Belfast Telegraph

No reason offered as Irish Tarmac Rally series cuts ties with sponsor

 

By Sammy Hamill

Organisers have pulled the plug on their headline sponsor just days before the start of the Irish Tarmac Championship.

It was back in November that the Irish Tarmac Rally Organisers Association (TROA) announced a three-year deal with the London-based music collective Dance to Tipperary but, with the West Cork International taking place this weekend, the agreement has fallen through.

No reason has been given. A statement from championship manager Paddy Flanagan simply said: "The directors of TROA have announced that the proposed arrangement for delivery of sponsorship for the Tarmac Rally Championship from 2018 onwards by THL (Tipp Holdings Limited/Dance to Tipperary) will not proceed.

"This is unfortunate and comes after intensive discussions between TROA and THL. However, we wish THL the best."

It is understand TROA believed contractual obligations were not being met after initial sponsorship funding was not paid by the mid-February deadline date.

Right from the start the link up with Dance to Tipperary was widely seen as bizarre, not least when it was unveiled in Armagh and no members of the Irish media were invited. Instead it was reported that Tipperary Holdings said they would do it all themselves, including providing the TV coverage, live internet streaming and radio output.

At the time an ambitious statement said they intended "to appoint select brand ambassadors for TV, radio and online media output. These will be selected from drivers and co-drivers, radio and TV personalities, YouTube stars, musicians and other long-time associates and friends."

However, when the Dance to Tipperary logo disappeared from the championship website and press releases last month, it was clear something was amiss.

TROA have now had to go back to On The Limit Sports and ask them to resume their TV coverage.

Belfast Telegraph

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