Irish Sport Social Reach Report – FAI hit 36m Eyeballs, Sheamus promotes Irish Rugby and Basketball Ireland slam dunk engagement

Irish Sport Social Reach Report – FAI hit 36m Eyeballs, Sheamus promotes Irish Rugby and Basketball Ireland slam dunk engagement

Welcome to the 10th Irish Sport Social Media review of 2016, and the 16th since we started.

We’ve come a long way since July 2015 and as we edge nearer to 2017 we are now tracking 18 NGB’s in Ireland.

Irish Rugby has the largest social presence in Irish Sport with 1.25 million followers while Cricket Ireland, with over 600k followers are second. This month we added Gymnastic Ireland and Equestrian Ireland to the mix.

It has been a huge 2016 for Gymnastics in this country with Kieran Behan inspiring a generation.  They have grown substantially across all platforms, and now have a reach of almost 17,000 across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Their Facebook page has grown by 4.5k since January with Twitter doubling in the same period.  Instagram is a new channel since January 2016 and there has been impressive growth here with 2.8k followers.

Their tally means they are just behind the IABA and they are closing in on the top 10; the challenge now is to grow their audience in a non-Olympic year.

Content and continued success should aid their cause and it would appear, as you will see later in the report, the content part is on track as they were the 6th most engaged NGB in October.


Derived from the Latin word Octo, meaning 8, and originally the eighth month of the Roman calendar, October is a month for preparing. The summer work has been completed and winter is around the corner.

From a Sporting perspective, October had that feel to it. The GAA County season came to an end, leading to a time of reflection following a busy 10 months, the buzz over Ireland’s Olympic started to fade and Irish Rugby had Chicago on their minds.

Football never sleeps however with worldwide consumption almost 24/7/365. October for the FAI was not a time for preparation.

This was evident in their social amplification – a collation of likes, shares and retweets, the FAI had more than 100,000 more engagements than their nearest rival, Irish Rugby, hitting over 346,000.

The GAA were third with Go Racing and Horse Sport Ireland, on their debut in the report, making the top 5.


The Irish Basketball season also moved up a gear and this was reflected both in terms of their engagement level and social growth.

Bernard O’Byrne and his team have done a superb job with rejuvenating Basketball and the rewards are now starting to show. They grew the most of any NGB in Ireland with 2.82% growth.

They also had the most engaged post with 10.6% engagement rate for Lorcan Murphy’s reverse dunk.

For Sportego, mentions are the most interesting aspect of twitter. The reach of an organisation, an indication of the eyeballs that were on the sporting brand, shows it’s not just the performance on the field but also the content being created.

The FAI led the way in this regard with the likes of FIFA, Everton and West Ham spreading the message. Influential radio stations like Talksport also helped. Their handle reached over 29.6 million people with Irish Rugby getting 9.16m eyeballs.

Irish Hockey broke into the top four with 24 influencer mentions leading to 162k reach while the cross-sport influence was witnessed for Irish Rugby with WWE superstar Sheamus stepping in as an unofficial social ambassador, spreading the message of Irish Rugby to his 3.48M audience.

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This report is compiled by Sportego. Want to learn more about your social audience, your reach and how you compare to yours peers – get in touch


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