Centra provide boost to GAA coffers with McCarthy Cup sponsorship
Centra look set to fill the void left by RTE as partnership sponsors of the All-Ireland hurling championships.
The convenience-store chain, whose sister company SuperValu were announced last week as one of the three football championship sponsors, are expected to be unveiled as new partners on Friday.
Centra and SuperValu clearly see sponsoring the championships as the key piece of their promotional artillery around the country. The GAA are also receptive to the pair coming on board as it affords them an expansive marketing platform for the games.
RTE signed up late to the 2008 and 2009 championships and were not expected to remain when the agreements were renewed. Etihad Airways and Guinness have both signalled their intent to stay on board as sponsors for a further two years.
Centra are also expected to tie into the hurling championships for a two-year term. Supervalu last week signed up for three years after the exit of Toyota, who still had a year of their contract to run.
The quick take-up of the only available hurling slot shows how the championships remain attractive to businesses despite the economic downturn -- a number of other companies were understood to have expressed an interest in becoming partners.
Securing a sponsor for the hurling, so soon after RTE's official withdrawal will convince the GAA that the partnership model, introduced in 2008, is still the most lucrative way forward.
Figures on how much each sponsor pays are kept under wraps, but GAA President Christy Cooney said last week that they had experienced no fall in the price they could command.
In 2008 the agreements made were thought to be €16-17m.