Intersection of tech and sport core to Eir’s multi-million-euro deal with GAA

1 Jun 2016

From left: Conor McManus (Monaghan), Paraic Duffy (GAA), Jon Florsheim (Eir) and Eoin Cadogan (Cork)

The impact of technology on the game, players’ preparations, fans and communities is a central facet of Eir’s multi-million-euro sponsorship of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship for the next five years.

‘Tis the week of sports sponsorships and, just after it emerged that Vodafone has signed a four-year deal with the IRFU that will include boosting mobile signals on match days, it has emerged that rival operator Eir’s sponsorship deal with the GAA will also have technology at its core.

The multi-million-euro sponsorship will be supported by an advertising and communications campaign that is being developed to showcase how technology is positively impacting the game and how this filters out to the players, the fans and the communities across the country.

‘Never before has science and technology so closely accompanied both the playing and watching of our games’

Jon Florsheim, managing director of Eir Consumer, said that audiences have moved from literally being on the sidelines to being virtual pundits, thanks to social media and engagement via trending hashtags and tweets.

Players, too, have been impacted in terms of devices and apps to help with preparation, fitness, performance analysis and nutrition advice.

Technology is central to fans and players’ enjoyment of the game

“Fans used to just watch a game but now technology is central to how they can enjoy the whole experience, including pre-match speculation, on-the-spot commentary and post-match analysis, all of which happens via a huge range of social media sites and devices,” Florsheim explained.

“For us, this partnership is a natural fit; the GAA provides the sporting talent; the communities provide the fans and Eir provides the technology which enhances the whole experience.”

The opening salvo of the new campaign will be a TV advert ‘New Play, Same Passion’ shot in Mayo and featuring GAA senior player Cillian O’Connor and Fionn Fitzgerald from Kerry.

“Never before has science and technology so closely accompanied both the playing and watching of our games and I am excited about seeing how modern modes of communication and technology will continue to enhance and improve the experience of both the players and supporters in the years ahead,” said Páraic Duffy, director general of the GAA.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years