Gala sponsors Irelands Special Olympics team

July 2nd, 2015 12:25 PM

By Southern Star Team

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IRISH retail giant Gala is to sponsor Team Ireland in the upcoming Special Olympics. Special Olympics Ireland require €440,000 to cover the cost of sending an Irish delegation to the World Games in LA.

At the Munster launch of the sponsorship, Pat O’Sullivan, a director of Cork-based cash and carry M&P O Sullivan and Gala Retail services said M&P O’Sullivan Ltd were proud to be part of Gala’s sponsorship of Team Ireland, and wished all the Munster athletes the very best of luck.

In a six-figure deal, that includes sponsorship rights and a significant activation budget, Gala’s major sponsorship will help Irish athletes travel to and compete at July’s World Summer Games in LA.

Consisting of 88 Special Olympics athletes, Team Ireland will be supported by a 40-strong management team, 200 Irish volunteers, as well as hundreds of family members and supporters who will cheer the athletes on in LA.

Pat O’Sullivan, who is joining the team in July, said: ‘Being in a position to assist these athletes in achieving their dreams and experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is something that everyone at M&P O’Sullivan and Gala is committed to and we’re looking forward to an exciting summer.’

Matt English of Special Olympics Ireland said it would be financially impossible to fund 88 Irish athletes’ participation in the games without such sponsorship. ‘This is our first initiative with Gala and we’re thrilled with the partnership, as there’s a natural synergy with local retailers championing local athletes.’

Commenting on why Gala chose to support Special Olympics Ireland in 2015, Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala added: ‘We are an Irish Retail Group, and our stores and their communities are central to our success. Special Olympics is an outstanding organisation that has supported thousands of athletes in our stores’ communities over the years, and the Gala Group wanted to collectively help the athletes from Team Ireland create special moments in Los Angeles.

From 23rd July – August 2nd, exclusive updates from the Games will be delivered via Gala’s social media channels as part of the convenience group’s #GalaSpecialMoment campaign and Gala shoppers will also be encouraged to share their #GalaSpecialMoment online.

All Gala stores will be decked out to cheer on Team Ireland at the end of July and additional activity is planned to include a local radio campaign, TV & radio promotions for trips to LA and an exciting in-store promotion for shoppers to enjoy ‘special moments’.

Team Ireland will join 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 177 countries for the Games. Team Ireland will compete in 12 sports – aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, equestrian, football (5 & 11-a-side), golf, gymnastics, kayaking and table tennis.

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