August 2020 saw the gradual return to competitive action for a number of sports. On social media, Olytico analysed the performance of 30 members of Sport for Business. Collectively, they published over 6,800 posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The 6,846 posts analysed (an increase of 18% on July) generated over 1.8 million engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments, and retweets (an increase of 20% on July), the highest figures since February 2020 and a reflection of the demand and interest shown by the Irish public for live sport.

The enduring appeal of sport can be gleaned from the fact that both these figures of activity and engagement were up on the equivalent number of posts and engagements we saw 12 months ago in August 2019 when sport was in a vastly different place.

Back then the 6,747 posts generated 1.6 million engagements.

Instagram continues to drive this increase in engagements (likes and comments) in 2020, and August saw yet another jump for the platform (from 977,449 to 1,412,684 engagements). This, in turn, led to a 13% rise in engagement share (from 64% to 77%).

Instagram now accounts for over three-quarters of all engagements across the three platforms analysed. During this time Facebook’s share fell from 21% to 13% and Twitter fell from 15% to 10%.

We will host a Q and A with Ross Broomfield, the author of this report later this week.  If you have a question you would like to pose about any of the results or the ways in which they are created, let us know by dropping an email to by Wednesday, September 9th.

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.

August 2020 Highlights on Twitter

Over 3,500 tweets were sent by member organisations in August, 29% up on July, fuelled by team announcements, and live score updates across a number of sports.

Overall engagements on the platform fell 19% (from 230,295 to 186,475). There are two key reasons for the decrease: July 2020 was an exceptional month for engagements on the platform driven by Jack Charlton’s passing, and live score updates tend to drive lower levels of engagement.

The figures illustrate the importance for rights holders and governing bodies to continue to provide the innovative and engaging content seen during lockdown during busy match and event weeks.

The GAA top the Twitter activity charts for the 6th month in a row, increasing their output from 508 to 544 tweets, a 7% increase on July. They are joined in the top three by Athletics Ireland (351 posts) and Leinster Rugby (346 posts). Athletics Ireland’s activity peaked around the two weekends of the Irish Health National Championships.

Special mentions go to the Golfing Union of Ireland who went from 25th to 11th in the rankings thanks to their coverage of the Irish Boys Championship and the Bridgestone Order of Merit.

In the month that was meant to see the opening of the Paralympic Games, Paralympic Ireland’s #WaitForTheGreats campaign kicked off and saw them rise six places to 17th overall.

The FAI continued to top the table for Twitter engagements with an average of 378 engagements per post. Cricket Ireland in 2nd (averaging 125 engagements per post) and Connacht Rugby in 3rd (81 engagements per post) both entered the top three for the first time.  

Cycling Ireland jumped from 21st to 12th as riders Sam Bennett, Nicholas Roche and Dan Martin fly the flag for Ireland at the Tour de France.

The FAI’s tweet wishing former Captain and Coach Roy Keane Happy Birthday was the most engaged with piece of content on Twitter in August generating over 5,400 likes and 260 retweets.


August 2020 Highlights on Facebook

Facebook activity increased 9% for the second month in a row. However, like Twitter, Facebook’s total number of engagements fell when compared to July, down 29% from 321,368 to 239,339 posts.

The GAA (516 posts), Athletics Ireland (240) and Leinster Rugby (201) were the most active of the Sport for Business community on Facebook in August.

With 59 posts, Cycling Ireland jumped eight places to 11th, and with the return of Guinness PRO14 action Connacht tripled their output from 11 posts in July to 25 posts in August.

Football, Rugby and Cricket proved to be the most popular sports in August. The FAI retained their top spot with an average of 362 engagements per post, Connacht Rugby (314 engagements per post) leapfrogged Leinster into 2nd place, their highest ranking in 2020.

The Hockey Ireland account introduced new squad members which doubled their average engagement rates, whilst Team Ireland celebrated yet another national record for Ciara Mageean and tripled their engagement rate in the process.

The FAI’s post showcasing the beautiful game being played in beautiful places, and in particular the Arranmore United ground in Donegal won them the most engaged with post for the fifth month in a row with over 1,800 public engagements – the stunning shots were shared over 160 times.


August 2020 Highlights on Instagram

The popularity of Instagram shows no signs of slowing. A 5% increase in posts compared to July led to a 45% increase in engagements. With over 77% share of the engagement market, Instagram’s 1.4 million likes and comments reflect the continued value and importance of the platform for sporting organisations.

Athletics Ireland completed an impressive month across all three platforms, crossing the line in first place with 145 posts, with Leinster Rugby (108) and Irish Rugby (87) in second and third. Excellent communication from Rowing Ireland kept their followers informed of Covid-19 enforced changes to their competition calendar, and they also launched ‘Greenblades for 2020’, a new initiative to help fund their Junior, Under 23 and developmental teams.

With good news in short supply during recent times the Ladies Gaelic Football Association celebrated Laura McCaffrey’s inspirational story, the young Edendork and county player recently completed treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma and has been given the all-clear. The celebration post generated over 4,000 likes and comments.

The GAA climbed from 5th to 1st place in the engagement table. A poignant post on August 16th, on what should have been the day of the All-Ireland Hurling Final, featuring images of an empty Croke Park generated the highest engagement figures for the month.

With over 21,600 interactions the post is a stark reminder of what should have been, and a hint of what’s still to look forward to in December.

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

Read more of our Social Media Coverage on Sport for Business