Saturday 20 October 2018

GAA boss makes business point

Newstalk sports reporter Shane Stapleton with Dublin hurling boss Pat Gilroy;
Newstalk sports reporter Shane Stapleton with Dublin hurling boss Pat Gilroy;

Media & Marketing with Michael Cullen

Have no fear, go for it and be realistic about how tough business can be. Those are the three tips recently-appointed Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy offers young marketers.

Speaking at an Electric Ireland-sponsored breakfast, organised by marketing development programme students from the UCD Smurfit School, Gilroy said business is just like sport in that you must set goals and know where people's ambitions fit into the 'bigger picture' - the team.

In a Q&A session with Newstalk sports reporter Shane Stapleton, Gilroy - a mechanical engineer whose career started with the ESB and who now runs the Designer Group - said he's under no illusions about what faces him in charge of Dublin hurling.

He led the Dubs to All-Ireland Senior Football Championship victory in 2011, the first time in 16 years - a victory made all the sweeter by beating perennial arch-rivals Kerry.

After losing some high-profile hurlers in recent times and then being relegated this year from the top tier of league hurling into Division 1B, confidence was low. Gilroy knows only too well that he has his work cut out.

But with emerging talent coming through from local clubs like Cuala, the St Vincent's man believes the Boys in Blue have nothing to fear. Stapleton asked Gilroy what does he get from business that informs him in sport?

In business, your staff go off and do their own thing, but in sport you learn a lot from watching your players perform. Young people want to have a say in business - it's the ever-confident millennial. That self-belief is also evident with players as young as the under-12s keen to air their opinions.

Gilroy loves being busy. His business career has involved a lot of travel and living overseas. At St Vincent's, he coached three teams. It meant having to juggle a lot of balls at the same time. At county level, he's lucky enough to have lots of back-up support to help him get things done.

"I'm not paid," Gilroy said. "GAA is my hobby and you make family sacrifices. You can't beat playing, management is a poor second."

On making the switch from county football to hurling, what would he say to anyone who asks 'What do football people know about hurling, anyway?'

Gilroy smartly hits back with his trademark frankness: "You gotta ask the people who say that ... I don't agree."


Operation Save Our Ads. That's the message being put out by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in a bid to preserve some of Ireland's best-known and most-loved TV ads from the 1960s to the 1980s. Ads on VHS are in most danger of being lost forever as the format fast deteriorates.

The IFI team examined almost 8,000 rolls of film and salvaged, restored and digitised the TV ads and made them freely available on the IFI Player, with help from the Broadcasting Authority (BAI). Advertisers and agencies were asked to provide funds to preserve and make the work accessible to the public.

"So far not a cent has materialised," Tania Banotti, chief executive, IAPI, told AdLib.

Banotti says there are about 2,000 critically at-risk VHS tapes with ads for CIE, Lucozade, National Lottery, Calor, Britvic, Cadburys, Royco, Musgrave and Spar.

Around €50,000 is needed to get the ball rolling.

It costs about €1,000 to fully restore a tape. Of the 35mm film featuring ads for Bord Fáilte, Aer Lingus, Cow & Gate, ESB, Gillette and Ford a minimum of €10,000 is needed as start-up funds.

Advertisers and agencies are asked to become IFI Luminary Programme members, paying an annual fee of €5,000 over five years. It seems like a small price to pay for being a part of Irish advertising history.


 Fáilte Ireland is spending €650,000 on a Wild Atlantic Way project aimed at increasing the number of cyclists from 300 a day next year to 1,000 a day by 2020. The first of two Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif multi-stage events gets under way next April. A second sportif event is planned for September.

To help promote the sportifs, Fáilte Ireland has launched a video showing the landscape and terrain cyclists experience over the 2,000km route from Kinsale in Co Cork to Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula. Organised by Ride Ireland, the sportifs are expected to become self-financing as they get added to cyclists' bucket lists.


Kevin Kelly is one of Ireland's best known magazine publishers. He's just published the 50th issue of 'European Supermarket Magazine'. Included in the edition are messages from high-profile retail and grocery bosses, not least Tesco's Dave Lewis and Spar's Tobias Wasmuht. Kelly's 'Checkout' magazine will hold its annual conference, '2020 and Beyond, Strategic Planning for the Next Decade', in February.

  • Michael Cullen is editor of;

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