Tyrone GAA must find a new jersey sponsor for 2015, as well as for their domestic club championships, after Hunky Dorys opted not to renew their agreement.
The Meath-based crisp firm, whose parent company Largo Foods also owns the Tayto brand in the South of Ireland, came on board as Tyrone sponsors in November 2012 on an initial two year deal with the option to extend for a third year, but have informed Tyrone GAA that they will not be taking up that option.
Club delegates at tonight’s Tyrone county committee meeting were told that the sponsorship deal, worth six figures a year to Tyrone GAA, will expire at the end of the current Tyrone club championship series.
At the time of the launch, Ray Coyle, CEO of Largo Foods said; “We are delighted to be entering into a partnership with one of the most professional organisations in the country. Our passion for crisps is mirrored in the management and team’s passion for GAA in Tyrone and we look forward to building a great relationship over the next two years.”
Those two years however have saw Tyrone’s standing slip at senior level, particularly this year when Mickey Harte’s side exited the Ulster title race at the quarter-final stage at the hands of Monaghan, before toppling out of the All-Ireland series with a round two qualifier loss to neighbours Armagh, meaning that the jersey sponsor failed to get the sort of levels of national media coverage they might have expected from the arrangement.
The Tyrone senior team’s ongoing boycott of RTE activities also deprived Hunky Dorys of valuable airtime and profile, and certainly would not have helped the county’s cause in securing a third year of the deal.
Tyrone do have a number of other partnership and sponsorship arrangements still in place, including with water company Deep RiverRock and global chicken producer Moy Park, but officials in the Red Hand county will be keen to have a new jersey sponsor in place in advance of the lucrative Christmas market.