A SPONSORSHIP arrangement that has been mutually beneficial has developed into a near partnership between Kilkenny GAA and Glanbia.
The Avonmore logo has adorned the famous black and amber shirts for nearly 20 years during the county’s most successful period in history, and it is set to continue until 2015 following the signing of a new deal.
“It is a great relationship,” insisted Brian Phelan, Glanbia Executive Director, at the official announcement of the new sponsorship deal at a press briefing.
“There is a partnership there that goes beyond the commercial. Like everything, sponsorship has to make sense from a commercial perspective with any organisation, and it does for us.
“This alliance promotes our brand and promotes the products strongly.
“Beyond that, we see this as a partnership. We have had a strong involvement with Kilkenny from all perspectives.
“We are intrinsically linked with Kilkenny hurling. Obviously it has to work from a commercial perspective as well.
“I think we have been good to Kilkenny hurling, and Kilkenny hurling has been good for us.”
The Avonmore chief explained that the details of the latest sponsorship agreement were hammered out even before last year’s All-Ireland final against Galway, because both parties were happy for it to continue.
“They are very good to work with,” Mr Phelan said of the officers of the County Board, team management, the players and all involved in the organisation locally. They will go beyond the call of duty if we need them. We do the same for them. That is where the partnership piece comes in.
“With every commercial arrangement you have to have a contract, but then you have to have a partnership for things to work successfully.”
The ‘go beyond’ situation came to the fore prior to the All-Ireland final of 2010 when Kilkenny incurred serious expenses for treatment needed by injured stars, Henry Shefflin and John Tennyson.
Avonmore helped out, feeling as partners that they wanted to be a real part of the bid for the five in-a-row.
“We were glad to support the bid for what was an unprecedented five in-a-row effort,” Mr Phelan explained.
“We wanted to make sure Kilkenny had all the resources possible in place for the effort.”
The deal has a bonus incentive scheme built in based on the amount of success Kilkenny teams enjoy during the season. Senior, intermediate, under-21 and minor teams are all covered under the sponsorship arrangment.
A bonus nearly every year
“You nearly build in a bonus every year with Kilkenny now,” Mr Phelan smiled.
“The ease with which agreement was reached again underlining the strength of the relationship that we have with Kilkenny GAA.”
Kilkenny County Board chairman, Ned Quinn said that with the costs involved in running county teams it would be impossible for Kilkenny to prepare teams properly without the continued support and generous sponsorship of Glanbia.
“We have an excellent working relationship with them,” he insisted.
“We are delighted to have them on board again for a new three year term.”
Glanbia will also back the Hurlers Race Day being organised in Gowran Park on Saturday, March 23. T
hey will sponsor the Glanbia Jackie Tyrrell bumper race.
The former All-Star is an employee of the company.
Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody said the players and management very much appreciate the sponsorship and support of Glanbia.
He thanked the company for providing the players with a range of nutritional dairy products over the season, which plays an important part in the hurlers’ diet.