No fewer than nine of the gongs at last night’s Sport Industry Awards in Dublin’s Mansion House went to members of the Sport for Business network.

The winners were drawn from every sector of the sports industry with production company Nemeton TV that has been producing compelling sports programming for RTÉ, TG4 and BBC for over 20 years recognised as the best established sports business.

We were ourselves humbled to be awarded Best Emerging Sports Business.  This is really a tribute to all those sporting bodies, companies and individuals who have supported us and become friends as well as colleagues in the four years since we brought Sport for Business from an idea rolling around the back of my mind to where it is today.

They include Rob and Emma Buckley of Gourmet Fuel and Alan Grady of AGP Consulting who were shortlisted alongside us and would have been equally deserving winners.

Lidl Ireland won best sponsorship of a team or event for their ground breaking partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and their “Serious Support” campaign.   They will be explaining why they got involved in Women’s Sport and the potential they see within it at a special Sport for Business event, Teaming Up for Women’s Sport on November 30th.  


Allianz’ sponsorship of Paralympics Ireland won best sponsorship of a team or individual. AIB were recognised for the creative social media content generated to support their sponsorship of the GAA Club and Senior Football Championships.  

The SSE Airtricty Dublin Marathon & Race Series won best mass participation. The 2016 marathon was sold out for the first time in the event’s 37-year history saw 19,500 runners partake in the 26.2 mile race including more than 5,000 international runners.

The 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Boston College Eagles and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets which saw an attendance of more than 40,000 fans at the Aviva Stadium was recognised as the Best International Sports Event.

The Irish Life GAA Healthy Club project in which more than 60 clubs nationwide are involved was the best CSR initiative in sport.

Golfgraffix which creates apps for golf clubs producing real life graphic of golf course so as to engage both members and visitors received the innovation in sport award.

West Cork Community Sport and Physical activity Hub won the best local sports partnership initiative for their contribution to increasing opportunities in sport and physical activity on the islands of West Cork

National Governing Body of the year went to Paralympics Ireland for their achievements in raising awareness of the Paralympics athletes ahead of the 2016 Paralympics Games, securing broadcast on RTE and their fantastic partnership with Allianz.

The warmest ovation of the night though was reserved for Jimmy Magee, awarded the lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution award.

Jimmy has been providing the soundtrack to ireland’s sporting triumphs for more than 50 years. Renowned for his insight and knowledge of Irish Sport Jimmy presented radio and television coverage of the Olympic Games since 1968 whilst he first worked on the FIFA World Cup in 1966.

“The significance of the sports industry in Ireland is often underestimated,” said Bernard Brogan, President of the Federation of Irish Sport and four time All-Ireland winner.”It is fantastic to see such a range of companies and world class work being carried out within Irish sport. It is not just our athletes who can compete on the world stage, there are huge opportunities there for Irish businesses also.”

The 12 Sport Industry Awards Categories and winners were:

  • Best established sport business: Nemeton TV
  • Best emerging sport business: Sport for Business
  • Best mass participation programme: SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon & Race Series
  • Best international sports event: 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic
  • Best sponsorship of a team or individual:
    Allianz Ireland‘s Sponsorship of Paralympics Ireland 2016
  • Best sponsorship of a sporting event or competition:
    Lidl Ireland Sponsorship of Ladies Gaelic Football
  • Best use of social media: AIB Backing Club & County #TheToughest
  • Best corporate social responsibility initiative in sport:
    The GAA Healthy Club Project in Partnership with Irish Life
  • Best innovation in sport: Golfgraffix
  • Best LSP initiative: West Cork Community Sport & Physical Activity Hub
  • NGB of the year: Paralympics Ireland
  • Lifetime achievement & outstanding contribution award: Jimmy Magee