EXCLUSIVE: Offaly GAA in talks over new sponsorship deal

Talks are at an early stage

Offaly GAA are in "early discussions" with Laois and Offaly Education and Training Boards (LOETB) over a possible sponsorship deal between both organisations, the Offaly Express has learned.

A LOETB spokesperson told the Offaly Express that a partnership of this nature is in the pipeline and given the announcement of a deal with Laois GAA earlier this week, the education provider is keen to see something agreed "quite soon."

Laois GAA this week signed a deal with LOETB which will see the board becoming the main sponsors of the Laois GAA Centre of Excellence at O'Moore Park. The three-year deal is worth around €15,000 a year to Laois GAA and will see LOETB providing a range of training and education supports to Laois players in both development squads and intercounty players at the Centre of Excellence.

Laois and Offaly Education and Training Boards (LOETB) is a statutory provider of education and training to over 16,ooo students in nine post-primary schools and twelve Further Education and Training Centres across Laois and Offaly. LOETB was established in July 2013 following the amalgamation of the VECs of Laois and Offaly and also has responsibility for all training services in Laois and Offaly following the dissolution of FÁS, also in 2013.

A source from LOETB told us that these sponsorship arrangements are in line with their strategy of trying to promote the activity of the LOETB and the range of services, classes and training supports they provide in both counties.

"We've been in existence for five years now but we feel people are still asking what we do or are not aware of us and our education and training provision at all," the spokesperson said.

The possible partnership between Offaly GAA would be slightly different in that the new Offaly Centre of Excellence, Faithful Fields, is already associated with Bord na Mona who took over the naming rights of both O'Connor Park and the new training facility in a deal last year.

However, the deal would be along similar lines in that it would see a financial package and range of training and education supports afforded to Offaly GAA in exchange for sponsor-style promotion of LOETB through the activity of Offaly GAA at varying levels.

The talks are at an early stage but are expected to be advanced to a conclusion in the coming months.


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