TV key for behind closed door GAA games - Trainor

Televising games that take place behind closed doors will be vital for GAA’s sponsorship revenue should they go down that route, according to industry expert John Trainor.
TV key for behind closed door GAA games - Trainor
John Trainor: “I think for now both sides of the relationship as in the sponsors and the rights holders are trying to frame the approach that they’ll use to gauge the impact on value”

Televising games that take place behind closed doors will be vital for GAA’s sponsorship revenue should they go down that route, according to industry expert John Trainor.

The chief executive of Onside Sponsorship, Trainor says media will play a significant part in any attempt by the organisation to recoup some of the close to €5 million they received in sponsorship last year.

The same applies for counties and their main sponsors and it’s worth highlighting the GAA in 2019 made €14,117,316 from media coverage.

Trainor doesn’t anticipate Croke Park or their various counties will have to sit down their sponsors in the short term but expects discussions will have to take place as soon as any decision on the future of the season is made.

And should games be staged but not in front of crowds, a last resort case for the GAA, live TV coverage could militate against a considerable loss in commercial revenue.

“I think for now both sides of the relationship as in the sponsors and the rights holders are trying to frame the approach that they’ll use to gauge the impact on value,” says Trainor. “Neither party at this point is going to the table to try and introduce those conversations.

"There’s a great principle in sponsorship which is you don’t pull out the contract until you need to. That’s pretty much the case now.

“When the conversations to what is the impact on value it will be hugely dependent on the outcome of going behind closed doors or not because a big piece of value is based on media value and if the games are televised behind closed doors then there will be a reasonable volume of that delivered.

“That will change the equation in terms of how you define value lost but if they do get significant TV exposure then the value that’s on the table will be significantly different and then it will boil down what the principle is - delaying or deferring payments. I’d expect it will work across all sports.”

The GAA last month worked with two of their six associate Championship sponsors, Centra and SuperValu, to help the elderly. It was an initiative that was commended in a recent survey done by Onside Sponsorship in conjunction with networking company Sport for Business.

Trainor explains: “We did a piece of research with Sport for Business members to get an initial view on some of the activity that was deemed to have been role model activity and that unquestionably got singled out as an initiative that on both sides, the GAA and the sponsors, as probably the best practice.

“What Visa did with their Olympic partners and what FBD did with Olympics Team Ireland was also highlighted but definitely the partnership between the GAA and the Musgrave Group topped the poll at that point in time.

“There was a sense that there was an appropriateness and an authenticity to what was done. It didn’t carry an air of commerciality. The GAA in itself is so important to communities and the initiative felt like it was in touch with what is happening in the country.”

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