Northern Ireland is in the spotlight at this week’s Tour of Britain cycling race – as part of Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of promotions overseas in the run-up to the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza (or ‘Big Start’) in Northern Ireland, in May 2014.
Given that The Tour of Britain is GB’s biggest professional cycling race and the largest free-to-spectate live sporting event, it is the perfect platform for Tourism Ireland to highlight Northern Ireland, and next year’s ‘Big Start’ here, to cycling enthusiasts across Great Britain.
In addition to highly visible advertising at key locations around London this weekend and footage of cycling here on the official race website, Tourism Ireland has arranged for RampRage, a Belfast stunt bike team, to take part in the festivities as The Tour of Britain finishes in London this Sunday (22 September) – to highlight Northern Ireland’s involvement with Giro d’Italia 2014. The RampRage team will be in action at Spitalfields market – targeting the estimated 40,000 people who visit the market each Sunday.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “It is a wonderful coup for Northern Ireland that the first stages of the Giro d’Italia will take place here in 2014. There is huge interest in this prestigious event, which will be seen by an estimated 775 million sports and cycling fans everywhere, presenting us with a fantastic opportunity to highlight Northern Ireland in GB, and elsewhere around the world, as a top location for sporting events, as well as a wonderful holiday destination.
“Tourism Ireland is working hard to capitalise on the tourism potential of the famous Giro d’Italia and this week’s Tour of Britain provides us with a wonderful platform to kick-start our promotions of the ‘Grande Partenza’ in Northern Ireland next year. We believe that the event – second only to the Tour de France in terms of prestige – will help raise the profile of Northern Ireland.
“Great Britain is Northern Ireland’s largest market and Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of activity under way this autumn – highlighting not only world-class events such as the Giro d’Italia and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013, but also the huge variety of things to do and see across Northern Ireland which appeal to holidaymakers across the world.”
Belfast Freestyle BMX ‘demon’ Joel Harper getting in some final practice at T13 Belfast, ahead of performing at the finish of this year’s Tour of Britain in London. Pictured with Joel is RampRage Tour Manager Joey Lynch, and crew member Fred Arseworth, who are part of the team travelling to London to join Tourism Ireland this weekend in promoting the Giro d’Italia’s Grande Partenza in Northern Ireland, in May 2014.
Further media information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 07766 527719
Notes to Editors:
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of promotional activity to highlight Northern Ireland, and the staging of next year’s Grande Partenza, at this week’s Tour of Britain includes:
Video footage on the media player of the official Tour of Britain website
Almost one million viewers visit this website – which features live coverage and highlights of the race each day – during the week of The Tour of Britain. Tourism Ireland’s ten-second ad – with footage of cycling around the island of Ireland – is running on the site this week. Visitors to the tour site can also click through to a specially-created page on Tourism Ireland’s website, ireland.com, which features a fantastic competition to win a trip to Belfast and a chance to find out more about the Giro’s ‘Big Start’ in Northern Ireland. Ads will also appear on the “leaderboard” section of the tour website this weekend.
RampRage Publicity Stunt in Spitalfields Market
Tourism Ireland has arranged for RampRage, the extreme sport bicycle team from Belfast, to perform at Spitalfields market this Sunday (22 September), to coincide with the final of The Tour of Britain – targeting the estimated 40,000 people who visit the market each Sunday. With a live DJ to attract people’s attention, the eye-catching event at the entrance to the market will involve ramps measuring up to 12 feet tall, as well as performance jumps reaching an additional six feet!
Bike Simulator event at Waterloo
Tourism Ireland will set up a bike simulator experience outside Waterloo Station in London on the final day of the race (Sunday, 22 September) – encouraging Londoners to win a cycling-related prize and find out more about next year’s ‘Big Start’.
London Tube Station Promotions
23,000 leaflets highlighting next year’s Grande Partenza will be distributed this weekend at busy tube stations around central London (where the face finishes on Sunday), including at stations like Waterloo, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Tower Hill and Westminster.
Banners at key locations in London
Attractive, highly visible banners highlighting the ‘Big Start’ will appear at key locations around London this weekend.
Social Media Promotions
Social media will also be used by Tourism Ireland as The Tour of Britain concludes this weekend – with lots of posts and mentions about next year’s Grande Partenza on the organisation’s Facebook page (more than 268,000 fans) and Twitter stream (about 14,500 followers).