A Grand Slam, a record-breaking month for engagements, and the inclusion of TikTok analysis for the very first time, Olytico’s bumper March edition of the Sport for Business Irish Sport on Social Media report sees us developing this popular feature still further and is a testament to the work delivered across all platforms by our member organisations.

With an overall total of more than 12,000 posts and a record-breaking 7.2 million engagements across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, March’s analysis sets a new high in levels of activity.  For context, March’s 7.2 million engagements beat the previous record of 4.6 million set in November 2021 by 57 percent.

It was a phenomenal month for the IRFU accounts, a busy time across the country’s GAA pitches, and there were wins in the Engagement per 1,000 followers categories for Badminton Ireland and Athletics Ireland as well as the IRFU.

Currently, 19 member accounts are being analysed on TikTok, compared to 36 in the other three channels.  These generated an incredible 28.1 million views and a further 1.9 million engagements.

As the analysis evolves, and as more member organisations become active on the platform, we aim to bring more insights and showcase the very best of Irish sporting TikTok.

We will also shortly be kicking off a new Podcast series talking to the individuals responsible for the content and going deeper than ever about this crucial area of fan engagement and sports marketing.

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 with, and the most engaging content as well as engagements per 1,000 followers where possible.

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 % figures are used (unless otherwise stated), they refer to the previous month’s figures.


March 2023 Highlights on Twitter



Activity on Twitter increased 38 percent compared to February, and the 6,304 tweets resulted in 592,989 engagements, an impressive 108 percent increase on the previous month and a record for the platform.

For the second month in a row, the Ladies Football account was the most active on Twitter, their 868 posts (+46 percent on February) included Roscommon star Aisling Hanly sharing her remarkable story as she then went on to score a goal and lift the cup for Convent of Mercy, Roscommon in the Lidl PPS All Ireland Final.



In second, the GAA (563, +12 percent) saw Derry beat Dublin in early March thanks to this Brendan Rogers point, and in third Dublin GAA (547, +34 percent) welcomed back a familiar face to the panel.


Cricket Ireland (304, +285 percent) enjoyed a dream start to Matthew Humphreys’ T20 International career, Gymnastics Ireland (51, +240 percent) celebrated yet more success for Rhys McClenaghan as he won Silver on pommel at the 2023 FIG Apparatus World Cup in Doha and Triathlon Ireland (28, +211 percent) saw Donnacha McCarthy and his guide win Gold at the World Triathlon Para Cup in Abu Dhabi.


As the FAI launched their new brand, the Ireland Football account topped the engagement charts, their 174 posts averaged over 730 engagements, as Evan Ferguson scored against Latvia.

The IRFU in second (718, +80 percent) generated close to a quarter of a million engagements throughout the month, as Ireland became the first nation to win the Men’s and U20s Grand Slam titles in the same year.


On International Women’s Day, the GPA (42, +250 percent) celebrated the strong women within their organisation. Horse Racing Ireland (33, +120 percent) celebrated success at Cheltenham, and Vision Sports Ireland (11, +83 percent) thanked Jason Smyth for being such a role model to everybody within their organisation.

Football took the top three places in the ‘average engagements per 1,000 followers’ metric with the new FAI account in first (784 engagements per 1,000 followers) followed by the LOI Women (685) and Ireland Football (424).

Following victory against England, Andy Farrell’s team swept all aside to claim the Grand Slam at a euphoric Aviva Stadium, and this celebratory post from the IRFU was the most engaged with content for Twitter last month, the ‘Grand Slam Champions’ tweet generated close to 28,000 public engagements.



March 2023 Highlights on Facebook



March 2023 was a record-breaking month for Facebook as they crossed the one million engagements barrier for only the second time. The platform’s 1,195,104 engagements broke the previous record set in July 2022 by 14 percent.

The GAA topped the activity charts with 422 posts (+38 percent). The Ladies Gaelic Football Association in second (410, +29 percent) crowned Loreto College, Cavan as the Lidl All Ireland PPS Junior A Champions, and in third the League of Ireland (272, +127 percent) saw Darragh Crowley put Cork City in front against Shamrock Rovers with this sensational strike.


The Northern Ireland National Team (96, +300 percent) welcomed Oscar and BAFTA-winning James Martin as a VIP guest.

Irish Sailing (49, +123 percent) crowned both Laura Dillon and Olympian Finn Lynch as the Sailor(s) of the Year, with Eve McMahon winning Youth Sailor Award for fourth year running.

Team Ireland (41, +71 percent) congratulated Irish number one Nhat Nguyen as he progressed into the last 16 of the Badminton Swiss Open World tour after beating his highest-ranked opponent, World number 28 Shesar Hiren Rhustavit.

For the second month in a row the IRFU topped the Facebook engagement charts with an average of 5,232 engagements per post in March, an increase of 36 percent, as the Men’s team supported the brilliant Down Syndrome Ireland ‘Lots of Socks’ campaign.


Ulster Rugby in second (1,088, +132 percent) celebrated Rob Herring’s first international try, whilst Cricket Ireland in third (980, +238 percent) enjoyed their first victory in Bangladesh, as they won by seven wickets with six overs to spare in Chattogram.

