Judges Unveiled for Irish Sport Industry Awards

We are pleased to reveal this morning a very strong panel of judges for the 2020 Irish Sport Industry Awards.

The Awards are run by the Federation of Irish Sport and supported by Marsh Insurance. This will be the fifth year in which they have been awarded and they have become among the most prestigious in the world of sport.

The judging panel will be chaired by Rob Hartnett, Founder of Sport for Business and he will be joined around the table by Roddy Guiney, Chair of the Federation of Irish Sport, Maeve Buckley of Leading Sport Agency, Ciaran Whelan from Marsh insurance, Ger Gilroy from Off The Ball, Sarah O’Shea from SOS Consulting, Patrick Haslett from One Zero, Carol Andrews from BNY Mellon, Sarah O’Connor from WHPR, Niamh Daffy from Cara and Cliona O’Leary from RTÉ.

The media award will be judged by the Association of Sports Journalists Ireland and a subgroup comprising Kelli O’Keeffe from Teneo Ireland, Ryan Bailey from the IRFU and Oisin Langan from WHPR.

The awards focus on the invaluable relationship between business and sport in Ireland.

The Sports industry in Ireland supports 40,000 jobs, stimulates €2.4 billion in household spending and generates €1 billion in tourism receipts each year.

The awards recognize and reward excellence in the business of sport, while simultaneously highlighting the contribution of sport to Ireland Inc.

“The Awards were set up to highlight the overall impact sport has on the economy from a variety of sources including sports businesses, sporting equipment, the construction of facilities, jobs, marketing spends, tourism and so on,” said Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor.

“They recognise the value that sport adds to the Irish economy while also acknowledging the work done by those National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships who deliver on the continued investment from business. I would encourage everyone involved in sport to submit an entry to the variety of open categories available.”

“We are also delighted to have both Rob Hartnett of Sport for Business and Marsh Insurance on board to support the awards this year. “

“Marsh, who are partners of the Federation, are a perfect example of a business supporting the sport and physical activity sector in Ireland.

“While Rob Hartnett’s Sport for Business is a former category winner at the awards and has gone from strength to strength since then showcasing the invaluable work being done by businesses in the sporting field.”

“This is a strong panel of real experts in their fields and it will be a robust judging process where we will debate the best of what Irish sport has been about in the last twelve months,” added Hartnett


The 2020 awards will be comprised of 10 open categories for which the public can apply and/or nominate those they feel deserve recognition and six closed categories which will be chosen based on the in-depth knowledge of the expert judging panel.

The Irish Sport Industry Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday 16th April in Croke Park Stadium.

Nominations are now being accepted for all open categories and can be made via www.irishsportindustryawards.ie. Closing date for applications is Friday 20th of March 2020.

Over the coming days and weeks, Sport for Business will feature each of the Awards with a look back on previous winners and a sense of what this year might have in store.

Full category list:

Open for public entry or nomination

Best Sports Marketing Campaign
Best Use of Communication platforms in Sport
Best Sports Participation Campaign
Best Use of Brand Ambassadors from Sport
Best Initiative to Promote Women in Sport – The 20×20 award
Special Award for Inclusive Sport Initiative
Local Sports Partnership Initiative of the year
National Governing Body of the year
Best Sustainability Initiative
Best Sporting Innovation of the Year

On the decision of the Judging Panel

Jimmy Magee/ASJI Sports Coverage of the Year
Sports business of the Year – New
Sports business of the Year – Established
Best Sports Event of the year
Best Sports Sponsorship of the year
Outstanding Contribution to Sports Industry in Ireland

Read More: 2019 Sport Industry Award Winners


Image Credit: Sinead Conroy, Federation of Irish Sport

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