Travelbiz E-Zine
18
December
2023

Aer Lingus College Football Classic secures college football’s premier pre-game TV show to kick off 2024 season from Dublin

#Traveltradetogether

ESPN TV deal opens up significant audience to showcase Ireland at its best on a global stage.

College GameDay’s first show to originate outside the United States.

Week Zero show and game will air Saturday, Aug. 24, 2024, on ESPN.

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot has announced it will kick off the 2024 college football season in Dublin when rivals Georgia Tech and Florida State University play in the 2024 Aer Lingus College Football Classic at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2024. Working in cooperation with Aer Lingus and Tourism Ireland, College GameDay’s trip to Dublin marks the first time that college football’s premier pregame show is originating from outside the United States.

The actual game scheduled to take place in ‘Week Zero’ for the 2024 Championship, will be televised on ESPN to an estimated 4 million plus US live audience.

This latest TV deal to host the College GameDay show in Dublin for the first time, will provide another welcome boost for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic brand, its principal stakeholders, (Aer Lingus, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council) along with its portfolio of corporate partners looking to showcase their brands and services to the North American market in particular.

Commenting on the significance of bringing the popular ESPN College GameDay show, to Dublin, Padraic O’Kane, Irish American Events Ltd. said: “Excitement and anticipation is really building for the 2024 season-opening game of the US College Football Season taking place in Dublin. Having the College GameDay show hosted from Dublin for the first time will add huge interest and awareness of the game in Ireland and provide significant opportunities to promote Ireland as a destination to a compelling audience comprising millions of viewers.”

Viewership Milestones

College GameDay will enter the 2024 campaign following its two most viewed seasons ever. After 2022’s most-viewed college football regular season (2.1 million viewers), GameDay achieved its second-best season in 2023, averaging 2.0 million viewers, including CGD season records of six shows surpassing 2.2 million viewers and a reach of 30 million total viewers.

“Travelling College GameDay overseas and sharing the excitement and traditions of college football with sports fans from other countries is something we’ve always wanted to do,” said Seth Markman, ESPN vice president and executive producer. “Ireland is an amazing country known for having very passionate sports fans, so we expect an incredible atmosphere and experience for this first-ever international show in Dublin.”

Aer Lingus Chief Customer Officer Susanne Carberry said, “We are delighted to welcome ESPN’s College GameDay to Dublin in 2024. The Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2024 is sure to be another exciting game when Georgia Tech take on Florida State, and now thanks to ESPN, fans stateside can get a slice of the action live from Dublin as well as bringing the Aer Lingus brand into millions of homes right across the U.S. Next year, Aer Lingus will connect North America to Ireland through 16 direct routes and we look forward to welcoming on board the many fans that will travel over for the game.’’

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