Irish Independent answers advertiser’s quest to up its event sponsorship game

In May 2013, Liberty Insurance announced a major new partnership with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and the Camogie Association, which saw the brand sponsor both the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship and the Camogie Championships. This was the first time that the same sponsor has supported both of Ireland’s oldest games.

To raise awareness of its continued sponsorship in 2014, Liberty Insurance approached the Irish Independent with a brief outlining the following objectives:

  • To deliver GAA fans with more editorial, more content, more analysis in an entertaining way for both hurling and camogie.

  • Leverage Liberty Insurance’s sponsorship of the Hurling and Camogie Championships.

  • To deliver a first-to-market, innovative, and collaborative media solution. 

Our methodology:

In a media first, we collaborated with GAA analyst and social influencer in his field Ray Boyne to create bespoke infographics, which we then ran on three different formats across our media platforms every Monday after the game.

GAA fans live and breathe the sport and want their sponsors to show the same level of commitment to better the game across every level and reward/pay tribute to the clubs, communities, and players who dedicate their whole lives to the sport.

Passion, debate, excitement … it’s all in the journey! It’s filled with highs and lows but the months leading up to the championship final is a journey that all fans thrive on sharing together. They love being involved in the conversation.

With more than 10 insurance companies competing in the one space in Ireland, Liberty Insurance needed to offer a differentiator to break through the noise of discounts and value offers. By raising awareness of its sponsorship with the GAA, Liberty Insurance succeeded in communicating a very different message that resonated with communities nationwide.

The Irish Independent collaborated with Boyne (@AnalysisGaa) to deliver state-of-the-art, factual infographics with all of the key information relating to each game on the Monday morning following the Sunday game. The infographics needed to be created and designed from data supplied by Boyne within a very tight timeframe following the game. 

From the moment the whistle was blown after each game, the sales director, graphic designer, and sports editor at the Irish Independent worked together every Sunday evening to ensure the infographic was factual, informative, entertaining, and, most importantly, that it ran in all the correct areas across the multi-platform campaign.

Through its support of the GAA Hurling & Camogie championships, Liberty Insurance demonstrated an emotive and relevant connection with the people of Ireland — people who put their hearts and souls into getting behind their team and supporting them above and beyond in the run up to and at the game. From July to September 2014, the nation held its breath as one of the most epic seasons of Hurling Championships took place. 

In a media first, we collaborated with Boyne to create bespoke infographics which we then ran on three different formats across our media platforms every Monday after the game: The campaign ran from July through Sept 2014:

  1. Print: A double page spread in the sports pages of the Irish Independent.

  2. Online: Featured in the main editorial match review thread on

  3. Social: As well as sharing it socially on our @independent_ie Twitter page, Liberty Insurance, and Boyne also tweeted the infographic and reacted to comments relating to the campaign in an extremely responsive manner in real time

Here’s a more detailed look at how the project worked:

  • Partnership began once Championship was at provincial final stages.

  • Game played on the Sunday.

  • Ray analysed game in great detail throughout using specialised software and Hawkeye stats provided by Liberty Insurance. His data included the following each week: Table of match activity (please see attached PDF for full breakdown), shooting heat map for each team playing, scoring timeline graph, time in possession barometer, top three influencers, hawk eye (fastest ball speed and average ball speed for each team; speed shown in kilometers per hour).

  • This data and analysis was then shared with the Irish Independent sales director and graphic designer.

  • Irish Independent sports desk contributed their game at a glance editorial review of the game: Man of the match, turning point, talking point, magic moment, referee watch, what’s next, attendance.

  • Designer took data and redesigned into easy-to-read infographic.

  • Infographic then approved by client.

  • Published and shared on social channels.

The infographic, called “A Closer Look,” was a bespoke Liberty Insurance asset, which was commissioned to run in the sports section of the Irish Independent every Monday for nine weeks after the games.

It brought fans exclusive content from an expert statistician Boyne. We were able to bring fans the exact ball speed down to the millisecond from Hawkeye in Croke Park. This sparked huge levels of interest and conversation as it was never seen before content.


  • Average dwell time was five minutes, double the usual 2.3 minutes for Hurling articles.

  • Social reach: 939,728 for shared infographic.

  • Page views: 30,000 during the period of the campaign.

  • 300+ new Twitter followers on Liberty Insurance Twitter page during campaign period.

About Declan Fahy

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