Footballers Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown & Galway), James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams & Dublin), James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion & Kerry), Colm Cooper (Dr. Crokes & formerly Kerry) and Stephen Rochford (formerly Crossmolina Deel Rovers, current Mayo manager), all AIB employees, were in Dublin as AIB announced a five-year extension to their 27-year GAA sponsorship.
The extension covers the All-Ireland Club Championships of which, AIB have been title sponsor since the 1991/1992 campaign, the All-Ireland Football Championship, first sponsored in 2015, as well the AIB Camogie Club Championships, which AIB have been involved with for the last 5 years.
This long-term partnership between AIB & the GAA has always extended well beyond the sponsorship. A huge amount of AIB staff are members of a GAA club, many of which are also members of the AIB GAA club. In 2016, AIB, in recognition of the many Inter-County players working within the bank, created a National Sports Ambassador programme.
The programme is led by former Ballinteer St. Johns & Dublin footballer Coman Goggins. The programme was founded to assist the further development of GAA players, recognising the unique demands and particular skills required to balance their work and sporting lives.
AIB’s sponsorship of the Club Championships was re-vitalised in 2013 under the platform #TheToughest, in recognition of just how hard a competition it is to win, with support of the All Ireland Camogie Club Championships having been added to the sponsorship portfolio. #TheToughest has not only gone to receive domestic and international awards but more importantly, has become part of the GAA vernacular.
The evolution to the County Championship came in 2015, the sponsorship of which is founded on the understanding that without Club, there would be no County. AIB’s partnership with the GAA is reflective of this belief that ‘Club Fuels County’.
Speaking at the announcement, AIB’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tom Kinsella, emphasised the importance of AIB’s partnerships with the GAA: “AIB is delighted to announce a further 5-year extension of our long-term partnership with the GAA. We are proud to be backing both Club and County, and delighted to now enter our fourth year sponsoring the GAA All-Ireland Football Championship.
“Our involvement with the Club Championships for more than 27 years has given us a real understanding of the hard work at club level. This hard work is what fuels the County Championship and the enjoyment that it provides to communities right around the country. The importance of community is central to AIB and we reflect this in our commitment to GAA. AIB passionately believe we share a deep understanding of what GAA means to Ireland as a nation. We wanted to portray the stories and dedication that GAA members show across the country and we did this through our productions such as The Toughest Trade, Behind The Gates with Roscommon and Jeff and Kammy’s Journey to Croker where we educated the duo on how Club truly fuels County.”
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, John Horan said: “We are delighted to partner with AIB for a further 5 years across both Club and County. As one of the GAA’s longest continuous sponsors, AIB have demonstrated real commitment and support for Gaelic Games.
“This has been enhanced by the significant promotion they have provided the GAA with through the activation of their sponsorship, even succeeding in bringing GAA to an international audience be it through the live streaming of Club Championship fixtures or introducing globally recognised figures to GAA. “We work really well with AIB, share an understanding of the importance of Gaelic Games to Irish community life and are delighted that they have committed to the GAA for a further 5 years.”