Thursday 19 April 2018

Club finals offer marketing dream

CHALLENGES are there to be taken on so when the full pairings for the AIB All-Ireland senior club finals are decided, the GAA should set itself the target of generating an attendance record on St Patrick's Day.

The record stands at 40,106 for the 1999 finals (Rathnure v St Joseph's Doora-Barefield in hurling and Crossmaglen v Ballina in football) but, with proper marketing and promotion, there's no reason why that figure shouldn't be beaten next month.

The football line-up will be decided next weekend (it's Corofin v St Gall's and Portlaoise v Kilmurry-Ibrickane in the semi-finals) while Portumna and Ballyhale Shamrocks are already booked in for the hurling final.

Those two clubs have won the last four titles between them, and Portumna are chasing the three-in-a-row, something never previously achieved.

Then there's Henry Shefflin (left) versus Joe Canning in a head-to-head which is a marketing dream. Imagine what Sky Sports would do with Shefflin versus Canning.

It's a glorious promotional opportunity which has to be seized.

If it's done properly and St Patrick's Day delivers good weather, there's no reason why a new attendance record can't be set, which would be quite an achievement in these depressed times.

Irish Independent

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