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FAI seeks new main sponsor as Three won’t renew

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is searching for a new main sponsor after telecommunications company Three Mobile decided not to renew its current contract which expires in July 2020.

The brand took up the role in 2010 and signed a five year, €8.9m ($9.9m) renewal in 2015.

This will not be extended as Three is shifting its sponsorship strategy away from the world of sport. Three’s chief commercial officer Elain Carey, said: “Having recently reviewed our full sponsorship portfolio, we have decided to consolidate our sponsorship investment in the area of music.”

The decision leaves the FAI searching for a placement, with Irish betting brand Paddy Power – no stranger to publicity – having already expressed its interest in filling the role.

During its sponsorship, Three has been granted branding across the Republic of Ireland football team’s match and training kits, as well as at the Aviva stadium where it plays its homes matches.

The pair’s association will end after the Uefa Euro 2020 tournament. The team aims to qualify for the tournament through the Euro play-offs in March.

The news comes at an uncertain time for the FAI, after it emerged that former chief executive John Delaney had loaned the organisation €100,000. Shane Ross, the Irish minister for transport, tourism and sport, recently told RTÉ Sport of the need for “real regime change” and government funding to the association has been frozen amidst the concerns.