GAA officially ‘likes’ facebook
The GAA has launched an official page on Facebook.  The site will contain exclusive news, updates, competitions, and more throughout the year.
GAA Director of Communications Lisa Clancy said: “Social media now plays an important role for the GAA in engaging with our members and supporters. We are now asking every GAA member, club, player, official, media across the world to “like us” on Facebook and follow us on twitter in order to connect the GAA globally.”
The GAA has an official presence on twitter with 17,000 followers and hosted a live Q and A with Dublin footballer Cian O’Sullivan as part of Wednesday’s launch. It also has a strong web presence including Digital TV provided by Ballywire,  and Apps for smart phones across a number of platforms.
The official GAA page on facebook can be found at
37,000 attend Aviva for Ireland friendly
A crowd of more than 37,000 attended the Three International Friendly between the Republic of Ireland and the Czech Republic last night.  James Maclean made his much anticipated debut and played a part in the equalising goal on 86 minutes.
The game marked the official launch of the new international away kit by Umbro.  National team sponsor Three highlighted in the match programmes that its Jersey trade in scheme had now broken through 1,000 people that had earned a €20 discount on the new jerseys at Lifestyle Sports by bringing along their old Irish jerseys.  These are then donated to Friends in Ireland, a charity that cares for children in South Africa.
Boylesports were leafleting the ground with a promotion to win one of 50 of the new jerseys.
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McDonalds reap reward for near 20 year old TV ad
The benefits of using sport in advertising can still be felt long after the ad airs on TV for the last scheduled time.  Last night at Wembley, Tottenham’s Scott Parker led England out as Captain 19 years after appearing as a child displaying his football skills in a TV ad for McDonalds.
You can watch the ad on the Sport for Business You Tube Channel where we gather together videos of general sporting interest.
Irish Cricket wins top international award
Cricket Ireland has been awarded the prize for the Best Overall Cricket Development Programme at the Pepsi International Cricket Council Development Programme Awards 2011.
Cricket Scotland was awarded the Best Women’s Cricket Initiative while Japan Cricket Association won the Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative for its ‘Cricket for Smiles’ project, which was created as a reaction to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011.
Other winners included Cricket Canada being awarded the honour of Best Promotion and Marketing Programme for their new website and the work done alongside this, including groundbreaking work in live streaming of matches and webcasts of events.
Ireland’s association with cricket goes back a long way.  A journal documenting the activities of a Laois cricket team paid to play during the famine is to be auctioned following its discovery in a builders skip in Kildare, and is creating interest from memorabilia collectors around the world.
Velux extends deal with European Handball
The Velux Group has extended its headline sponsorship of the European (Olympic) Handball Champions’ League.  The window and roof manufacturer was the first sponsor of the tournament in 2010 and has chosen now to bring the deal through to 2016.
Michael Rasmussen, Velux Group director of branding and marketing, added: “By extending the contract, we are signalling our commitment to this sponsorship as an important part of our marketing campaign. The Velux EHF Champions League is a very powerful platform, not only because of its thrilling nature but also because it reaches out to everybody, men and women, kids and grown-ups.”
The tournament includes teams from Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Bosnia, Denmark, Croatia and Russia.
In Ireland the sport is known as Olympic Handball to differentiate from the GAA game.  The Dublin International HC (pictured) is the only Irish team so far to compete in the European Challenge Cup.  It draws membership from 15 nationalities.
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