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Dublin boosted by record sponsor deal

Dublin GAA have signed the biggest inter-county sponsorship deal of all time with insurance firm AIG, believed to be worth in excess of €4m (£3.3m) over a five-year period.

They will take over from Vodafone on November 1 and their sponsorship of Dublin will incorporate ladies football and camogie for the first time.

It is understood that the multi-national beat off competition from a number of other interested parties, including a major health insurance provider, to secure the deal in recent days.

As All-Ireland football champions in two of the last three years and with the progressive strides made by their hurling team under Anthony Daly in the same period, Dublin's bargaining power was high despite the country's challenging economic circumstances.

The deal is more than twice what any other county can come close to and underlines the county's growth as a force in Gaelic games.

AIG (American International Group) has sponsored Manchester United in the past, but this is their first significant step into the Irish sports market at this level. The company currently sponsors world rugby champions New Zealand.

Dublin generated in excess of €3m (£2.5m) from their four-year association with Vodafone and this deal is understood to be along similar lines, but over a longer period of time.

Dublin again enlisted the expertise of Pembroke Communications to work on securing a new partner. In the coming weeks, the county board is expected to hire a commercial manager to help maximise its potential as the leading GAA brand.

Belfast Telegraph

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