Sky’s sponsorship deal with Republic of Ireland teams worth up to €8m

FAI’s four-year search for a sponsor of the men’s national team finally comes to an end

The Football Association of Ireland’s four-year sponsorship deal with Sky is worth up to €8 million. The agreement bridges a four-year gap to the previous men’s shirt sponsor, Three, after the telecoms company cut ties in July 2020 having invested €30 million over a 10-year period.

Eircom, the FAI sponsor before Three, invested €20 million over 10 years up to 2010 so Sky’s arrival as the “primary partner” of Irish football is comparative to these figures. It can also be framed as a steadying of the association under chief executive Jonathan Hill after several months of turbulence on and off the pitch.

The initial arrangement will run across four qualification campaigns – Euro 2025 in Switzerland, the 2026 World Cup in North America, the 2027 women’s World Cup and Euro 2028, which is being co-hosted in Dublin and Belfast.

The Sky logo will be blazoned across replica Ireland shirts, also launched today by Castore, but it will not be visible on the actual men’s or women’s jerseys in competitive matches.


Sky chief executive JD Buckley elaborated on a deal that introduces the same bonus structures for the men’s and women’s squads.

“We are two and half years into a deal with the Ireland women’s team and that has been an unqualified success,” said Buckley. “We’ve seen record attendances, they qualified for the World Cup and hopefully there’ll be a full house at the Aviva when England come in April.

“With the men not having a sponsor it just felt like an obvious extension. Hopefully we can do some small part in helping the men’s team be successful.”

In 2021 Hill and Ciarán Medlar of BDO brokered a deal to pay Irish internationals, male and female, the same appearance fee, but this cost the FAI nothing as Coleman, the men’s captain, agreed to a reduced fee from €2,500 to €1,500 to supplement an increase for Katie McCabe’s group of €500 to €1,500.

Sky intends to ensure a significant increase in bonuses for female Irish players if they qualify for Euro 2025.

“The way we structured it will ensure a significant up-weight for the women’s deal,” Buckley explained. “We were keen in Sky to activate the sponsorship equally across both teams.”

An annual sponsorship of between €1.5 million and €2 million appears to move closer to the latter figure by Ireland qualifying for major tournaments. It means that the women will not lack financial motivation ahead of this year’s Nations League campaign, which starts against France in Metz on April 5th before England come to the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, April 9th (tickets are €20 each but they must be purchased in a €40 package to include the Sweden game on May 31st).

The Ireland men’s squad reportedly received €2.55 million in bonus and fees after Euro 2016.

Buckley and Sky, having sponsored the FAI since 2021, have expressed no concerns about the €20,000 in payments Hill received, and the chief executive subsequently repaid after Sport Ireland froze grants worth €6.8 million last year. The controversy also compelled the association’s senior staff to make two trips into Leinster House to appear before joint-Oireachtas Committees.

“All I can say is we have worked for the last two and a half years with the executive team in the FAI and found them to be really professional,” said Buckley.

“If we had any concerns we would not be doing this. We know they have worked with the Government around their corporate governance. They are a team that are commercial, that know how to do business and they are professional in how they go about it.”

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent