establishing a good relationship with all relevant stakeholders

–          Ensuring goals and objectives are outlined and agreed at the outset of the partnership

–          Creating an activity road map for the season

–          Focusing on digital elements to maximise social media and online channels

The arrests of senior FIFA officials has rocked the sporting world. Not only does this news obviously impact on the organisation itself, it will also have shocked existing sponsors to their core.

The GAA, whilst not beyond reproach is arguably in a safer position and less likely to bring your brand into disrepute than other sports which exist on a global scale yet having a risk assessment completed will make things a lot easier if crisis strikes.

The rallying cry from inter-county managers and coaches alike is Championship-focused encouragement. Tough winter training regimes and physical League encounters will have honed the players’ fitness levels but it’s the coming months that will define the teams and the GAA public can’t wait!  Shouldn’t your brand be part of the excitement?

2014 Kellogg’s GAA Cul Camps launched

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Launch of the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps 2014

Gaelic Games a way of life for most, with 73% of Irish families devoting more than 10 hours per month to GAA sports

Gaelic games continue to enjoy huge popularity in Ireland with 73% of families devoting more than 10 hours per month to GAA sports, according to a survey* commissioned by Kellogg’s to celebrate the launch of the 2014 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps.

The importance of Gaelic games among Irish families is reaffirmed by the fact that 23% of parents surveyed say that they have been involved in GAA ‘all my life’, with 24% actively participating in Gaelic games for more than ten years. When the same question was asked to a selection of GAA members and supporters with families**, 68% of these highly engaged supporters said that they have been involved in GAA all their lives. A massive 81% of the same group of respondents also said that the GAA is ‘very important’ to their family.

It is clear that GAA plays a central role in the heart of Irish communities* , with 91% agreeing that the GAA contributes to a sense of community for many. 88% of those surveyed also agreed that volunteers are the backbone of GAA clubs around the country. This belief is further backed up by the fact that 22% of Irish parents offer 10 hours or more per month volunteering their time at their local GAA club.

Speaking at the launch of the 2014 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps, GAA President, Liam O’Neill said: “The Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps have always been an important part of community life in Ireland, teaching children important skills, encouraging friendships and improving physical wellbeing. With over 82,000 children attending the camps in 2013, we are delighted to know that the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps continue to be as popular as ever amongst families in Ireland.”

Speaking at the launch, Kellogg’s Managing Director, Jim McNeill said: “At Kellogg’s we are committed to partnerships which support communities, enhance skills and deliver value for money for hard pressed consumers. We are delighted that our support of the GAA Cúl Camps has encouraged greater participation and we are committed to continuing this support in 2014, so that more Irish families can enjoy the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camp experience.”

Each child booked in to a Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camp in 2014 will receive a free GAA kit and back pack in county colours. Parents can log on to to book their child’s place now.

Speaking at the launch, Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps Champion, Rory O’Carroll added: “I am delighted to get involved with the Cúl Camps programme again this year. I have mentored and coached at camps in my own club, Kilmacud Crokes, and I have seen how children’s skills can dramatically improve with expert coaching delivered in a safe and fun atmosphere.”

Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps provide boys and girls – between the ages of 6 and 13 – with an action-packed and fun-filled week of activity which revolves around maximising enjoyment and learning the skills of Gaelic Games. The camps are structured so that a different aspect of the game is worked on each day and children can put into practice what they have learned.  Over one thousand camps will take place in communities all over Ireland during July and August with 2,100 voluntary coaches giving over 30,000 hours of coaching to young children.

* Survey of 530 Irish parents with children aged 6-13 years, carried out by Empathy Research, April 2014.

** Survey of approx. 100 GAA parents, with children, carried out by GAA, April 2014.


Cadbury renew sponsorship of Cadbury GAA U21 Football Championship

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

At the launch of of the Championship are Under 21 footballers, Patrick McBrearty, Donegal, left, Michael Quinlivan, Tipperary, centre, and Cillian O'Connor, Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin.

Kraft Foods today announced the renewal of the Cadbury sponsorship of the GAA U21 Football Championship for another 3 years. The renewal builds on a successful 7 year partnership between Cadbury and the GAA which has seen the Championship go from strength to strength with greater TV coverage now than ever before and over 20,000 fans attending the final in Croke Park last year. This success has been built on innovative sponsorship activation especially in the area of new media which has seen an ever increasing engaged audience of GAA fans participate in the Championship discussion.

Launching the Championship at an event in Croke Park today were promising Under 21 footballers; Patrick McBrearty (Donegal), Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary) and Cillian O’Connor (Mayo), Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Críostóir Ó Cuana and Cadbury Hero of the Future (HOTF) Judges: Paul Caffrey, Dermot Earley and Micheál Ó Domhnaill.

Speaking at the launch, Shane Guest, Kraft Foods Ireland said “We are delighted to be able to renew our sponsorship with the GAA and look forward to building on the success of the past 7 years. The skill and determination these young footballers demonstrate continues to astound us and we look forward to another exciting championship in 2012”.

