Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Thursday) announced Tourism Ireland’s sponsorship of the Ireland cricket team for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which kicks off on 14th February. The announcement was made at the cricket grounds at the historic Trinity College Pavilion in Dublin and was attended by Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and Domestic Tourism, Michael Ring TD.
The ICC Cricket World Cup, which takes place in Australia and New Zealand from 14th February until 29th March, will be televised in 220 countries, to a potential 2.5 billion viewers.
Tourism Ireland believes this is a unique opportunity to leverage the popularity of the Ireland cricket team and the Cricket World Cup around the world to support tourism growth from Australia and New Zealand, as well as other key cricket-loving countries, at a cost effective level. The organisation intends to leverage the huge, positive media exposure of the tournament with its Ireland.com logo prominently displayed on the team’s playing shirt and training kit. The logo will also feature prominently on the website and social media platforms of Cricket Ireland. Video footage of the island of Ireland, including interviews with some of the players describing their favourite place to holiday will be shared by Tourism Ireland on its website, Ireland.com, and with its Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
This is the third time the Ireland cricket team will compete in the Cricket World Cup; during their first two appearances in 2007 and 2011, they achieved two of their greatest successes, beating traditional cricketing giants, Pakistan and England respectively, to great public and media acclaim.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: ‘I warmly welcome Tourism Ireland’s sponsorship of the Ireland cricket team in the ICC Cricket World Cup. It is a great opportunity to highlight Ireland’s tourism offering to a global audience, in a variety of both established and developing overseas tourism markets. The sponsorship agreement is timely, as it follows the recent launch of the British-Irish Visa Scheme, under which visitors from many new and developing overseas tourism markets will be able to travel freely around Ireland and the United Kingdom on a single visa. India, where cricket is enormously popular, is one of the countries to which this new scheme is being rolled out. I look forward to this sponsorship agreement providing increased awareness of Ireland as a tourism destination around the world’.
The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring T.D. said: “The Ireland team has grown enormously in stature as a force in World Cricket in recent years. This sponsorship agreement is an opportunity for Ireland to benefit from this increased profile, with the Ireland.com logo beamed into homes across the world, creating awareness about Ireland which will translate into decisions to travel in the future. I wish the Ireland cricket team every success at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and look forward to seeing visitors coming to see first- hand our rich and varied tourism offering in the future’.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘We are delighted to be associated with the Ireland cricket team and such a high profile tournament. Our sponsorship of the team in this year’s Cricket World Cup offers us a unique opportunity to highlight the island of Ireland to a huge global audience. It’s wonderful for us to be involved in a sport that has such a wide appeal in many of our important tourism markets and we look forward to connecting and communicating with a wide audience of cricket fans across the world’.
Warren Deutrom, CEO of Cricket Ireland, said: ‘We are very proud that Tourism Ireland will be supporting our efforts at the World Cup as our team sponsor. As a standard-bearer for Ireland on the world stage, it is entirely fitting that our World Cup squad will be sponsored by the organisation responsible for promoting our island abroad. Cricket is Ireland’s fastest-growing sport and has enormous prominence in a number of key overseas tourism, education and commercial markets for Ireland. Therefore, we are confident that we can deliver for Ireland plc during one of the world’s great sporting events’.
Sport-related tourism has emerged as a very significant element in world tourism in recent years, with a multi-million euro market and a huge potential for countries who position themselves correctly. High profile sporting events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup provide Tourism Ireland with a unique opportunity to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination as well as a top location for sporting events.
Australia and New Zealand are growing markets for Irish tourism; in 2014, we welcomed 212,000 visitors from Australia and New Zealand to the island of Ireland. And the outlook for 2015 is positive, with sentiment amongst the Australian and New Zealand travel trade very positive about continued growth.
The Ireland cricket team departs for Australia on 30th January, for a training camp at the Randwick Petersham Cricket Club where, in addition to playing the Sydney-based outfit, the team will also play warm-up games against Scotland and Bangladesh, before facing the West Indies in the tournament opener in New Zealand, on 16th February.
Ireland match schedule for Cricket World Cup 2015
– 16 February West Indies v Ireland
– 25 February Ireland v United Arab Emirates Brisbane
– 3 March South Africa v Ireland
– 7 March Zimbabwe v Ireland
– 10 March India v Ireland
– 15 March Pakistan v Ireland