Each week we will bring you the highlights of the week that was in the commercial world of Irish sport. It’s a big story, with €1.8 billion of value to the Irish economy and a world of opportunity for business large and small.
Highlight of the week was the Irish Sports Tourism Seminar held at the GAA Museum in Croke Park. Representatives from Aer Lingus, the GAA, Carton House, Ulster Bank, Titan Marketing and Harrison Fraser, a leading English brand specialist engaged with a high powered audience drawn from across the business and sporting landscape. The numbers revealed that in Canada sports tourism grew by 8% between 2008 and 2012, at a time when general tourism was in decline.
It’s about more than the big events as well. US Golf tourists spend twice the average tourist amount in Ireland, a sum of €1,800 and there were more than 150,000 that came last year. Read more about ten lessons to emerge from the day, including the creation of a new Irish Sports Tourism Alliance.
The other big stories of the week were the launch of the Sky Academy, with one of its four main hubs being located in Dublin. Sky employs nearly 1,000 people now in Dublin and this is a major CSR initiative to bring opportunity to a million young people between now and 2020. It’s to celebrate Sky’s 25th anniversary.
And of course we now know that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane has taken charge of the Republic of Ireland soccer team. The sense of excitement goes beyond these shores and British media were keen to highlight the box office appeal of the pair. That’s good news for the FAI who also enjoyed a day of great drama at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday as Sligo Rovers beat Drogheda United in an incredible Ford FAI Cup Final.
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