Irish Golf on top of the World

McIlroy is Ireland’s first number one golfer

Rory McIlroy held off a late charge by Tiger Woods to win the Honda Classic in Florida last night and so become the first Irishman ever to be ranked as the number one golfer in the world.

This will be a boost to Tourism Ireland who have targeted golf tourism from the UK, US, Germany and Sweden for major campaigns in 2012.  An estimated 155,000 tourists came last year, spending over €200 million in the local economy.

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Rugby in the infirmary

It was a huge first half and a valiant second half but ultimately the Irish rugby team emerged with just a draw from Paris yesterday.  That was better than any result in the Stade de France since 2000 but ultimately means that Ireland’s hopes of winning the Six Nations Championship are now hanging by a thread.

The continuing impact of the original postponement of this game will be felt this week as the bumps and bruises are assessed ahead of the next game against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.

They are favourites for that game at odds of 1.30 with Betfair who produced a very good video after the France ‘freeze’ showing what they claim to be the first rugby match played on ice.  It’s worth a look at the Sport for Business You Tube Channel.

Rugby Chiefs can take comfort

The English Rugby Football Union has signed a major new kit deal with Canterbury replacing Nike as the official supplier, paying up to an estimated €25 million for the initial three year deal.

This is on top of another major commercial deals signed with Glaxo Smithkline Beecham,  and comes despite a poor world cup campaign, the loss of a manager and a disappointing start to the Six Nations tournament.

England’s commercial appeal appears to remain undimmed doubtless helped by the hosting of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

It will be interesting to note over time though whether the departure from Nike, with its global presence across all sports will lead to less general exposure for the sport.

Sponsorship rises to 25% of Bord Gáis Energy marketing budget

A report in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post suggests that while the overall marketing budget for Bord Gáis Energy has been cut by 28% in 2012, the percentage given over to sponsorship has now risen to 25%.

The bulk of this will go towards the newly named Bord Gais Energy theatre but the company is still a major supporter of sport though its association with the Ladies National Football league and the GAA U21 Hurling Championship.

MNS back on screen

Monday Night Soccer returns to RTE tonight with a review of Friday’s opening fixtures in the Airtricity Premier League.  Shamrock Rovers came from behind to win 2-1 at Drogheda United and already sit top of the table.

Hockey warms up well

The Ireland men’s Hockey team warmed up well for next Saturday’s opening of the Olympic Qualifier tournament at Belfield with a 13 goal scoring blitz in two games against the Czech Republic.

Next Thursday’s Sport for Business weekly will feature a preview of the event, as well as a look at the Cheltenham National Hunt Racing Festival that gets under way on March 13th.

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