Irish Sport supports up to 40,000 jobs in Ireland and contributes some 2.4% to gross domestic product (“GDP”) each year

The Irish Sport Industry awards winners were announced, by the Federation of Irish Sport, at a ceremony held at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin on 5th November.  The event was hosted by broadcaster Matt Cooper and attended by over 200 guests including Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport,  Paschal Donohoe TD.


The awards are designed to reward excellence in the business of sport as well as showcase both the diversity and impact of Ireland’s sports industry. There is significant potential for the Irish Sports Industry to benefit from the on-going growth in the global sports industry estimated by AT Kearney to be valued between €350 and €450 billion each year and believed to be growing much faster than national GDP rates around the world.


CMC269Winners of the 2015 Irish Sport Industry Awards were drawn from rights holders including the GAA, IRFU, Horse Sport Ireland and Cricket Ireland for initiatives on growing participation in sport, use of social media, innovation in sport with the creation of the show jumping event “Jumping in the City” and the hosting of an international event in Ireland respectively. STATSports, the leading performance analysis and monitoring company who include a number of Premier League clubs amongst their clients and Nutritics a diet analysis company were honoured as the best established and emerging sports business respectively.

Sport England’s ground-breaking and honest “This Girl Can” campaign was also honoured as the Best Global Sports Campaign of the year. The video at the heart of the campaign that was designed to get girls and women moving and active whatever their shape, size or ability has now been viewed by more than 13 million people.

Castleblaney Faughs GAA were confirmed as the sports club of the year for their innovative use of the club’s facilities to engage the wider local community, beyond the traditional Gaelic games players, for the benefit of that wider community and their health and well-being ‘Healthy Club’ initiative in particular.


The Sunday Business Post were acknowledged for excellence in media coverage for their Business of Sport section which has become a weekly feature in the publication over the last 12 months. eir’s support of Special Olympics Ireland was recognised as the best CSR initiative in sport whilst, the National Sports Campus came out on top for the best sports facility.

Speaking about the awards, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Paschal Donohoe TD, said: ‘Sport, as well as being a hobby and passion for so many of us, is now also a wide-reaching global industry encompassing areas as varied as ticketing and memorabilia, to equipment, clothing, broadcast, media, travel and sponsorships. It is fantastic to see this diversity reflected in the inaugural winners of the Irish Sports Industry who I wish to congratulate. The winners are also evidence that Ireland is a place where the business of sport is well placed to develop and thrive and we look forward to working with all involved to ensure that we maximise this opportunity into the future.’


Bernard Brogan, President of the Federation of Irish Sport said; “With such high calibre entries, each of our twelve award categories were keenly fought. We were delighted with the scale and range of the entries in our first year of the awards and we wish to congratulate the winners on the high standards that are being reached by Irish sports businesses in Ireland and around the globe. There have been an increasing number of businesses established around sport in recent years and it is great to be able to acknowledge some of that hard work through these awards. When you see companies such as STATSports who are now a key provider of performance analysis equipment and software to Premier League Clubs and professional franchises across football, hockey and basketball in the United States, you realise that is not just our athletes who can compete on the world stage, there are huge opportunities there for Irish businesses also.”

James Galvin, CEO of the Irish Federation of Sport, said; “In establishing the Sport Industry Awards, the Federation has aimed to showcase the contribution Irish sport makes to the business life of the country. We all know about the joy and fun sport brings to us as a country and to communities right across Ireland, however, the positive impact that partaking in sport has to commercial life in Ireland can be underappreciated. We feel that there are opportunities for Ireland to benefit from the significant growth worldwide of the sports industry, be it around job creation, the positive impact on a community from a club or facility reaching out beyond its traditional audience or indeed, the hosting of an international event and the knock on benefits to small businesses, restaurants and shops. We are very grateful to our sponsors and supporters, without whom this event could not have happened and look forward to building on what we hope has been a very successful first edition.”


The winners were announced and acknowledged at the Smock Alley Theatre in front of Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Mr. Paschal Donohoe T.D., industry peers, media and sport personalities. Guest speakers at the event included Professor of Management Studies at Salford University and Director of the Centre for Sports Business Chris Brady, Corporate and Commercial Sports Lawyer Ian Lynam and award winning Journalist and Author Donald McRae.


About the Awards

The Federation of Irish Sport is the representative body for Ireland’s National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and other voluntary sports organisations. Membership is comprised of more than 100 different sporting organisations. The Federation is a not for profit organisation.

The Judging Panel:

  • Matt Cooper – Presenter of The Last Word, TV3 RWC15 Presenter & Author
  • Pat Gilroy – Country Director, Veoilia Ireland, COO Veoilia Industrial Customers UK
  • Ray Moran – Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director Santry Sports Clinic
  • Niall McGarry – Maximum Media Limited, Founder of
  • Ray Nolan – Software Entrepreneur, Ultimate Rugby App
  • Russell Murphy – Founder & Owner, BSI Entertainment
  • Cliona O’Leary – Deputy Head of Sport RTÉ
  • Rob Hartnett – CEO, Sport for Business
  • Ian Talbot – CEO, Chambers Ireland
  • Barry J Walsh – Wellness & Healthcare Entrepreneur
  • Ian Hyland– CEO, Business and Finance Media Group

2015 Sport Industry Award Winners:

  • Best Global Sports Campaign: #thisgirlcan
  • Best Use of a Social Media: IRFU #shouldertoshoulder
  • Best Mass Participation Event: Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps
  • Best Innovation in Sport: Jumping in the City – Horse Sport Ireland
  • Best International Sports Event: ICC World Twenty 20 Qualifier – Cricket Ireland
  • Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in Sport: eir – Special Olympics Ireland team
  • Best Activation of a Sport Sponsorship: AIG & PSG Sponsorship – Dublin GAA
  • Emerging Sport Business: Nutritics
  • Established Sport Business: STATSports
  • Best Sports Facility: National Sports Campus
  • Best Sports Club: Castleblaney Faughs GFC
  • Excellence in Media Coverage: Business of Sport – Sunday Business Post

Event Sponsors:

Paddy Power, JLT, Leman Solicitors, Supervalu, Lenovo, Wilson Hartnell, Crowne Plaza Blanchardstown, Fáilte Ireland and Custodian.