Vodafone to end sponsorship deal with Dublin GAA team after championship
Three-year deal not to be extended
THE Vodafone logo will not appear on Dublin GAA jerseys from next season after the company announced they will be ending their sponsorship deal with county at the end of this year’s All-Ireland championship. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
The disconnect button on the biggest team sponsorship deal in the GAA will be pressed at the end of this year’s championship campaign after telecommunications giant Vodafone – whose distinctive red “speech mark” logo has dominated Dublin jerseys since 2009 – informed the Dublin County Board they wouldn’t be taking up an option to continue its sponsorship.
Although the full extent of the commercial deal was never divulged, it is believed to be worth close to €1 million annually.
Vodafone’s decision to end the sponsorship deal at the end of the championship came after a recent review of the company’s sponsorship strategy and, coincidentally, fell on the day they announced they would be ending their Formula One sponsorship deal (worth €50 million a year) with McLaren.
Vodafone assumed sponsorship of Dublin teams at the end of 2009, after the long-standing sponsorship with Arnotts finished.
Kaliber and National Irish Bank had previously sponsored Dublin teams.
[/CROSSHEAD]The original deal was for three years, with the option of annual extensions.
Vodafone took up their option for 2013 but, now, have given notice – and time – to Dublin’s executive to find a replacement.
Vodafone will, however, remain on as an associate sponsor.
Certainly, in terms of brand awareness, Vodafone – who previously sponsored the All-Stars – couldn’t have asked for more from an association with Dublin that saw the county win the All-Ireland football title in 2011, a National Hurling League title in 2011, as well as enjoy All-Ireland successes at minor and Under-21 level.
In responding to the news, Dublin football manager Jim Gavin remarked: “It’s a matter for the executive and the management committee of the Dublin County Board.
“Vodafone have been great for Dublin football but it is an opportunity for somebody else to associate themselves with a strong brand.”
[/CROSSHEAD]Andy Kettle, chairman of the Dublin Co Board, claimed the county was in a strong position to negotiate a new title sponsor.
“We will go to market in the summer to secure a new sponsor in the confidence that this is by far the strongest county brand and sponsorship property in the GAA and also one of the most coveted and high profile sports sponsorships in Ireland,” said Kettle.
He thanked Vodafone for being “excellent partners,” adding: “They raised the sponsorship of Dublin GAA to a new level by way of the range of activity and support, financial and otherwise, they brought to the table.”
In announcing the decision, Vodafone head of brand Anne Mulcahy said: “Vodafone is delighted to have played a role in that success by way of providing much valued financial and other support for teams across all age groups, from the senior teams right down to the rising stars of the games.
“ We look forward this year to delivering another busy programme of activities that, together with our financial backing, will help maintain the hugely successful promotion of the games in the capital.
“We also look forward to continuing our relationship with Dublin as an associate partner and wish them well in securing a new lead sponsor for 2014.”