GAA Rich List reveals elite counties pulling clear
The scale of the commercial divide in inter-county GAA is revealed in a special report by the Irish Independent today.
Taking figures from 30 of the 32 counties, as presented in their annual accounts for 2017, it shows how far some counties are being behind when it comes to tapping into the corporate market.
And with new, faster-moving formats in the football and hurling championships, the less successful counties will be squeezed even more in terms of exposure, as the schedules from the two media rights holders have recently revealed with just three of the 25 provincial football games, prior to the four finals, being broadcast live.
Commercial and fundraising revenues run hand-in-hand for counties as they seek to meet the demands of running inter-county teams.
Dublin's popularity is reflected in a €1.46m commercial return for the year, more than twice what the next county, Cork, generates.
Main sponsors, gear and service provision, revenue from programmes, advertisement signage around county grounds, naming rights to those grounds, royalties and county competition sponsors drive the commercial end of most operations.
Fundraising embellishes these figures, essentially through the work of supporters' clubs organising golf classics, dinner nights, membership contributions and other such ventures.
Teams that reach All-Ireland finals can generally generate much greater sums as the experience of Mayo - who managed to raise more than €921,000 through fundraising schemes last year on top of €549,705 in commercial revenue - reflects.
Not every county accounts for what they take in the same way but the figures largely paint a picture of a great divide.
Yet the argument can be made that when payments from Croke Park and provincial councils, dividends and expenses from competition gate receipts, sponsorship and media rights are added to fundraising and commercial revenues largely related to inter-county activity, many are self-sufficient.