Irish Sport on Social Media – January 2020

In January 2020, the 29 organisations analysed as part of the monthly Sport for Business / Olytico analysis, all members of Sport for Business, published over 7,100 social media posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, an increase of 32% on December 2019.

In addition, the 7,195 posts analysed generated over 1.8 million engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments, and retweets.

Instagram continues to be the main driver of engagement, with over 1.3 million likes and comments generated – representing 72% of the total engagement across all three platforms, a 1% increase on December.

January marked a return to dominance for Irish Rugby, and there was no doubting the moment that resonated most with fans. The announcement of Johnny Sexton as captain was the most engaged with content across all three networks.

Elsewhere, the FAI continued to generate strong engagement on Twitter, while Basketball Ireland returned to their position as most active on the network.

In the infographics below, we have ranked each of the organisations across a range of metrics on each network, including the most active, the most engaged, and the most engaging content.

It’s important to note that this analysis is based on publicly available data. It doesn’t include any analysis or insight on paid or promoted content.

 January 2020 Highlights on Twitter

For the third month running, the FAI generated the highest engagement per post on Twitter.

Their most popular post in January was the announcement of Niall Quinn’s appointment as FAI Interim Deputy CEO.

Irish Rugby and the four provincial teams made up five of the next six spots in the engagement rankings on Twitter, as another busy month of Guinness PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup action provided them with plenty of engaging content.

Cricket Ireland’s success on the pitch was reflected off it, no more so than when they beat the West Indies. Two tweets in two minutes following that win generated over 6,000 engagements in the form of likes and retweets.

It wasn’t just quality from Cricket Ireland – they also increased the quantity of content they published on Twitter, moving into third sport behind the GAA in second place (thanks to the Allianz Leagues and AIB Club Championships), with Basketball Ireland setting a very high bar of 949 tweets in the month as the Super League continued and the Hula Hoops National Cups were played at the National Basketball Arena.


January 2020 Highlights on Facebook

Irish Rugby returned to top spot in the engagement per post rankings in January, with Ulster Rugby slipping into second place.

Their 81 posts generated over 57,000 engagements – including the most engaged with post of the month – the announcement of Johnny Sexton as captain generating almost 9,000 reactions, shares and comments.

The FAI occupied third spot – albeit the engagement generated was not universally positive, with plenty of comments posted in relation to the finances and governance of the organisation. However, the success of the U-17 and U-16 teams helped to maintain a strong level of positivity towards their content.

The GAA were once again the most active organisation on Facebook in January, with Basketball Ireland and Leinster Rugby completing the Top 3.

Of note was the performance of Paralympics Ireland, whose 10 posts generated an average of 159 engagements, placing them in 7th position and indicating an appetite from their fans and followers for more content in the coming months. They were helped by the success of Katie Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal who won Silver at the World Para Track Championships in Canada.

January 2020 Highlights on Instagram

As they did on Facebook, it was a return to the top in terms of engagement per post for Irish Rugby on Instagram in January.

They also completed the clean sweep of most engaged with post across all three networks, with the announcement of Sexton as captain once again driving the highest level of engagement: over 36,000 likes and comments.

The FAI and GAA ranked second and third and the four Irish provincial rugby teams once again followed them. They were followed by Cricket Ireland, and one post in particular contributed to their ranking.

A video of a wicket taken by Simi Singh in the ODI was watched over 82,000 times on the Cricket Ireland Instagram account, as well as generating over 4,600 likes and comments.

If you would like to be part of the Sport for Business community and be added to the list, email us today and let’s see what is possible.

If you would like a more detailed analysis of your social media activity, contact

Sport for Business, Olytico and Twitter hosted the best part of 150 professionals from across the Sport for Business network in October 2019 at our first Irish Sport on Social Media Conference.  The feedback was great and we are certainly looking at making this into an annual event.  

Image Credit: Sport for Business

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