An investigation into the marketing of the GAA focusing specifically on an underage programme, the VHI Cúl Camps
This study is concerned with the marketing o f the Gaelic Athletic Association focusing specifically on an underage programme the Cul Camps. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is an amateur sporting organisation that was founded in 1884 by Michael Cusack and Maurice Davin in order to preserve and cultivate the national games. It is the largest sporting organisation in Ireland with membership exceeding 800,000 at home and abroad. It is a powerful organisation with an important social and cultural influence in Irish life. The VHL/GAA Cul Camps were established in 2006 because members of the GAA felt other camps were better marketed. They felt they could set up a brand that could be used in all 32 counties and could be marketed more effectively. The GAA teamed up with VHI to promote healthy living at a community based level and also to increase the number of young children participating in sport. Now in its third year it is estimated that there will be in the region of 81,000 participants this year and due to this demand 1,000 camps will be available around the country. The study examined the marketing o f an underage programme namely the Cul Camps and how marketing has helped the GAA. The study also examined if marketing fits into the amateur ethos of the GAA and identified if the Irish Sports Council (ISC) / Government play a significant role in the marketing and development of underage programmes within the GAA. The research methodologies used to undertake the research include telephone questionnaires with Coordinators, Coaches and Ambassadors involved in the running of the Cul Camps. Overall the conclusion was mixed. It is believed that marketing has helped the GAA greatly over the last number of years. The Cul camps appear to be marketing effectively but more marketing needs to be done in order for them to gain competitive advantage. One important conclusion that the researcher found was that many individuals felt the Irish Sports Council / Government do not play a significant role in the marketing of underage programmes within the GAA. From the extensive Primary and Secondary research conducted the dissertation concludes by offering recommendations to assist the GAA in further development. It also concludes by stating that more research should be done on the marketing of the GAA and its successful underage programmes.
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