October 2020 gave sports fans in Ireland plenty to talk about. From the welcome return to action for the country’s national football and rugby teams, to the disappointment and frustration of Level 5 lockdown protocols for all Irish sporting organisations.

On social media, Olytico analysed the performance of 30 members of Sport for Business. Collectively, they published over 7,900 posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The 7,938 posts analysed was an increase of 3 per cent on September, continuing the monthly rise evident since April.

The hard work of social media teams paid off in style this month with a massive 3.2 million engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments, and retweets. This represents a 53 per cent lift on September and is a little over 400,000 ahead of where we were in 2019.

Twitter engagements jumped 24 per cent compared to September and accounted for over 325,000 in total.

Facebook saw a similar 20 per cent increase to just under 395,000 in total.

The huge month on month increase in engagements was driven by Instagram once again. The platform saw a 65 per cent increase in engagements compared to September (from 1.52 million to 2.52 million).

The return to action of the national football and rugby teams, with key fixtures across the Nations League and the Guinness Six Nations, were the key driver of the increased engagement.

The interest and demand for live sport has never been so acute, and the analysis of October’s figures reflects this in startling fashion, illustrating the opportunities and the values of strong social media and content strategies for Sport for Business members, rights holders and partners alike.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram’s increase in total engagements saw them claim a further 6 per cent of engagement market share, the platform now generating 78 per cent of engagements across the three platforms. Facebook now accounts for 12 per cent and Twitter for 10 per cent of the number of engagements.

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.

Join us this Thursday morning, November 12th at 11 AM for an online session with the authors of the report.

A chance to chat with the authors of the report and look at ways in which sporting bodies and sponsors, as part of the Sport for Business community can find out more about maximising their impact across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Register for free here as a Sport for Business Member


October 2020 Highlights on Twitter

Over 4,450 tweets were sent by member organisations in September, 7% up on September, and a significant increase in activity on the platform for the fourth month in a row.

Overall engagements on Twitter rose 24% (from 261,076 to 325,010). This was a smaller relative increase compared to the previous month’s figures, as we saw activity on the platform levelling out following the resumption of elite sport.

The GAA continue to top the Twitter activity charts. With 856 tweets during October, a 56% rise from the previous month, they were more than twice as active as second place Leinster Rugby (388 tweets) and the IRFU (386 tweets).

The Ladies Football and Camogie Association accounts mirrored the increase in activity of the GAA’s account, up by 25% and 300% respectively. This is the second impressive month in a row for the Ladies Football account, climbing to 4th in the standings (their highest position since July), as they kept their followers up to date with all the latest news and scores from the TG4 Championships.



The FAI held off strong competition from the IRFU and the four Provinces to retain the Twitter engagement crown for October. Their average of 398 engagements per post beat the IRFU (177) into 2nd and Munster (119) into 3rd. This is Munster’s highest position in the engagement rankings since May, and beats their previous record of 117 average engagements per post set in April 2020. Slo-mo footage of JJ Hanrahan’s try against Cardiff Blues generated the highest engagement for Munster’s social media team, showcasing how innovation and creativity can boost ‘regular’ content to new levels.

Irish Hockey’s announcement of Mark Tumilty as Head Coach for the Irish Senior Men saw them rise from 26th to 8th in the table and Cricket Ireland’s announcement of additional contracts for both their men’s and women’s teams ahead of a busy 2021 schedule saw them rise to 9th. Sam & Chloe Magee reaching the quarterfinal of the Denmark Open BWF Super 750 event, led to Badminton Ireland jumping 11 places into 16th place overall.

The FAI claimed top spot on the podium for Twitter engagement content during October. Footage of John O’Shea’s equalizer on his 100th cap against Germany six years ago, generated over 2,500 likes and 300 retweets, with the footage having been viewed over 130,000 times across the FAI’s channels.


October 2020 Highlights on Facebook

Facebook activity decreased for the first time since June. However, the 3 per cent reduction in activity (from 2,482 posts to 2,410 posts) still resulted in a 20 per cent increase in engagements across the platform (from 329,177 in September to 394,775 across the month of October).

