Irish Sporting Bodies Social Media Report

Irish Sporting Bodies Social Media Report
4, May 2017 Donnacha Brennan

This month’s social media report comes hot on the heels of our increasingly popular Fan Engagement (Feckk) conference in Kilkenny. Attendees were treated to a huge day of fan engagement and sports marketing talk with the FAI picking up an award for best fan engagement.

One of the most interesting aspects to emerge from the conference was the calls to have the word digital dropped from digital marketing. It is an increasing trend and one that makes sense – marketing is marketing with digital a strategy within that. Social then is another segment within the digital world.


The Sportego social reach report focuses solely on the social media efforts of Irish sporting bodies. It is designed to highlight all the good work being done behind the scenes.

Sponsors rightly win awards for their activation’s however a lot of exciting and excellent work is being done by marketing teams around the country.

March was another spectacular month for Irish sport with Irish Hockey and Paralympic Ireland achieving success, Gymnastic Ireland making their maiden appearance at the new National Indoor arena and Irish basketball star Edel Thornton making her way to ‘March Madness’.

That success was celebrated on social media. Looking at the overall landscape, twitter proved to the most popular platform for content with on average 7.97 pieces per day versus 0.41 per day on Instagram.

Despite the low tally on Instagram, the average landscape engagement rate of 2.26% was 83 times more than Twitter’s 0.027%.

The simple message for Irish sporting bodies, repeated monthly is that if you want engagement use video and photos. Across the landscape the two mediums achieved engagement of 0.29%, 18 times more than status updates (0.16%)

When it came to the most engaging posts by engagement rate, the FAI, Paralympic Ireland and Irish Hockey top the bill.

The FAI’s Instagram message of support to skipper Seamus Coleman following his horrific leg break against Wales touched the hearts of 11.9k people for a total engagement rate of 18.6%.

Success for the Para-swimming team in Denmark meant 13.2% engagement rate for Paralympic Ireland while the Irish men’s hockey team achievement in winning the World League title also achieved 13.2% engagement rate.

Looking at the overall total engagement, then the back of Simon Zebo combined with the determined face of Johnny Sexton proved to be huge for Irish Rugby with a total of 15.6k engagements; 5k more than rivals. The total engagement rate of 8.5% an indication of their Instagram audience size.

Growth wise, FA Ireland, Go Racing, Gymnastic Ireland and Basketball Ireland all grew their social audiences in excess of 2% although they have some way to go to catch the top 2, who between them have an audience of 2 Million.

One way to grow your audience is through amplification. Shares and Retweets bring your social brand to new audiences; of course you need the content for this.

Irish Rugby, the GAA, FAI and Athletic Ireland led the way in March. Barry Cunningham and his team produced 545 pieces social posts leading to 33.7k amplification while nearly 50 pieces less, the FAI topped the amplification charts with 38k.

This month for the first time we show the total eyeballs each of the sporting bodies achieved on twitter. Eyeballs or shop windows are just that, people passing your brand.

Irish Rugby topped the charts with 70M with Sailing achieving 5.38k.

This report is produced by Sportego. Note: There is no API for Instagram Stories at present (not sure if there ever will be one due to the short term nature of that particular element).

We have added a new tool to our offering ensuring you get real-time insights into your promoted posts on Facebook. We can also analyse your ticket holders, merchandise and email databases to segment your customers and tailor communications. Clubs and bodies looking for a more in-depth analaysis, talk to us.


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