Tuesday 20 February 2018

Dubs chief confident of landing major sponsor

Bernard Brogan, left, and Paul Mannion celebrate after the game
Bernard Brogan, left, and Paul Mannion celebrate after the game
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

DUBLIN'S footballers may be favourites for Sam and their hurlers second-favourites for the Liam MacCarthy Cup, yet they still haven't nailed down a sponsor for next season.

Their four-year deal with Vodafone is not being renewed, despite the fact the Dubs are now being quoted at 10/1 for an All-Ireland double. But Blues officials said they are confident of having a new backer in place before the season is out and revealed they are looking for one overall title sponsor.

That would mean that, for the first time, Dublin's sponsor would not just cover both their footballers and hurlers but also the county's camogie and women's football teams. Vodafone announced in March they would not be renewing their sponsorship, believed to be worth €1m annually, which was initially for three years and then renewed for one more.

"I wouldn't say it was an Irish decision. I'd say it was a decision higher up the ranks at Vodafone," Dublin chairman Andy Kettle said.

But he was bullish about securing another big-money deal for the Dubs.

"The success of both senior teams is certainly not hindering the process. I wouldn't say the market is gone too bad but nobody is going to bite your hand off for the kind of sponsorship we're looking for," Kettle admitted.

"Obviously the hurlers (success) have become a definite bonus and the whole family will be available to a sponsor rather than having the sponsorship diluted by different brands on different jerseys. That's a first."

A new rule passed at Congress this year allows for more than one sponsor on a county jersey but Dublin feel their unique brand is strong enough to attract one major backer.

Kettle indicated Dublin will not get involved with an alcohol brand but said the removal of alcohol sponsorship from the sports' market-place, which is being proposed at government level, would seriously affect clubs who regularly depend on local bars and hotels to sponsor them.

Dublin's football opponents next Saturday, Cork, are the only other county still in the running for both All-Ireland senior titles.

Demand for that quarter-final double-header – Tyrone v Monaghan being the other clash – is such that 20,000 tickets were already sold yesterday before the counties had processed their own allocations.

Sales for Sunday's double-header of Kerry/Cavan and Mayo/Donegal were also reportedly "brisk" and the GAA are urging supporters to pre-purchase tickets. Club passes are available at €10 when bought in bulk.

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