Speaking at the launch Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Críostóir Ó Cuana said:  “The GAA U21 Football Championship has served as an important stepping stone for many of the players who progress to reach the highest level of our game and those who follow the grade closely have been treated to some excellent campaigns in recent seasons. To that end we are delighted to acknowledge the three year extension to our arrangement with Cadbury. Their support and innovation has helped bring great energy to the competition in recent seasons and I look forward to the continuation of what has been a fruitful partnership ahead of what promises to be another intriguing championship.”

Last year’s championship culminated in a great spectacle which saw over 20,000 attendants in Croke Park watch Galway earn a hard fought win against Ulster Champions Cavan and this year the Cadbury GAA Facebook Community have again identified Cavan and Galway as the two counties most likely to battle it out for the All Ireland title. The Cadbury GAA under 21 Football Championship is widely regarded as an important stepping stone to senior success with a large number of Under 21 players already starring for their senior county teams in the National League and in previous Senior All Ireland Championships. Amongst those is 2010 Cadbury Hero of the Future Rory O’Carroll who starred at full back as Dublin claimed the All-Ireland for the first time since 1995. Previous Cadbury Hero of the Future award winners; Colm O’Neill, (HOTF 2009), Killian Young (2008) and Fintan Goold’s (HOTF 2007) have also gone on to claim All-Ireland Senior success.

Cadbury Hero of the Future Awards:

Former Cadbury Hero of the Future Award Winners:

  • 2006: Keith Higgins from Mayo
  • 2007: Fintan Goold from Cork
  • 2008: Killian Young from Kerry
  • 2009: Colm O’Neill from Cork
  • 2010: Rory O’Carroll from Dublin
  • 2011: Thomas Flynn from Galway

Cadbury Scholarship

The Cadbury Scholarship programme now covers 9 third level institutions with 13 students receiving awards so far in 2012.

  • Gary Sweeney – Galway – (NUI Galway)
  • Einne O’ hEochaidh – Galway (NUI Galway)
  • James O’Meara – Limerick (UL)
  • Eamonn Kiely – Kerry (UL)
  • Damien Cahalane – Cork (UCC)
  • Kevin Hallissey – Cork (CIT)
  • Kevin O’Sullivan – Meath (TCD)
  • Patrick O’Higgins – Dublin (TCD)
  • Aaron Murphy – Wicklow (UCD)
  • Cormac Boyle – Westmeath (UCD)
  • Ciaran Cafferky – Roscommon (DCU)
  • Jack McCarron – Monaghan (DCU)
  • Bernard Allen – Offaly (DIT)
  • 2 x University of Ulster – scholarships yet to take place

Cadbury GAA Online

For the 2012 season, Cadbury will continue to build on its digital platforms for its dedicated online community who follow every move of the Championship throughout the season. With established social media platforms including Facebook Twitter and Flickr and a newly updated website GAA fans from every corner of the globe can contribute with comments, photos and videos and of course vote for the 2011 Cadbury Hero of the Future.

How best to use social media to drive engagement with your sponsorship

Friday, June 11th, 2010

A key challenge when developing a successful sponsorship platform is identifying means in which to firstly develop the sponsorship community, and secondly to engage with this community.

The online environment provides many tools in which this community development and engagement can be successfully activated. Social media tools such as Facebook pages and Twitter channels have become increasingly popular for sponsors as a means of getting their association and/or message(s) out to target audiences.

Using these online and specifically social media tools is however simply the first step in successful engagement with a sponsorship community. What good is having a couple of hundred Facebook Fans if they don’t actually engage? When there, have they really engaged with the sponsorship? (more…)

How to ensure credibility as a sponsor through building lasting partnerships and delivering added value

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Cadbury GAA U21 Football Championship

One of the most important elements to consider when approaching a sponsorship campaign is to ensure that the programme you put in place reaches as far as possible into the roots of the partner organisation. Only by building these strong links will your brand achieve credibility within the partner organisations wider community and ultimately your target market. Over the last six years we’ve worked extremely hard at building lasting relationships with GAA stakeholders across the country, from county supporters clubs, county PRO’s, county secretaries, Third Level development officers and their students, to GAA management in Croke Park. Our goal with Cadbury is to become a living and vibrant part of the Under 21 Championship, an organisation that is looked upon as an equal partner rather than as a sponsor and one that continues to deliver added value to the GAA community. Building these relationships takes time, understanding and commitment, and only through this can you begin to implement the type of programme which will resonate with the grass roots. (more…)

World-famous balancing artist performs an impossible feat of daring on the roof of Croke Park

Friday, June 11th, 2010
3, doing things you never thought possible World-famous balancing artist performs an impossible feat of daring on the roof of Croke Park for 3. 3 brought world-famous balancing artist, Eskil Ronningsbakken, to Ireland for the first time to celebrate its new brand campaign.

The image above caught the attention of the Irish media appearing on the front pages of the Irish Times and The Irish Independent, the back page of the Irish Examiner as well as substantial coverage in every other national daily. In addition to the amazing print coverage, both TV3 and RTE One covered this daring act on their evening TV bulletins. (more…)

Cadbury GAA U21 Football Championship 2009 Higlights

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Here’s a short video of the highlights for 2009 Cadbury GAA U21 Football Championship. A terrific championship saw Cork win out with a last minute goal against Down and Cork’s Colm O’Neill named the 2009 Cadbury Hero of the Future