The Camogie Association is on the lookout for a new All-Ireland Championship title sponsor as Liberty Insurance has brought to an end its eight-year sponsorship of the sport’s flagship competition.
The decision of Liberty Insurance not to renew its sponsorship agreement for the 2021 season was made earlier this year, the Irish Examiner understands, with the Camogie Association still working on putting in place a new title sponsor five weeks out from the scheduled start of the All-Ireland senior, intermediate, and junior championships.
In a statement released to the Irish Examiner, Liberty Insurance cited "wider strategic considerations" in the decision not to renew their sponsorship of the All-Ireland Championship, All-Star awards and All-Star tour.
The search for a new title sponsor adds to a difficult month for the Camogie Association, whose initial calendar for the 2021 season was heavily criticised by inter-county players who threatened to boycott the National League if a split season wasn’t implemented.
Following nationwide polling of clubs, top brass climbed down from their favoured National League-club championship-All-Ireland inter-county championship schedule to implement a split season for 2021.
This decision, however, drew rebuke from club teams still involved in the 2020 provincial and All-Ireland club series as the split season calendar made no provision for finishing these games.
The aggrieved clubs are currently waiting on a hearing date from the Disputes Resolution Authority where they will appeal the decision of the Camogie Association to abandon the 2020 club series.
Having first come on board as title sponsors of the All-Ireland Camogie Championship in 2013, Liberty Insurance expanded their partnership with the Camogie Association to include sponsorship of the first ever Camogie All-Stars tour, to Madrid, in 2017.
A year later, Liberty announced a three-year extension as title sponsors of the All-Ireland Camogie Championship and All-Star awards. The press release issued by the insurance company at the time said they would “invest €2.5m in sponsorship, research and promotion of women in sport over the next three years”.
Their sponsorship arrangement with the Camogie Association concluded following this year’s delayed 2020 All-Star awards, with Liberty opting not to renew terms, citing "wider strategic considerations".
A Liberty Insurance statement to the Irish Examiner reads: “Liberty Insurance has been the title sponsor of the All Ireland Senior, Intermediate and Junior Camogie Championships since 2013. Subsequently, Liberty also became title sponsors of the All-Star Awards and All-Star Tour.
“In this time, it has given us great satisfaction to see the sport grow year on year, culminating in a record attendance of 24,730 supporters at the 2019 Liberty All Ireland Senior Championship final; nearly double its 2014 attendance.
“We hope our “Camogie Made Us” campaign, which supported the sport at a grassroots level and saw over 65,000 members of the public voting on our five finalists to select the top two club coaches, will leave a lasting impact on the sport.
“Due to wider strategic considerations, we have not renewed the title sponsorship of the All-Ireland Camogie Championships and All-Star Awards with the Camogie Association for 2021. We wish the Camogie Association every success into the future and we look forward to seeing the sport continue to prosper and grow.”