Firstly, we want to say that we think that O'Neills are a fantastic company. They make great quality products and implement brilliant design across a whole range of products. If you were comparing them to an actual GAA team, you would have to say that they are Kerry or Kilkenny, thats how dominant they are.
In fact, they are that dominant, that most clubs think that O'Neills are actually doing them a favour by allowing them to buy from them...you wouldn't want to upset O'Neills is often the mantra at club meetings. How do you get that mindset across so many clubs...It is like a magic spell...and we want to know how they do it...
According to ONeills Website, "O’Neills was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic Footballs and it is now the largest Sportswear manufacturing Company in Ireland. We are a 100% Irish owned Company, proud of our Irish heritage, employing over 560 people in Ireland. We have extensive manufacturing plants in Strabane, Co. Tyrone and in Walkinstown Avenue, Dublin"
So they have a great tradition, and employing 560 People is definitely something to be very proud of.. In fact, we should all support them on this basis alone, and stop trying to compete.
But there is something inside of all of us that wants to compete with the big boys. Thats why Clare win the odd All Ireland, or Donegal... they just find a way.
So who is trying to challenge O'Neills at present....
Auzzuri - After a shaky few years, they seem to be back on track with some well designed gear
Masita - getting better all the time
Kukri - Will find it difficult to gain market share even though their products are top class. Still seem to be focused on Rugby
thegaastore - Excellent range of products, seem to be focusing on teamwear through major brands such as adidas, Nike, etc
PFS - Leading glove supplier, has recently moved into supplying other products with great success
KCSports - Small Local Supplier with good products at good prices
IntoSport - Small Local Company supplying internationally
While all of the companies listed above are doing an excellent job, O'Neills still have a monopoly, and we do not use that word lightly.
In order to compete, one must use different strategy and tactics...and embrace a challenger position, not go toe to toe.
At GaelicPerformance, we are not trying to compete with O'Neills, but we have an eye on them. It may take us 5,10, 15 or even 20 years for them to even notice us, but during that time we will continue to innovate and try to "eat the big fish". We do not have their resources or brand recognition, but we have a real passion for Gaelic Games, innovation, and performance. We have always been focused on Performance from day 1, and while we have sometimes lost sight of this due to different pressures, our focus is now firmly back where it should be... we will be trying to do things that others wouldn't even think about doing.
Our current list of "wearable" products specifically for GAA include Gloves, BaseLayers, MouthGuards, and Teamwear.
So how will we compete, how will we differentiate ourselves.
Firstly we are supplying damn good products. This has to be the starting point of our business. All of our products are either developed by us, or by a company who share the same principles as us.
Secondly, we are building long lasting relationship with clubs. We now offer a Club membership to our sister site, www.
So, Unless some Venture Capitalist is willing to give us €1,000,000 plus, we have to crawl, then walk, then run, and then play with the big boys. So as we look on with envy, we will say " some day we are going to be like ONeills" and not " some day we are going to get O'Neills"
P.S. When the Official Match ball is referred to as an O'Neills, is this a case of a Generic TradeMark?