Mobile operator 3 Ireland today announced it will be the primary sponsor of the Irish national football team as well as all international squads in a four-year agreement worth more than €7.5m.
The sponsorship agreement will not just see 3 working with the Football Association of Ireland for the national team but also involve sponsorship at "grassroots" level, ie, involving football clubs and leagues throughput the republic.
As primary sponsor, 3 will have premium branding rights for the Irish team’s training and game gear and kit, as well as branding on tickets and pitch-side at the Aviva Stadium.
“We are delighted to announce this major sponsorship, and see this as a strong strategic fit for our business to drive awareness of our brand amongst supporters of the No 1 sport in the country. Football fans will be at the heart of 3’s sponsorship strategy and we plan to launch a range of exciting, new initiatives, including priority ticket bookings for 3 customers," said 3 CEO Robert Finnegan.
The new strip with 3 branding will be available from autumn onwards, and 3 customers will have privileged access to tickets and other as yet unannounced initiatives.
Senior Irish international manager Giovanni Trapattoni said the partnership is "good for the game at all levels" and that it will help the FAI develop and grow the sport.
"This is significant sponsorship which is structured to reach out as never before to engage with grassroots football and all the strands of the game that we represent. It is a significant investment in the future of Irish football, particularly in light of the current economic climate," said John Delaney, chief executive of the FAI.