AIB extends GAA sponsorship for five years

Bank agrees ‘deal that everybody is happy with’ and says it won’t ‘get in the way’ of fans

AIB has renewed its "backing club and county" sponsorship links with the GAA until 2023 for an undisclosed sum, the bank announced on Monday. The five-year extension covers the All-Ireland Football Championship, the All-Ireland Club Championships and the AIB All-Ireland Camogie Club Championships.

"This is about confirming that we are the bank of GAA," said AIB chief marketing officer Tom Kinsella.

Although the value of the deal has not been made public, AIB will have paid more this time, reflecting inflation in the sponsorship market, particularly at the “premium” end where there are relatively few available deals.

The bank had first right of refusal on its sponsorships and was in a position to fend off competition from rivals.


“A good sponsorship property is hard to find,” Mr Kinsella said, adding that AIB and the GAA had “reached a deal that everybody is happy with”.

AIB has been a sponsor of the All-Ireland Football Championship since 2015 in a position it currently shares with Eir and Supervalu, while its association with the club championships goes back 27 years.

‘Toughest’ revival

The bank has admitted that its activity around the latter sponsorship had become “tired and dusty” before being revived in 2013 with a campaign called “The Toughest” that caught the imagination of supporters. AIB’s involvement with the camogie club championships also began at this time.

“We have a much higher bar now,” Mr Kinsella said, describing AIB’s approach to its sponsorship as “never letting ourselves get in the way of the enjoyment of the fans”.

There is room for the profile of the camogie competition to grow, he said. “It is one of the reasons that it is a part of our portfolio. We see there is an opportunity there. Camogie is a fantastic sport and the speed and the skill of those players is something else.”

The bank, which views its GAA relationship as part of its communications with its own staff as well as with its customers, marked the renewal of its sponsorships at an event attended by employees who are active in the organisation.

These include Eoghan Kerin (Galway and Annaghdown), James McCarthy (Dublin and Ballymun Kickhams), James O'Donoghue (Kerry and Killarney Legion), Colm Cooper (Dr Crokes and formerly Kerry) and Stephen Rochford (formerly Crossmolina Deel Rovers and the current Mayo manager).

GAA president John Horan said AIB had "demonstrated real commitment and support for Gaelic Games" and highlighted that it had played a role in bringing GAA to an international audience through the live streaming of club championship fixtures.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics