Gala sponsors Team Ireland

Gala, one of Ireland’s leading convenience groups, has been revealed as official sponsor of the Irish competitors attending this year’s Special Olympics in the US.

In a six figure deal that includes sponsorship rights and a significant activation budget, the sponsorship by Gala will help Irish athletes travel to and compete at the Games.

Gala’s commitment to Team Ireland marks a milestone in the fundraising efforts of Special Olympics Ireland, who required €440,000 to cover the cost of sending an Irish delegation to the World Games taking place in Los Angeles this summer.

Matt English, chief executive of Special Olympics Ireland said: “Without the support of our sponsors, it would be financially impossible to fund 88 Irish athletes’ participation in the World Summer Games in LA.

“This is our first initiative with Gala and we’re thrilled with the partnership, as there’s a natural synergy with local retailers championing their local 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.

Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala said: “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. “

“We’re looking forward to an exciting summer, wishing Team Ireland every success at the Games.”

Alongside the sponsorship, Gala will be running an integrated campaign titled #GalaSpecialMoment in-store, and through Gala’s social media channels.

Team Ireland will join 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 177 countries for the Games, and Irish competitors will be taking part in 12 sports: aquatics; athletics; badminton; basketball; bocce; bowling; equestrian; football (five and eleven-a-side); golf; gymnastics; kayaking; and table tennis.