Ireland named ‘official travel destination’ of Notre Dame Athletics


Tourism Ireland collaboration with Notre Dame Athletics to reach 21 million in the USA, writes Shauna McCrudden

Glenn Eastwood, Tourism Ireland, at the Tourism Ireland booth on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana

Tourism Ireland in the USA is teaming up with the University of Notre Dame Athletics, in an exciting new collaboration to promote Ireland. Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.

The new partnership was announced before the Notre Dame v Purdue football game this weekend. The partnership, which will run until April 2022, kicked off on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana. It started with a special game-day promotion, where the Notre Dame ‘Fighting Irish’ fans could visit the Tourism Ireland booth to enter a competition to win a trip for two to Ireland.

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The new partnership offers Tourism Ireland an opportunity – as the “official travel destination of Notre Dame Athletics” – to leverage the strong Irish heritage of the University of Notre Dame’s alumni and fans, and to showcase Ireland to them as a ‘must visit’ holiday destination.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said, “As we begin to restart tourism from the United States to Ireland, we are excited about our new partnership with University of Notre Dame Athletics. It will further strengthen the long-established links between Notre Dame and Ireland and encourage fans and alumni alike to keep Ireland ‘front of mind’ for future vacations.”

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Future activity will include a mix of online and in-person promotions. In addition, Notre Dame alumni and former sports stars will travel to Ireland in spring 2022. Photos and video highlights of their time in Ireland will then be shared on the social channels of Tourism Ireland and Notre Dame Athletics. The campaign is expected to reach around 21 million people.

Before Covid-19, the United States was the second-largest source market for tourism to the island of Ireland. In 2019, Ireland welcomed 1.7 million American visitors, whose visits generated revenue of €1.6 billion.

Alison adds, “Working with high profile, non-travel brands and partners is part of Tourism Ireland’s strategy to reach our target audience in the United States in new and unexpected ways.”

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