Dublin to set sights on securing bumper new sponsorship deal
DUBLIN GAA can aspire to top the most lucrative inter-county shirt deal in GAA history as the search for a new sponsor begins over the next few months.
Even in the current difficult commercial climate where revenues from such deals across the country have been falling, Dublin are very well placed, according to industry sources, to improve on the Vodafone deal that was worth just over €3m to the county board over its four-year duration.
Vodafone confirmed yesterday that they would not be renewing the deal, which has been in place since early 2010.
They had initially bought in for six years with a review after three and only exercised their right to continue for one more season, 2013, after that review took place last year.
Their withdrawal in the middle of such a successful period for Dublin GAA comes as a surprise but is part of a wider restructuring of their sponsorship and marketing targets.
However, one of the architects of the last deal in late 2009 believes the county are even better placed to draw a big brand now.
"If anything, Dublin is better placed," said Mick O'Keeffe, managing director of Pembroke Communications, who worked with Dublin to bring the last arrangement to fruition.
"Dublin have had three very successful years in football and in 2010, when the last deal was agreed, hurling wasn't as competitive as it is now.
"Dublin have several months to put a new agreement in place and I'm sure they'll be looking for a big brand."
It will be Dublin's fifth sponsor since the inception of sponsorship on inter-county shirts in 1991, following on from brief relationships with Kaliber and National Irish Bank before a long-term arrangement with Arnotts.
Manager Jim Gavin (left) revealed he won't have an input on the issue of the county's next major sponsors.
"It's a matter for the executive and the management committee of the Dublin County Board. Vodafone have been really great for Dublin football but it's an opportunity for someone else to associate themselves with a strong brand."
Gavin also said he has no issue with the proposed extra branding space on county jerseys.