CORK GAA sponsors Sports Direct have renewed their support for Glen Rovers for another three years.
The move comes as part of a nationwide expansion of Sports Direct’s grassroots GAA support programme. Before they came on board as the main Cork sponsor in a deal worth €2 million over five years, they had partnered with six clubs across the country, including the Glen.
The Blackpool outfit's main sponsor is Blackwater Motors, and their jersey, even with the sponsors' logos, sold very well over the last year after they produced a special edition celebrating the 100th year of Christy Ring's birth.
Sports Direct is now backing 11 clubs nationwide.
For the past three years, Glen Rovers were on board with the sportswear company, along with Listry GAA (Kerry), Ballygunner GAA (Waterford), Clane GAA (Kildare), St Dominic’s GAA (Roscommon) and Bellaghy GAC (Derry).
This investment has been to the tune of €250,000 and the five clubs included in the next phase of the programme are Blessington GAA (Wicklow), Cavan Gaels GAA (Cavan), Geraldine’s GFC (Louth), Rhode GAA (Offaly) and St James’ GAA (Galway).
Previous Rebel sponsors were Barry's Tea (1991-'97), Esat Digifone (1997-2002), O2 (2002-'13) and Chill Insurance (2013-'20), and the new deal drew criticism from some quarters.
Ultimately, on-field success will dictate how the Sports Direct connection is viewed in the coming years.
Speaking about the announcement, Sports Direct’s Managing Director, Leonard Brassel said: “Over the past three years, we have been proud Official Supporters of Glen Rovers GAA and we are delighted to renew our support of them for a further three years until 2024.
"We have nurtured positive relationships with all of our existing clubs, which remain true and respectful to the principles and culture of these clubs.
"We are incredibly proud to announce our expansion of our support for our existing clubs and the incorporation of five new clubs nationwide, to bring our support to a total number of 11 clubs across the country.
"As we continue to expand in the Irish market, the group couldn’t be prouder of our Grassroots Official Supporter programme.
"We are delighted to take this next step in our grassroots support, and help to support these clubs and communities who have such a passion for GAA. All of us at Sports Direct share this passion for Gaelic Games, and we look forward to working with all of these local clubs and celebrating the local success stories.’’
Sports Direct stores are open again from May 11 as Covid-19 restrictions ease.