Following on from the success of the exploits of Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara on their road to Croke Park in 2017, AIB has returned with a new eight-part series which will see Harry Redknapp and Gianluca Vialli pitched against each other as they take charge of two bitter rivals Erin’s Isle from Finglas and Castlehaven in Cork.
Last year 10m viewers tuned in to watch Jeff and Kammy and this year the new series promises to be even more compelling as AIB pushes the boat out with two big names to support its GAA sponsorship programme.
The series was created by Rothco, now part of Accenture Interactive, and will see Vialli, who won Serie A and the Champions League with Juventus and later managed Chelsea Football Club, take the reins of Erin’s Isle of Finglas. Redknapp, former Tottenham, West Ham and Portsmouth manager, has agreed to take hold of West Cork side Castlehaven. Both managers begin their journey with little to no knowledge of the GAA but have been tasked with getting their respective teams match-fit for a rematch of an infamous All-Ireland club semi-final from 1998.
“To build on last year’s series we wanted to up the intensity. We decided to bring two professional, expert managers who have had a light-hearted rivalry and see what would happen when we immerse them in this world of deep-rooted rivalry. In our sports landscape, GAA is a challenger brand, dwarfed by global giants. Rather than be ashamed of its stature, GAA fans are never prouder than when the sport is pitted against its global competitors. This concept has been at the heart of AIB’s sponsorship since the beginning and we have worked together to create something aimed at sports fans, in general, as opposed to GAA fans,” says Alan Kelly, executive creative director of Rothco.
The first episode of the Toughest Rivalry will run online and on social media from today, Friday 13th July and, each week, the series will be supported by behind the scenes social content.