Hurling has a new €5m sponsor

Bord Gais Energy strikes a three-year deal with the GAA and Croke Park...

Hurling has a new €5m sponsor

Kilkenny's Paul Murphy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Bord Gais Energy will confirm today that it is joining supermarket group Centra and online department store Littlewoods Ireland as the third official sponsor of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.

The three-year deal will be worth €5 million to the senior competition, as it also becomes the official energy partner to the GAA and Croke Park. In doing so, it will be displacing its competing energy utility, Electric Ireland, in the partnership and secure itself a popular platform to showcase its technology developments and energy conservation.

The bulk of the investment will support the senior competition, though the deal also includes continued sponsorship of the U-21 championships until the completion of its current campaign in 2020.

The deal follows Littlewoods recently signing up for three years, as well as the end of the GAA's association with Etihad Airways and Liberty Insurance.

Littlewoods recently announced a three-year deal with the GAA to sponsor the hurling championship, and the new deal with Bord Gais Energy sees the end of the Association's relationship with both Etihad Airways and Liberty Insurance.

Bord Gais Energy is now owned by the UK energy company, Centrica. Speaking on Breakfast Business this morning, Bord Gais managing director Dave Kirwan was asked whether he had much explaining to do when it came to hurling and the reasons for investing in it to their British colleagues. He said:

"Let's just say we've resorted to YouTube on occasion! But they've been very supportive of the fact we know our local market and we spend a lot of time trying to understand our customers. And they've been very supportive of this decision, thankfully."