Sunday 16 December 2018

Sean Og - darling of marketing men

Sean Og O hAilpin fears the Cork impasse could spell an end to his hurling career
Sean Og O hAilpin fears the Cork impasse could spell an end to his hurling career

In the marketing industry Sean Og O hAilpin has long been recognised as the GAA's most precious commodity.

His athleticism, looks and unique background as a GAA star of both hurling and Gaelic football drew potential sponsors to him more than any other individual over the last decade.

In 2006, Gerald Hartmann -- who runs the world-renowned sports injury clinic in Limerick, where Sean Og has been a regular patient -- reckoned he was "the best physical specimen in GAA". On top of that, Hartman said at the time that "he is the closest to being the supreme athlete".

Since the GAA relaxed the rules on what players could earn under the weight of the GPA's evolution at the beginning of the decade, O hAilpin has been one of the main benefactors.

He undertakes regular endorsements with sportswear company Adidas and has also been on the books of grocery chain Spar and, most recently, Lynx. In the past he has also done promotional work for Guinness and would have made a high number of personal appearances locally as well.

In the past he has been a public face for Cork's 'city of culture' celebrations and also the annual jazz festival, which is sponsored by Guinness.

His employers, Ulster Bank, have also used him for promotional activities on a regular basis.

O hAilpin is known to be generous and free with his time when it comes to attending club presentations, school functions and other charity-driven events and is an obvious draw. He is also renowned for his commitment to his club, Na Piarsaigh.

When marketing industry figures predicted, at the height of the economic boom, that a GAA player could potentially crash through the e100,000 barrier for endorsements, O hAilpin was always considered best placed to achieve that.

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