According to a report in Monday’s Irish Examiner, Galway GAA and Joe Canning could face punishment over the use of a branded towel in the Leinster SHC Final replay between Kilkenny and Galway at Semple Stadium on Sunday.
Canning used a Red Bull branded towel to dry his hurley of sweat during the epic Thurles clash and this is in breach of GAA rules.
The GAA’s Rule 1.18 (g) makes clear that the only sponsorships permitted to be displayed on match-days are those carried on a team’s jerseys and training gear, which in Galway’s case are Supermacs and Papa Johns, as well as kit manufacturers O’Neills.
The GAA brought this rule in 2004 after ‘ambush marketing’ took place when bookmakers’ branding was spotted on hurleys used by players in an All-Ireland Semi-Final in 2003 between Wexford and Cork.
The repercussions for a breach in this rule are a loss of expenses or disqualification from the competition but we can’t imagine the latter being implemented as it would be incredibly harsh and unprecedented and come with inevitable widespread backlash and criticism.
Canning is a brand ambassador for Red Bull. His Galway side now face a break while they will look closely on at this weekend’s All-Ireland quarter-finals to see who they will play in the All-Ireland semi-final in a few week’s time.