Score for Tourism - College Football Game Set to Attract 10,000 American Visitors

03 Jan 2012

Up to 10,000 American football fans are set to descend on Dublin in autumn 2012, for the annual clash between college teams Notre Dame and Navy. The teams will play their 2012 contest on 1 September at the Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road. With huge exposure through the media in the US, this high profile game provides Tourism Ireland with a fantastic opportunity to highlight Dublin and the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events.

The second half of December is always prime viewing time for football fans around the US and Tourism Ireland has put a promotional campaign in place, to capitalise on the huge interest around the US in this college football game and to ensure as many fans as possible travel here for the game. A specially produced ad – highlighting a wide range of things to see and do around the island of Ireland, in addition to promoting the Dublin game – is running now on NBC television during NFL (National Football League) games in New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. The ad will also air during the end-of-year coverage of PGA golf tournaments. 

Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland chief executive, said: “Sports-related tourism has emerged as a very significant element of the global travel business in recent years and this college football game is another wonderful opportunity to highlight Ireland. There’s a great history and tradition in the rivalry between these two high profile teams, Notre Dame and Navy, so the game is sure to attract a large number of fans who want to come here to experience the game live. A large media contingent also travels with these teams, so we expect the game to attract huge positive publicity in the US, providing Tourism Ireland with a great ‘hook’ to showcase Dublin and Ireland and helping us to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers across the US.”

In 1996, when the first overseas game between these two teams took place in Dublin, an estimated 10,000 fans travelled here from the US. Tourism Ireland in New York is hoping that the same numbers – or more – will travel here again in autumn 2012. TV ads aired this autumn on NBC Sports, during six Notre Dame games from mid-September to mid-November in the New York, Boston and Chicago areas. Online ads also featured on the TV station’s website. And Tourism Ireland has undertaken promotions with Anthony Travel (the travel agent for both colleges) to capitalise on the tourism potential of the game. These promotions have targeted the large Notre Dame and Navy alumni associations, as well as the teams’ families, friends and fanbases through radio, print and online ads as well as social media activity.


For further press information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027 

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• By the end of 2011, almost 7.4 million overseas visitors will have come to the island of Ireland (+7% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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