AIB is eighth sponsor of All-Ireland football championship
Deal with the GAA unvelied at Croke Park is believed to worth around €1.5m a year
AIB has become the bank the eighth sponsor of the GAA’s All-Ireland football championship. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
It was the other major Irish bank, Bank of Ireland, that started the ball rolling in 1994 and became the first corporate sponsor of an All-Ireland championship. Guinness took on the hurling equivalent a year later after agreement had been held up by central council reservations.
That partnership lasted 14 years until the GAA decided in 2007 to discontinue the title sponsor format and embark instead on the multisponsor model familiar from Uefa’s Champions League.
Unlike Guinness, which stayed on board as one of the new sponsors, Bank of Ireland withdrew altogether.
Ulster Bank became the longest serving of the football championship multisponsors, remaining involved until 2013, a total of six years. This summer’s championship will see the SuperValu retail group equal that record after becoming involved in 2010.
AIB has had a long involvement with the GAA, title sponsoring the All-Ireland club championships since 1992. The deal will be for an initial three-year period and is believed to be worth around €1.5 million per year.
The vacancy arose because GAAGO, the joint streaming venture between the GAA and RTÉ, spent last year as sponsor in a brand-building exercise.