The Ladies Gaelic Football Association have revealed that they were behind the controversial 'Ladyball' internet campaign, which had twitter ablaze and drew international media focus over the last few days.
The campaign, which claimed to be in support of the launch of a new pink ball aimed at women that was "specifically designed for a lady's game" drew criticism for the way in which it appeared to make light of women in sport.
Among the Ladyball's supposed features were a "soft touch - for a woman's grip" and a "fashion driven design."
Former Dublin men's GAA star Ger Brennan played the role of a product spokesman ahead of the supposed launch of the ball but the LGFA have confirmed that they, in conjunction with Lidl are responsible for the campaign.
The campaign is part of a sponsorship deal between the LGFA and Lidl and they will next week announce details of a partnership which will see the brand become the Official Retail Partner to the LGFA and the title sponsors of the Ladies National Football League, as well as grassroots activity.
In a statement, the LGFA confirmed: "Lidl and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) will next week announce details of a partnership which will see the brand become the Official Retail Partner to the LGFA and the title sponsors of the Lidl Ladies National Football League, as well as grassroots activity.
"The fabricated product and associated 360 degree marketing campaign was designed by Lidl, with the support of the LGFA, to put the spotlight on women in sport in Ireland and raise awareness of the difficulties female sports persons have in getting the same recognition as their male counterparts."
Speaking about “Ladyball” and the sponsorship agreement LGFA president Marie Hickey said: "I am delighted to announce the partnership between Lidl and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. This is a very significant announcement for our sport and one that will see a huge investment in the game from a major brand.
"Through the “Ladyball” initiative Lidl has demonstrated their innovative and dedicated approach to supporting our sport. We hope to see everyone who spoke so passionately in women’s defence in this debate, channel that same energy into pitchside support during the coming season."
Don't break a nail, break boundaries with #Ladyball pic.twitter.com/Ixpmn4Bky1— Lady Ball (@theladyball_com) January 13, 2016