Eamonn Gormley, a fellow whom I’ve thanked numerous times for his amazing “Fastest Game on Grass” video, has just completed a new book on the gaelic games, where he offers a plan to push hurling and gaelic football into the global mainstream — and that, of course, means bringing it to America as well.
Titled “Waiting to Launch: The Untapped Global Potential of Gaelic Games,” the book was published as an 185-page e-book late in February 2014 and already has several five-star reviews on Amazon.
Gormley, who hails from Lurgan in County Armagh, came to the U.S. to work in Silicon Valley and soon became one of the North American County Board’s key people — serving as the national public relations officer and serving as the Western division chair. He also starting up a national collegiate league and served as its chair.
With those experiences, he saw how quickly Americans took to the sports and he began to wonder why the GAA failed to bring their sports to an international audience.
“Two things need to happen first,” Gormley said in an chat interview. “One is to get a national governing body established and to stop this silly partition between New York and the rest of the country. The other is to get the games onto mainstream cable networks at peak viewing time in an edited highlights show with American presenters and American production designed to appeal to first-time viewers.”
Gormley said that bringing GAA competition to a U.S. cable network would only cost about $5 million, and he expects the GAA could throw in $1 million. From there, he believes corporate sponsors could put together the rest. “Entirely achievable,” he said.
Gormley isn’t fooling himself though. He agrees that getting them on TV would just be a step to a larger goal. “(It) would raise their profile out of obscurity and while it may not put them on a par with soccer, it would at least put them in the same league as lacrosse or rugby,” he said. “If we could make them Olympic sports that would be ideal, but that’s a medium to long term project.”
He talks even more about the book in an interview with the Irish Examiner.
Here at Hurley to Rise, I also wrote a series of posts on what the GAA needs to do to introduce the gaelic games to a greater American audience. Check out the stories here:
- Part 1: The Football Nation (Understand that football — American football — is huge, and work around it)
- Part 2: Think UFC (Create a story behind the game, and then people will love the game)
- Part 3: Tap the Catholics (Use the Roman Catholic infrastructure to introduce the sport)
- Part 4: Embrace the new media (Develop technology with a GAA theme)
- Part 5: Steal the Wienermobile (Put the GAA on a tour)
- Part 6: Poc Fada fundraisers (How to get anyone & everyone to contribute to a club)
Between you and me, I’m stoked to read Gormley’s book. My series was just hitting on some ideas I had on my own. Gormley, on the other hand, has been in the trenches with the organization and dealt with its politics. Without a doubt, he’s got a better grasp on the GAA, its failings and potential. Don’t pass up a chance to read “Waiting to Launch.”
Have you read the book yet? Got any ideas for a GAA American initiative? If you do, leave a comment below.Read More