The Ladies Gaelic Football Association and budget supermarket giant Lidl have revealed that they were behind the controversial Ladyball media campaign that went viral last week
In accordance with a new sponsorship deal the LGFA said that their new sponsor were behind the social media advertisement to promote the new partnership.
The Ladyball campaign, which falsely endorsed the launch of a new pink ball aimed at women that was ‘specifically designed for a lady’s game’ drew criticism for the way it depicted females in sport.
Among the slogans were a “soft touch – for a woman’s grip” on the pink football, as well as ‘play like a lady’ or ‘don’t break a nail, break boundaries’.
The supermarket used former Dublin men GAA star Ger Brennan as the product spokesman. As a strong advocoate of the ladies game, he said he didn’t hesitate to get involved after he found out what the two parties were trying to achieve.
And with many sports fans taking to social media to debate the viral photo, video and social media campaign, on Friday the LGFA confirmed that they, in conjunction with Lidl were behind the campaign.
At time of going to press the YoutTube video to support the campaign had 467 ‘thumbs-down’ in dislike, compared to only 39 ‘likes’.
Comments have since been disabled on the video. The LGFA said it hoped that those who spoke out so strongly in defence of sportswomen during the debate will come out to support the game in the coming seasons. It is part of a sponsorship deal, which will see further announcements this week, as Lidl becomes the Official Retail Partner to the LGFA and title sponsors of the Ladies National Football League.
In a statement, the LGFA said: “Lidl and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) will next week announce details of a partnership which will see the brand become the Official Retail Partner to the LGFA and the title sponsors of the Lidl Ladies National Football League, as well as grassroots activity.
“The fabricated product and associated 360 degree marketing campaign was designed by Lidl, with the support of the LGFA, to put the spotlight on women in sport in Ireland and raise awareness of the difficulties female sports persons have in getting the same recognition as their male counterparts.”
Watch the advertisement here:
LGFA president Marie Hickey said: “I am delighted to announce the partnership between Lidl and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. This is a very significant announcement for our sport and one that will see a huge investment in the game from a major brand.
“Through the “Ladyball” initiative Lidl has demonstrated their innovative and dedicated approach to supporting our sport.
“We hope to see everyone who spoke so passionately in women’s defence in this debate, channel that same energy into pitchside support during the coming season.”
Speaking on behalf of Lidl Ireland, Managing Director John Paul Scally says ‘We are delighted that our first ever sports sponsorship is with an organisation that shows so much ambition and promise for the future.
“The nature of our business means we are rooted in communities all over Ireland and this partnership will allow us to further engage with communities, clubs, schools and county teams and offer support through various initiatives and programmes over the coming three years.
“We look forward to revealing further details of this landmark partnership for Irish women’s sport on Thursday.’