With the Olympics finally taking place, and a myriad of Irish successes to enjoy and celebrate, our look back at July reveals a busy month for the Sport for Business member organisations.

With over 11,000 posts, and close to 4 million engagements July’s analysis paints a positive picture for Irish sport.

As we welcomed Dublin GAA to the analysis for the first time, Olytico analysed the performance of 32 members of Sport for Business in July.

Collectively, they published over 11,000 posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The 11,047 posts analysed (a 20 per cent increase on last month) is a record number for the report, but the inclusion of Dublin GAA, who are very active across all three platforms, has to be taken into account.

These posts generated 3,939,630 engagements (+45 per cent) in the form of likes, shares, comments, and retweets, the second-highest figure ever (only eclipsed by March 2021’s 4.3 million engagements).

All three of the main platforms saw an increase in activity, Instagram (+23 per cent, 1,614 posts), Twitter (+20 per cent, 6,239 posts) and Facebook (+18 per cent, 3,194 posts) each set new records in the process.

Whilst the share of posts remained relatively stable compared to the previous month, Facebook (+7 per cent to 21 per cent overall) and Twitter (+2 per cent to 13 per cent overall) had impressive months as they grew their overall share of engagements off the back of a 10 per cent decrease for Instagram (66 per cent share of engagements overall).

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 is important to note that this analysis is based on publicly available data. It does not include any analysis or insight on paid or promoted content. When percentage figures are used (unless otherwise stated), they refer to the previous month’s figures.


July 2021 Highlights on Twitter



Over 6,200 tweets were sent by member organisations in July, a 20 per cent increase on the previous month (from 5,189 to 6,239) which itself was 21 per cent up on May.

This resulted in an impressive 73 per cent increase in engagements for the platform (from 288,258 to 497,659).

Newcomers Dublin GAA went straight to the top of the Twitter activity charts with 885 posts, holding off Ladies Football (+39 per cent, 867) and the Official GAA account (+22 per cent, 564) who were second and third respectively for the second month in a row.

Team Ireland, the account of the Olympic Federation of Ireland rose to their highest ever position of 4th (+469 per cent, 455) as they kept everyone up to date with the latest news from Tokyo.

Hockey Ireland (+48 per cent, 274) surpassed their previous record set in September 2020 to finish in 8th and Golf Ireland (+46 per cent, 215) re-entered the top 10 for the first time since October 2020.

In the engagement table, the FAI in 1st (+38 per cent, average of 600 engagements per post) were joined in the top 3 for the first time by Team Ireland (+594 per cent, 404) and Rowing Ireland (+383 per cent, 147).

Rowing Ireland’s top tweet celebrated Ireland’s first-ever female Olympic Medals in rowing, as Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty and Fiona Murtagh claimed the bronze medal.


Gymnastics Ireland in 10th (average of 82 engagements per post) celebrated their first-ever Olympic finalist as Rhys McClenaghan qualified for the final of the Pommel Horse  and Swim Ireland (48) congratulated Mona McSharry’s for her qualification for the 100m Breaststroke Final (link)




The most engaged with Twitter content for July came from Team Ireland as they celebrated Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan’s Olympic gold in the Lightweight Men’s Double Final, the tweet generating over 13,000 public engagements.


July 2021 Highlights on Facebook



Facebook activity increased by 18 per cent in July, the 3,194 posts setting a new record for the platform.

This resulted in a 126 per cent increase and record number of engagements (370,058 more than in June to a total of 836,519).

To put this into context, July’s engagements were 112 per cent higher than the previous record of 395,000 set in October 2020.

The GAA (+35 per cent, 489) replaced Cricket Ireland (-39 per cent, 233) at the top of the activity charts, with Athletics Ireland (-17 per cent, 196) in 3rd.

Special mentions are due this month to Horse Sport Ireland (+61 per cent, 188) in 5th, Basketball Ireland (+66 per cent, 174) in 7th, Swim Ireland (+75 per cent, 161) in 8th and Irish Sailing (+112 per cent, 89) in 13th.

It was a completely new top three in the engagement stakes as Cricket Ireland (with an average of 848 engagements per post) held off Team Ireland (814) and Rowing Ireland (753).

Team Ireland’s top post celebrated Kurt Walker beating the top seed Mirzakhalilov in the Men’s Feather Round of 16 to advance to the Quarter Finals whilst McCarthy and O’Donovan’s success provided the top content for Rowing Ireland.


Thomas Barr’s qualification for the 400m hurdles semi-final proved to be the top content for Athletics Ireland in 5th (316) and Hockey Ireland in 7th (288) celebrated their Olympic debut with victory over South Africa.

It was the Cricket Ireland account that provided the most engaged with post on the platform throughout July.

Highlights of the Ireland Men’s team’s first-ever victory over South Africa, with a 43-run win in the 2nd ODI of the Dafa News Cup, has generated over 50,000 reactions and been shared almost 1,000 times to date.


July 2021 Highlights on Instagram



Instagram saw a 23 per cent increase in posts, and the highest monthly total ever (up from 1,315 to 1,614) with a resulting 27 per cent increase in engagements (from 2.06 million to 2.6 million).

The IRFU topped the Instagram activity charts (166 posts, +12 per cent), Basketball Ireland entered the top three for the first time (144, +53 per cent) and Athletics Ireland (136, +49 per cent) completed the top three.

The IRFU’s top post celebrated the Ireland Men’s 7s team beating Korea 31-0 to reach the ninth place play-off in Tokyo.

Basketball Ireland’s top content supported the U20 Women’s team during their FIBA European Challenge campaign.

Athletics Ireland’s top post celebrated a historic record-breaking day for Irish athletes in Tallinn as Rhasidat Adeleke, Cian McPhillips, and Nicholas Griggs created Irish athletics history by winning three gold medals on day 3 of the European U20 Championships.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Athletics Ireland (@athleticsireland)

The GAA topped the overall engagement charts (with an average of 6,420 engagements per post, +59 per cent) keeping the FAI in 2nd (5,702, +18 per cent) and Irish Rugby in 3rd (5,107, -1 per cent).  Dublin GAA’s top post celebrated their qualification for the Leinster Hurling Final, and contributed to their 7th place (1,997).

The most engaged with Instagram post for July came from the GAA as President Larry McCarthy, offered his and the Association’s condolences to the family of Monaghan under-20 football captain Brendan Óg Ó Dufaigh who was killed in a car collision while travelling home after leading the Monaghan U-20 footballers to victory over Donegal in the Ulster semi-final.





Next Week, in a follow up to our regular monthly report we will highlight the social media campaign conducted by Team Ireland sponsor Indeed as part of their #TalentUnleashed campaign in support of Team Ireland.

We will talk to those who managed the campaign, look at how the content elements were created and at the impact they had.


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 stephen@olytico.com


Olytico and the sporting organisations featured here are among more than 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across a number of key areas.


Sport for Business Partners