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Ulster Council has right vision: Duffy

By John Campbell

The Ulster Council's innovative marketing policy has been lauded by GAA Director General Paraic Duffy.

Over the past year the Council has blazed a fresh trail in terms of promoting its flagship competitions as well as launching fresh concepts and now its vision and enterprise have not only drawn praise from one of the Association's chief officers but have also been branded a template to be replicated in other counties.

Just this month the Council adopted the theme that the Power NI McKenna Cup can help banish the 'January blues' and this has helped to strike a chord with fans.

Last year's Ulster Championship was perhaps the best-promoted of all provincial competitions and the Council's endeavours in this respect saw increased attendances and one of the best championships in terms of overall quality.

"Ulster has shown the way in terms of visionary marketing projects and this is certainly paying dividends," maintains Duffy.

"The emphasis is on making every effort to enthuse fans in relation to all aspects of the GAA, but particularly in relation to our games, especially the high-profile championship matches."

Ulster Council PRO John Connolly believes that the governing body of the sport in the province now faces the challenge of improving further on its marketing strategy this year.

"We are continually raising the bar for ourselves but that's a good thing," he said.

"We have been living in recessionary times lately, but the Ulster Council has responded to this by pegging admission charges, making our games more attractive and improving facilities.

"We are very conscious that only by delivering value for money can we ensure the continued well-being of our Association."

The recent Ulster club championship, another event which was marketed robustly, saw some of the biggest crowds in the history of the competition.

The Ulster Council's Director of Public Affairs Ryan Feeney stresses that the 15 per cent increase in crowds reflects the passion that there is for gaelic games.

"We have to ensure that we provide quality games. Efforts are being made to make gaelic football in particular more free-flowing and we have no doubt that people will continue to flock to games if they are assured that a high quality will be maintained," he said.

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