Gemma Bell, Bank of Ireland

Gemma Bell is Sponsorship Manager at Bank of Ireland, responsible for one of the most significant levels of commercial backing in Irish sport, and one of the most diverse.

In 2018 the Bank added Connacht Rugby to its existing portfolio covering Leinster, Munster and Ulster.

It worked hard this year to create a strong link between its CSR activity and its sponsorship assets and Rugby players and matches played a big role in helping raise funds and awareness for the Irish Heart Foundation in the Republic and the Alzheimers Society in Northern Ireland.

It was a challenging year north of the border with the Ulster Rugby involvement in a high profile court case putting pressure on all parties associated with the Province.  They came through though and the strength of Irish rugby has had a positive impact on the Bank of Ireland reputation.

Bell has also overseen a tightening of the sponsorship portfolio with a number of partnerships ended, including in sport but the relationship with rugby is long term and remains strong and that with the Celtic Challenge in GAA also gaining more traction in 2018.

Bell is a graduate of the University of Ulster and started her career at Coca-Cola before joining Belfast PR consultancy Smarts Communicate in 2007, and moving to Diageo in 2012

Her achievements have attracted a personal letter of thanks from UK Prime Minister David Cameron for work on the G8 Summit, recognition as CIPR’s ‘Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year’ in 2014 and she made her debut as one of the ‘Most Influential Women in Irish Sport’ in 2016.


50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport 2018 is brought to you by Sport for Business in partnership with our friends at Liberty Insurance.

Over the coming weeks, we will identify more leaders on and off the field of play. They will include those who are role models in terms of their abilities and what they have achieved. They will come from teams and individual sports, from sponsorship partners, from the media, from the administrative corridors of power and from places where influence may be subtle but no less powerful.

We want your voice in who the remainder should be. Who do you come across in your working life within sport, or in your position as an observer, that you feel deserves recognition.

Contact us today Quoting Women in Sport 2018 Nomination to let us know who you think should be joining us.

This year we will be inviting each of our nominated 50 to join us at our Annual Women in Sport Conference, hosted this year in the studios of RTÉ on Wednesday morning, December 5th.

We will be unveiling the line up of speakers we have joining us over the coming weeks and will make places available to book, initially for Sport for Business members, from Monday, October 17th.

We will also be publishing this year’s Women of Influence list, together with other interviews and content relating to the cause of promoting Women in Sport in a commemorative booklet.

If you would like to highlight the work your organisation is doing in this area as part of this project CONTACT US TODAY, Quoting Women in Sport 2019 Partnership and let’s talk about the options that are available.