| 15.2°C Dublin

Mossy means business


St Vincent’s forward Tomás Quinn. Picture credit: Sportsfile

St Vincent’s forward Tomás Quinn. Picture credit: Sportsfile

St Vincent’s forward Tomás Quinn. Picture credit: Sportsfile

FIRSTLY, Mossy Quinn isn't about to suggestively bat his eyelids at Jim Gavin about coming back to Dublin, despite what some might think.

It's the great 2013/14 Dublin football cliché that Quinn is, apparently, 'enjoying his football'.

That, of course, is really just a euphemism for the fact that his form for St Vincent's has been so compelling, he's playing better now than he did in his mid-20s, when his county career was thriving.

But he's made peace with the Dublin thing now and, anyway, Quinn is 32 and never really pined for it in his one full season since retirement.

"I know from talking to some players that finish up that it takes them a while to get used to it. But maybe I was just ... I think mentally, I had my mind made up while I was still playing. I had my mind made up in the summer of 2012," he said.

Secondly, his new job isn't part of a totalitarian plot for Dublin GAA to convert itself into some commercial behemoth, compiling vast, ill-gotten riches and using it to cynically fund their intended domination of the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups from here to eternity.

According to his terms of reference, Quinn – the commercial and marketing manager for Dublin GAA for these past six weeks – has "responsibility for developing and delivering on sponsor relationships, for all existing and new merchandising and licensing arrangements, and for the overall commercial development of the Dublin brand".

Which, in a GAA context, sounds sort of highfalutin, but, as Quinn explains, the scale of Gaelic Games' well-being in the capital stretches much, much broader than the success or otherwise of its flagship teams.

And, anyway, if the County Board can utilise the popularity and sale-ability of its county sides to help infiltrate less exposed corners of the county and to ensure quality coaching for juveniles, isn't that a good thing for everyone?

Surely only the very small-minded would see greater participation numbers in any county – regardless of its size or success – as a negative?

"I believe there is huge areas to add Dublin fans and people participating in Dublin GAA," says Quinn.

"It all goes back into games development and promoting the county in GAA terms.

"I know the easy thing to say about Dublin is the population and the amount of money we're getting, but we're competing against a huge number of sports. And it's important to make sure that we can continue to deliver on games promotion and development and helping clubs as much as we can.

"If Dublin are able to sustain, commercially and marketing wise, if you can bring something in to benefit the county boards, it should knock on to the clubs."

Naturally, there is talk of Dublin copying the model of Leinster Rugby, but the example isn't quite like-for-like.

"GAA is very different in these things. First and foremost, the players are professional in those sports," Quinn explains. "The players that play for Dublin are amateur. So you can't do a deal and tell a player he has to do something. And you would never try and get to that level.

"But I obviously see a lot of areas for growth in terms of Dublin GAA, but going where Leinster go? It's a case of you're aware of other sports and see if there is anything you can do to help it."

A Dublin GAA superstore has also been mentioned as a possible expansion of their commercial operations, a la the Manchester United shop once based on Westmoreland Street.

Ideas, though, are cheap.

"You could sit around on a bar stool and throw ideas to do with Dublin GAA and they're probably all right.

"But about actually putting a strategy together to actually deliver on them? Putting the building blocks in? There's no point in saying we're going to have a superstore.

"You actually have to figure out what is the best way of doing it. How we deliver on it. Is it sustainable? Is it going to be here in four or five years time?"

Separately, Quinn went to the Super Bowl last month and, from all the pageantry, a couple of promotional ideas struck Quinn.

"The one thing that really impressed me was that some days in Croke Park, you can't get a phone signal, never mind Wi-Fi. When you got to the stadium (there), you had better Wi-Fi than I have in my sitting room.

"And it was free. They obviously want people to tell people that they're at the Super Bowl. They want people to interact.

"It's a small thing but in this day and age, when everyone interacts on their phones and social media, it just seemed a good thing.

"I guarantee," Quinn adds, "if you had 80,000 people here on All-Ireland final day, at least half of them want to tell people where they are. But they can't get a signal."