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Capitalising on a Summer of Sport

As the Irish Open and Euro 2012 approach, there is a really good opportunity for us to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a fun holiday destination to millions of sports fans across the world.

These two great sporting events, along with the Olympics (our campaign details announced yesterday), provide an invaluable platform for us to deliver the message that Ireland is a great place and that there has never been a better time to visit.  These promotions are just a small part of our overall first half marketing drive around the world to deliver growth in visitor numbers in 2012.

Below are some of the highlights of both promotions.

Niall Gibbons

Chief Executive


Score For Tourism!
Capitalising on a Summer of Sport!

With millions of people around Europe and the rest of the world set to tune into Euro 2012 and the Irish Open, Tourism Ireland is making the most of this great summer of sport.  We’re highlighting the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination and as a great location for sporting events.

Euro 2012
Tourism Ireland is capitalising on the tourism potential of Euro 2012, particularly in Italy and Spain – two important markets for tourism and opponents of the Irish squad in Group C.

• “Big green wave” for Irish tourism: a joint promotion with Ryanair will see 2,000 giant green hands distributed to Irish supporters flying to Poland this weekend, encouraging them to give a “big green wave” for tourism during the games.

green hands banner

• In Spain, Tourism Ireland is leveraging the national devotion to football and the massive media coverage there around the Ireland v Spain game on 14 June.  Radio ads will air on stations in Madrid and Barcelona next week, and during the match itself, urging Spanish football fans to come to Ireland to experience true sporting passion – through our Gaelic games.
• Advertising will be seen by about 665,000 football fans – or potential Spanish holidaymakers – in top sporting newspapers Marca and As and on major sports websites like, and

spanish ad banner

• And a further 800,000 Spaniards will be targeted through email, with messages about Ireland and the chance to win some Euro 2012 souvenirs.
• In Italy, in the Tuscan town of Montecatini where Giovanni Trapattoni and Ireland’s Euro 2012 squad made their final preparations for Poland, the town was turned green by Tourism Ireland.  A quirky “green windows” promotion ran in the local newspaper, encouraging shops and businesses there to compete for the best green windows in town!  And Trap himself even dropped by to present the lucky winner with her prize!  

montecatini and green windows

• In Poland, Tourism Ireland is targeting the Euro 2012 fans converging from across Europe, with “Jump into Ireland” ads running on the big screen during “Ireland Day” in the official fan zone in PoznaƄ.  Posters, banners and brochures will also help highlight Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination.

Irish Open
Tourism Ireland has undertaken a busy programme of activity this spring to highlight the Irish Open at Royal Portrush and the world-class golf on offer here.

• Last week, iconic BBC golf commentator Peter Alliss was in Northern Ireland to capture footage of some of our iconic golf courses – including Royal Portrush, Royal County Down, Holywood and Dungannon.  This footage will be distributed to TV networks in two of our key golf markets, GB and the US, in the run-up to and during the Irish Open.

peter allis

• In the US, TV ads featuring footage of Rory McIlroy are running during June on the Golf Channel, in the run-up to the US Open which takes place at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.  These ads will be seen by millions of American golfers, as Rory returns to defend his US Open title.
• In GB, a series of ads and advertorials highlighting the Irish Open, Royal Portrush and our top golfers appeared in newspapers such The Times, The Independent, the Guardian, The Telegraph and The Herald (Scotland) this spring, reaching an estimated 9.6 million readers.


• Also in GB, 1.75 million packs of celebrity chef Paul Rankin’s bread featured a competition to win a trip to the Irish Open at Royal Portrush; these packs were distributed through Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose supermarkets.

paul rankin

• Key golf and lifestyle journalists – from markets like GB, the US, Germany, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Spain – have been invited to attend the Irish Open and then to stay on to experience some of what Northern Ireland has to offer.
• Promotional activity has also included a presence at golf tournaments like the US Masters at Augusta, Golf Live at the London Golf Club in Kent and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. 




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