Galway still in talks over intercounty sponsorship

Wed, Jan 16, 2013, 00:00

GAELIC GAMES NEWS:The Galway County Board are still in negotiations to secure an intercounty sponsorship for 2013, and like Cork, now face the prospect of starting the Allianz League campaign without commercial backing.

What has been agreed is that Galway will take on a single sponsorship, covering football and hurling, unlike recent years, where there have been separate sponsors for both football and hurling teams. So far, however, no terms for such sponsorship have been agreed, and likewise in Cork, who are also looking for a single sponsorship deal for both football and hurling.

It reflects the increasingly undulating sponsorship terrain now facing even the so-called stronger counties: it’s almost three months now since the Cork County Board announced that their contract with O2 wouldn’t be renewed into 2013, although it has since been indicated they’ve been aware of O2’s intentions not to renew since last February.

Galway do have a stronger contender for their sponsorship, with Supermacs, the sponsors of the county hurling team for the last 22 years, reportedly close to securing a new deal that would cover both football and hurling: “We are very confident that we will get the deal”, said Galway secretary John Hynes, “but discussions are ongoing. We hope to have it finalised by the end of the month.”

For the last two seasons, Galway’s footballers have carried the logo and name of Cancer Care West on their jerseys, becoming the first intercounty team to carry a charity on their shirts, but this agreement wasn’t renewed for 2013.

Cork’s footballers have so far been wearing their old O2-sponsored jerseys, in the McGrath Cup, including in last Sunday’s defeat to Tipperary. It’s unclear if that will remain the case for the league, should the county board fail to secure a new sponsorship agreement by then, as Cork chairman Bob Ryan hasn’t yet given any indication of how close they are to securing a new deal.

Replacements

Cork were one of 10 counties to lose intercounty sponsorship last year, and some have been more fortunate than others in finding a replacement: Armagh secured a jersey sponsorship deal with Rainbow Communications. Meath-based crisp company Hunky Dorys also came on board to sponsor Tyrone until at least the end of 2014. The same parent company, Largo Foods, signed up to sponsor Meath for the next two years. In a reportedly six-figure shirt deal, Hunky Dorys will also sponsor all Tyrone league and championship competitions.

The GAA themselves have agreed a new sponsorship deal with Aer Lingus to help promote a new international hurling Festival, which will take place in Galway next September as part of the association’s plan for the 2013 Gathering.

Details of the festival will be announced in Croke Park today, but it is scheduled to take place from September 18th to 21st, at Pearse Stadium, with other GAA festival events taking place in venues around Galway City. It is anticipated teams from all over the world will travel to compete, including teams from New York, San Francisco, Canada, Buenos Aires, Asia, Europe and Australia.

Meanwhile, there was also some speculation yesterday that retired Sydney Swans star Tadhg Kennelly might yet feature for his native county again, having famously returned home to help Kerry win the All-Ireland in 2009. He has confirmed he will be coming home to play football again, but probably only with Listowel Emmets and with Feale Rangers in the county championship.

As for playing with the Kerry seniors, he said: “That is not in the head at the moment, to tell you the truth it will testing enough to try and get the time sharing right of six months here and six months in Australia. I really enjoyed having the year off and giving my body a break. Look I will never say never but I would think it’s a bit of a long shot.”

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