On August 27th, 2022 the Northwestern Wildcats and the Nebraska Cornhuskers will bring their bulk, their speed and their power to the Aviva Stadium for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.

It has been a tough two years with the 2020 and 2021 games lost to the Covid lockdowns but the series is ready to burst into life, bringing Week Zero to Europe, and as much as a €70 million boost for the Irish economy.

We were joined at the Stadium by Brendan Meehan from the promoters, Mick McAteer from Grant Thornton and Ger Ryan from Eversheds Sutherland to discuss the importance of the event, and there is a guest appearance from an Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Some of the highlight moments include:

The ambition for the five-game series

“The Aer Lingus College Football Classic has proven to be a very successful Public Privat collaboration. It is our ambition for Dublin to be the European Headquarters of US College Football. Our ambition is the first game of every College Football season will take place here forevermore.”

The genesis of bringing Northwestern from Chicago

“Pat Ryan is the founder of Aon Insurance and is synonymous with the University. They play their home games at Ryan Field. His father was an immigrant from Ireland and the conversation started between Mr Ryan and Martin Naughton that led to this.”

Why it is ‘More Than a Game’

It’s more than just a game. It’s the cultural part, the fun part and the business part. Business relationships come from personal ones and in a post-Brexit world, Ireland can be more of a home for the US in Europe than it was before.

A Message from an Taoiseach

“Mark your calendars for August 2022. Come to Ireland for the game and stay to experience the best of our culture, our vibrant towns and cities, our spectacular scenery, our world-famous hospitality and much, much more.

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic is among more than 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across sponsorship, advocacy, innovation and the commercial world of Irish Sport.


Sport for Business Partners