Liberty Insurance New Hurling Sponsor As Guinness Ends 18-Year Association
Liberty Insurance "is set to become the newest sponsor of the All-Ireland hurling championship after Guinness ended its 18-year association," according to Cliona Foley of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. The deal is "believed to be worth" about €2M ($2.6M) over three years. The Gaelic Athletic Association and Guinness "appear to have pre-empted expected changes in alcohol sponsorship of sporting events by calling time on their hurling deal" -- which proved to be "a hugely successful partnership for both parties." The timing of this mid-season move "occurs while the Government is debating alcohol sponsorship of sporting events, with the prospect of a ban becoming more likely." Industry sources said that Guinness' unbroken involvement, since '95, "was an exceptionally long sports sponsorship that had probably run its natural course anyway." The company invested heavily "in some dazzling advertisement campaigns that created iconic images and memorable catch-phrases such as 'Not Men but Giants'" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 5/4).
ALL IN: The IRISH TIMES reported Guinness will remain a "partner" of the GAA. Liberty Insurance "took over the existing business remaining from the sale of Quinn Insurance," and has "invested heavily" in marketing and advertising in the Irish market, including sponsoring Ireland's The Late Late Show. Liberty was "mentioned as a possible sponsor of Cork GAA before the Rebels agreed a deal with Chill Insurance" (IRISH TIMES, 5/4).