Dublin's €4m AIG sponsorship boost
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Dublin GAA have signed the biggest inter-county sponsorship deal of all time with insurance firm AIG, believed to be worth in excess of €4m over a five-year period.
They will take over from Vodafone on November 1 and their sponsorship of Dublin will incorporate ladies football and camogie for the first time.
It is understood that the multi-national beat off competition from a number of other interested parties, including a major health insurance provider, to secure the deal in recent days.
As All-Ireland football champions in two of the last three years and with the progressive strides made by their hurling team under Anthony Daly in the same period, Dublin's bargaining power was high despite the country's challenging economic circumstances.
The deal is more than twice what any other county can come close to and underlines the county's growth as a force in Gaelic games.
AIG (American International Group) has sponsored Manchester United in the past, but this is their first significant step into the Irish sports market at this level. The company currently sponsors world rugby champions New Zealand.
Dublin generated in excess of €3m from their four-year association with Vodafone and this deal is understood to be along similar lines, but over a longer period of time.
Dublin again enlisted the expertise of Pembroke Communications to work on securing a new partner. In the coming weeks, the county board is expected to hire a commercial manager to help maximise its potential as the leading GAA brand.
Their profile is helped by the fact that Dublin represents one in every five replica shirts sold in the market.
Sports sponsorship revenues have decreased by some 30pc in recent years, but Dublin have been able to buck that trend with their latest deal.
Welcoming the new deal, Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle said: "This sponsorship deal is a really significant boost to everyone associated with Dublin GAA.
"The strength of the Dublin brand is illustrated by our ability to negotiate this outstanding sponsorship in a depressed economic market.
"AIG is a blue-chip organisation with a proven track record in sponsorship and they fully understand what we are trying to achieve in Dublin.
"The sponsorship revenue is critical in helping towards our expenditure on club coaching programmes and inter-county teams at all levels.
"AIG is also finalising their sponsorship activation plans, which will promote GAA in the capital at all levels. We are very much looking forward to working closely with AIG over the next five years to ensure this partnership is mutually beneficial."
Dublin's new team jersey will be launched within a month.