Council invests in Wolfhounds clash to promote Galway
Mike McCarthy, O2 Ireland Wolfhounds, wins possession for his side in a lineout when England Saxons played Ireland Wolfhounds in Exeter last January. Picture credit: Matt Impey / SPORTSFILE
By Richie Mccarthy
In a bid to promote the city to an international audience Galway City Council will invest €10,000 in an event to be held at the Sportsground in January.
Connacht Rugby has secured the rights to host Irish Wolfhounds versus England Saxons international rugby fixture on January 25, which will be aired live on Sky Sports and RTÉ 2.
Fianna Fáil councillor Peter Keane suggested it would be of major benefit for the city to piggyback on the event and use it as a platform to promote the city.
“There will be an estimated attendance of 8,000 plus in the Galway Sportsground,” he said. “This event will undoubtedly be a boost for Connacht Rugby and has potential to be a great boost to local trade in the fallow trading month of January. In bed nights alone it will contribute handsomely on what would no doubt otherwise be a quiet weekend.”
The sum for investment was found in the coffers of an unspent promotional budget for 2012 of which only €20,000 was spent.
The Galway City Council will partner with Connacht Rugby for the event to showcase Galway city to the regional, national, and international media. Cllr Keane said that “brand Galway” will be Connacht Rugby’s priority during promotion of the event on Sky television.
Through the use of branding around the pitch and on television promotions Cllr Keane hopes the event will bring more business to the city in the New Year.
“Significant return to our city is envisaged on this financial investment from the marketing budget in terms of exposure,” he said, “and also in a way that will see local trade benefit in this off peak time for tourism.”