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FAI and Umbro announce largest sponsorship deal in Irish sport. The Football Association of Ireland has announced a major sponsorship agreement with Umbro valued at a minimum €16 million through to 2014. Bonus payments based on international team success could see this rise to a maximum of €21 million during the period.

The unique agreement sees the grassroots of the game benefit greatly with Umbro set to sponsor key tournaments across different sectors of the non-senior game from 2007. The Junior, Schools, Schoolboys and Colleges/Universities strands of the game will all receive substantial competition sponsorship with Umbro as main sponsor of the following national competitions from 2007/2008.

FAI Junior Cup
FAI Intermediate Cup
FAI Colleges and Universities League
FAI Inter-League Youth Cup
FAI U18 Cup
FAI U17 Cup
SFAI Kennedy Cup.
FAI Schools Senior Boys Cup
FAI Schools Senior Girls Cup
FAI Schools Senior B Boys Cup
FAI Schools Junior Boys Cup
FAI Schools Junior Girls Cup
FAI Schools Minor Boys Cup
FAI Schools Minor Girls Cup
FAI Schools First Year Boys Cup
FAI Schools First Year Girls Cup

The agreement was announced by FAI Chief Executive Officer, John Delaney, and John Courtenay, Managing Director of Umbro Ireland, at a reception attended by representatives of the various strands of the game.

The key aspects of the deal include:

Total minimum sponsorship value of €16,350,000
Guaranteed minimum cash income of €11,550,000
€4,800,000 worth of supplied kit to all international teams and FAI Development Officers.
Potential for up to €4,650,000 in bonuses depending on senior side’s success in European Championships and World Cups.

The agreement means that long term sponsorships, through to 2014, will be in place from 2007 for major tournaments at junior, schools and schoolboys levels. The minimum cash elements of these support packages include:

Kennedy Cup (schoolboys) - €700,000
Junior Cup - €700,000
Schools Cups - €175,000
Colleges/Universities League - €175,000

The FAI’s Chief Executive Officer, John Delaney, said the deal provided an increase of close to €5 million on the previous agreement with Umbro reached in early 2005 and represented a real bonus for the development of the game.

"The unique aspect of the Umbro agreement is the ability it gives us to provide long term sponsorship for the grass roots of the game," said Mr Delaney.

"We’ve been exploring ways of creating a new overall sponsor for the non-senior parts of the game in Ireland and in Umbro we’ve found a true friend of football who is investing heavily across the board."

Mr Delaney added the Association’s business and financial planning is modelled on very strong business basics.

"Where we qualify for international tournaments, we receive substantial bonuses but we do not make our plans on that assumption," he said. "The funding of the new Stadium at Lansdowne Road, the investment required when the FAI takes over the eircom League from 2007 and the development of our Emerging Talent and other long term football programmes through our Technical Development Plan all require substantial funding.

"Working with partners like Umbro helps provide a great platform for these strategic initiatives which are central to the development of the game."

Mr Courtenay described the agreement as a great opportunity to extend Umbro’s commitment to football in Ireland.

"We’ve been hugely impressed with the way the FAI has developed the game at all levels over the past two years and the time is right to greatly extend our involvement with the grassroots of the game. This new agreement will benefit the hundreds of thousands of people who get involved in football every week throughout the country. We want to play an increased role in football in Ireland and our partnership with the FAI provides us with that opportunity," he said.

Football is the biggest participation and most popular team sport in Ireland, according to the ESRI, with an estimated 450,000 people actively involved on a regular basis.


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