Two-part documentary 'The Toughest Trade' highlights the professional standard of amateur players in the AIB GAA Club Championships
AIB (Allied Irish Bank) first partnered with creative agency Rothco in 2015 to produce a one-off TV documentary highlighting the hard work and dedication that amateur GAA players put into the AIB GAA Club Championships. The campaign saw a professional baseball player swap with an amateur hurler, while a professional footballer player traded teams with a Gaelic footballer.
Brian Keating, AIB Group Brands Director, comments: “We’ve long believed that the AIB GAA Club Championships could be the toughest sporting tournament in the world - something we challenge in The Toughest Trade.”
Due to its resounding success, the ‘The Toughest Trade’ returns this March as a two-part series on Ireland’s national TV channel RTÉ2. The new series aims to give audiences a fresh perspective on the comparison between professional sports and the amateur AIB GAA Club Championships. Ashes-winning England cricketer, Steve Harmison, will take the place of Tipperary hurler Brendan Maher, who takes a position in the Adelaide Strikers cricket team. Ex-Miami Dolphin Roberto Wallace joins the Breaffy Gaelic Football GAA Club in place of amateur Aidan O’Shea who’s crossing the Atlantic to play American football.
Account Director at Rothco, Aedamair Cassidy explains why the agency took the branded content approach for Allied Irish Bank:
“We’re constantly looking at new and innovative ways to engage with our clients’ target audience. In this case we are looking to capture the hearts and minds of a broad spectrum of the Irish public. By creating branded content which focuses on a celebration of The Toughest, we aim to immerse an audience that goes beyond just sports fans. The GAA is Ireland’s largest sporting association, central to so many communities around the country. AIB have sponsored them for a number of years and heavily support the community, ideas and values behind the organisation. In the lead up to the club championships AIB wanted to celebrate the toughness and determination of these amateur sports players by pitting them against professionals.”
To orchestrate the swaps between the players, the team at Rothco had to ensure the production was flexible due to the changeable nature of the sporting world.
Aedamair adds: “Everyone who agreed to work with us were very accommodating. The nature of their businesses in the professional sporting arena means that things change on a daily basis, so as a production we needed to be very nimble, changing schedules as we went to ensure we got what we needed to make the series a success.”
Each episode of The Toughest Trade will air on Irish television channel RTÉ2 on Tuesday March 8th 2016 and Tuesday March 15th 2016 at 9.55pm.