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New ball game: Ex-GAA star organises sponsorship summit

A FORMER All-Star hurler is back on the pitch but this time it's a different ball game. Tony Griffin, who is retired from inter-county hurling for his native Clare, will swap Croke Park for the Aviva Stadium this March.

Griffin (30), of Sports ai, is behind a major sponsorship summit which has already signed up 150 heavyweights of Irish business, sports and the not-for-profit sector to trade ideas under the one roof.

An Irish sporting organisation and a festival will be given a 'golden ticket' to go in front of four companies to ask for sponsorship at the event. 'The Perfect Pitch' is a 'Dragons Den'-style discussion, which Griffin said will give groups eight minutes of face-to-face time with big sponsors including Coca-Cola.

The four 'dragons' are Bord Gais Energy head of marketing Nicky Doran, Onside Sponsorship founder and MD John Trainor, Coca-Cola HBC public affairs and communications manager Erica Roseingrave, and Ulster Bank head of sponsorship and digital Carol McMahon.

There will be live voting from the audience during the presentations -- as attendees can text a platform to decide who deserves the sponsorship most.

"It is an amazing opportunity for an Irish sporting organisation and a festival to look for sponsorship from a leading Irish brand.

"We have Diageo, O2, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Toyota, Eircom, Quinn Insurance, 3 Mobile and Bulmers, to name but a few, signed up already and they will be there watching," Tony Griffin said.

Among the rightsholders registered to attend the summit are the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, RTE, IRFU, Dublin City Marathon, RDS and Spraoi Festival, while not-for-profit organisations such as Temple Street Hospital, Marie Keating Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society will also be there.

More information is available from www.irishsponsorshipsummit.ie.

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