Badminton Ireland led the way with 1,017 engagements per 1,000 followers, as they gave behind-the-scenes access to the Irish team as they worked at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena ahead of the Polish Open.


With close to 30,000 public engagements, it’s no surprise this iconic image from the IRFU provided the top content for March.


March 2023 Highlights on Instagram



Instagram activity rose 49 percent percent compared to February with 2,204 posts, resulting in a record number of engagements, as we saw both the 4 and 5 million barriers smashed. The platform’s 5.42 million engagements beat the previous record set in November 2021 (3.65 million) by 49 percent.

The League of Ireland account topped the activity charts with 258 posts, a 105 percent increase on February, as the season kicked into full swing.

In second place the BKT URC (140, +23 percent) highlighted Leinster’s creativity.



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A post shared by BKT United Rugby Championship (@urc)

In third Irish Rugby showcased a perfect line-out move which resulted in a Dan Sheehan score.



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A post shared by Irish Rugby (@irishrugby)

Golf Ireland (17, +467 percent) celebrated Munster Club Volunteer of the Year Pat Murphy, the LOI Women’s Premier Division (84, +394 percent) announced their first Team of the Week for the season, and Special Olympics Ireland (15, +150 percent) began the 100 days countdown to #Berlin2023.


With an average of 17,507 engagements per post, Irish Rugby dominated the engagement charts in March, followed by Ireland Football (8,414) with this spine-tingling rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann.



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A post shared by Ireland Football (@irelandfootball)

The GAA (3,235) came in third as St. Kieran’s College from Kilkenny were crowned the GAA Hurling All Ireland Post Primary Schools Croke Cup Champions.

IWA-Sport (28, +87 percent) celebrated the achievements of athletes and volunteers alike at the annual IWA-Sport Para Athletics Grand Prix Awards in Carlow and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association saw DKIT captain Holly Lamb Sally lift the Yoplait Ladies HEC Moynihan Cup.

For the second month in a row, Athletics Ireland took gold in the ‘average engagements per 1,000 followers’ as Darragh McElhinney finished in a superb 4th place in his first major indoor track final in Istanbul.


The IRFU provided the top Instagram content for March with this unique footage of the Guinness Six Nations trophy presentation and celebrations, with the content generating an incredible 115,000 public engagements.



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A post shared by Irish Rugby (@irishrugby)



March 2023 Highlights on TikTok



As we begin to integrate TikTok into our monthly analysis, insights will evolve over time. As more Sport for Business member organisations become active on the platform similar quantitative and qualitative data insights which we have always delivered for the other three primary social channels will emerge.

To date, there are 19 Sport for Business member organisations active on the platform, that we have discovered and their 503 posts across the month of March generated 1.9 million public engagements and a staggering 28.1 million views.

Considering that record TV audiences would be just under and just over one million in any given year this is a phenomenal level of engagement if not anywhere near as deep.

The United Rugby Championship account was the most active on the platform, their 257 posts accounting for over 50 percent of the total, as they revisited a winning formula with content from South Africa.


@urc Guess who’s back 😍 | 🎥 – @SuperSportTV 🏉 #unitedrugbychampionship #urc #dance #sports #guinnesssixnations ♬ son original – Whoxver

In second place Horse Racing Ireland (55) featured a special moment for John Gleeson.


@hriracing A Dream To Share for John Gleeson 🤩 #greenteam #cheltenhamfestival ♬ Fake ID X Walking On A Dream Carter Walsh Remix – CarterWalsh

And in third with 52 posts Leinster’s top content came following Gonzaga’s first-ever Schools Senior Cup title.


@leinsterrugby A first ever Schools Senior Cup title for Gonzaga College. 🙌🏆 #LeinsterRugby #leinsterschoolsrugby #leinsterschoolsseniorcup #GonzagaCollege #FromTheGroundUp ♬ original sound – Leinster Rugby

Basketball Ireland bought us courtside for the College League Finals, the League of Ireland highlighted Boh’s new ball carrier, whilst the LOI Women’s account showcased an exquisite touch from Shelbourne’s Noelle Murray.


@basketball.ireland College League Finals at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin 🙌 #basketball #ireland #college ♬ Game Time (feat. Sage the Gemini) – Flo Rida

@leagueofireland @Bohemian FC ♬ Goal!!! – Official Sound Studio

When ranked by average engagement per post, top content came from the Ireland Football account (20,040) as they used Evan Ferguson’s senior debut as the catalyst for some throwback goalscoring footage from his age-grade days.

@leagueofireland @Bohemian FC ♬ Goal!!! – Official Sound Studio

The IRFU (9,288) looked back to a previous Ireland v England encounter at the Aviva and Keith Earls’ beautiful try and Ulster Rugby (5,225) bought us the defining moment from Inst’s Danske Bank Final victory.


With their own Sport for Business Grand Slam, Irish Rugby took the TikTok title for most engaged with content as they took us into the post-match huddle and the Grand Slam celebrations, with the content having been viewed close to 400,000 times and generating over 50,000 public engagements.


@leagueofireland @Bohemian FC ♬ Goal!!! – Official Sound Studio

March 2023 Engagement Per 1,000 Followers




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 ross@olytico.com