Donegal GAA are set to employ a full-time commercial and marketing manager in a bid to boost sponsorship and revenue into the county coffers.
This was confirmed this week by Donegal chairman, Sean Dunnion, following a decision of the Donegal management committee at a meeting on Monday night.
The move to appoint a commercial and marketing manager has been mooted for some time and was part of a financial plan unveiled earlier this year by county treasurer, Cieran Kelly.
“It is something we have been considering for some time and we decided in principle at our meeting on Monday night. We finally approved to bite the bullet on the issue and approve the appointment of a commercial and marketing manager,” the chairman told the Democrat.
The matter will now go forward to the county at their next meeting in June. However, it is anticipated that the county committee will rubber stamp the decision.
“We need to raise substantial funds, both for the day to day running of the association in the county and also the Centre of Excellence in Convoy and other capital projects,” the chairman added.
“It has got to the stage where it is very difficult to get amateur members to raise the kind of funds that are required. It has also become a very competitive market and there are a lot of other voluntary organisations and bodies chasing the funds available.
“It has got so competitive and demanding and for the kind of sums we need to raise it is no longer possible for voluntary officers who have jobs to hold down.”
The position will be full-time and will carry a basic salary plus commission. The role of the person appointed will be to generate income through sponsorship and the organising of major fundraising activities and any other streams of revenue that may arise from time to time.
“We would hope to advertise the position in the next few weeks once we receive the stamp of approval and then fill the position as soon as possible.
“We have a number of fundraising initiatives which we hope to run in the coming months but we will be anxious to get the new person appointed and up and running as soon as possible.
“We need to raise substantial funds and obviously we are looking for someone with experience in the field of sponsorship and fundraising.”
It is believed that Donegal is fast approaching a situation where the county needs in the region of €500,000 per annum alone for the day-to-day running of football and hurling activities.
On top of that it is believed that it is going to cost in the region of another €2 million to complete the development of the Centre of Excellence in Convoy. There is also a major refurbishment work required on the stand at the county’s main ground Sean MacCumhaill Park.
Dublin are the only county so far to appoint a commercial and marketing manager. Former county player Tomas Quinn has held the position in the capital for the last two years.