The GAA (521 posts, an increase of 9 per cent on September), and Leinster Rugby (254 posts, an increase of 17 per cent on September) were joined by Horse Sport Ireland (179 posts, an increase of 20 per cent on September) in the top three most active of the Sport for Business community on Facebook during October.

Camogie jumped to 9th place, their highest position for 2020 as they announced Hilda Breslin as Uachtarán-Tofa and continued their live streaming of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship.

Funding and fundraising were in sharp focus in October, and this was reflected in the activity of some organisations on their social platforms, in particular Special Olympics Ireland. With no option to fundraise on the streets, they launched their #CantStopNow campaign which has resulted in over €160,000 being raised to date. Their 40 Facebook posts during the month of October generated over 2,200 reactions, 100+ comments and 700+ shares.




The FAI retained their top spot with an average of 738 engagements per post (an increase of 7% on September). Irish Rugby (643 engagements per post, an increase of 41% on the previous month) and Connacht Rugby (410 engagements per post, an increase of 70% on September) both enjoyed the return to competitive action on the field across their Facebook pages, proving that success on the field assists with strong engagement for social channels.

As noted in this analysis at the start of the first national lockdown, the Golfing Union of Ireland must be recognised for its strong communication to its members. Clear messaging resulted in a high number of engagements, with many comments expressing disbelief that golf clubs have had to close for a second time.

Gymnastics Ireland showcased some new moves from a Rhys McClenaghan training session. This post saw their highest engagement for October, generating close to 150 reactions.

Irish Rugby’s full-time post after the Guinness Six Nations victory against Italy was the most popular Facebook content across the Sport For Business Members during October enjoying over 5,400 reactions, generating 320+ comments with the post being shared on more than 700 occasions.


October 2020 Highlights on Instagram

Instagram continues to lead the way for engagements. A relatively small (+3 per cent) increase in posts published compared to September led to a major (+65 per cent) increase in engagement, with over 2.5 million likes and comments.

October was the fourth month in a row Instagram displayed impressive growth and highlights a continued shift change in the platform’s dominance and market share.

Whilst the platform’s share of posts stayed level at 14 per cent, these posts increased Instagram’s share of engagement by a further 6 per cent to a whopping 78 per cent market share.

With the return on the Six Nations, the Irish Rugby account leapt from 3rd to 1st place, increasing their activity 62 per cent from September (from 96 to 156 posts).

On Saturday 24th October for the home game against Italy they posted on 17 occasions and generated over 164,000 likes and 640 comments in 24 hours.

Leinster Rugby dropped to 2nd place, despite an increase in posts published (from 122 to 137 posts) and the FAI climbed into the top three for the first time in 2020 with 113 posts, 13 of which came on the Slovakia match day.



The IRFU topped the engagement table with an average of 6,194 interactions per post.

Will Connor’s Player of the Match performance on debut against Italy proved to be their most engaged with post with over 22,600 interactions (likes and comments).

Irish Rugby were joined by the FAI (with an average of 5,516 interactions per post) and Munster Rugby (3,082 interactions per post) in the top 3. Munster Rugby’s poignant post on the anniversary of Anthony Foley’s passing demonstrating how missed he continues to be to this day.

Stunning photography from INPHO from the socially distanced launch of the Liberty All-Ireland Championship helped the Official Camogie account in to the top ten, rounding off an impressive month for the organisation’s social media accounts.



As seen on Twitter, the FAI’s use of archive, celebratory content continues to resonate and prove popular with fans. Footage of Shane Long’s winning goal against reigning World Champions, Germany at the Aviva Stadium in 2015 claimed the top spot for engagement on Instagram for October with over 24,000 interactions and over 76,000 views to date.


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

Join us this Thursday morning, November 12th at 11 AM for an online session with the authors of the report.

A chance to chat with the authors of the report and look at ways in which sporting bodies and sponsors, as part of the Sport for Business community can find out more about maximising their impact across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Register for free here as a Sport for Business Member


Sport for Business Partners