Ciara Mageean has secured the most lucrative sponsorship deal in the history of Irish junior athletics. Mageean has been snapped up by American sportswear giants New Balance in a six-figure deal which will run for three years, with the option of a fourth.
The agreement will provide the County Down teenager with flights to and from all competitions, warm weather training and all training gear.
The deal ends speculation that the 18-year-old would take up the offer of an NCAA colleges sponsorship deal in the USA.
A standout runner, eighteen year-old Mageean hails from Portaferry, Northern Ireland and is one of the most promising young middle distance athletes in the world.
“I’m very excited to start competing for Team New Balance,” says Ciara Mageean. “I feel that I share many of the same values and philosophies as the New Balance brand and after talking to several Team New Balance athletes, including Jenny Barringer Simpson and Andy Baddeley at November’s NYC marathon, I’m excited to race for a brand that has embraced me like a supportive family.”
Coach Eamonn Christie spoke to Athletics Northern Ireland saying: "I am delighted that such a major sports manufacturer have come on board.This deal is the last piece ofthe jigsaw that will enable Ciara and myself to go to the next level. It is great that the New Balance deal still gives us total control of coaching plans and race plans".
“We are thrilled to have Ciara join Team New Balance,” says John Evans, sports marketing manager at New Balance. “We are always looking for the top domestic and international talent to represent the brand and Ciara’s passion, energy, talent, and dedication to the sport make her a valuable addition to the team.”
In joining Team New Balance, Mageean turned down numerous NCAA college scholarships and other shoe company offers, following a brilliant 2010 season.
This past year Mageean took the silver medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Canada in the 1500m – the only non-African born athlete (male or female) to medal in a distance 1500m or longer in Moncton. In October she finished 10th in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
She is an Irish Junior record holder in the 800m (2:03.07) and 1500m (4:09.51) breaking records previously held by Irish Olympic silver medalist and world champion Sonia O’Sullivan.
While in New York City for the marathon this past November, Mageean visited the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in Washington Heights, NY.
This January 22, 2011 Mageean will make her debut for New Balance in this arena, participating in her first race in a NB uniform, racing the mile at the New Balance Games.
she has also confirmed her attendance at the Irish Indoors in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.
Click Here to watch an Interview with Ciara Mageean on her sponsorship deal!