Notre Dame Touchdown with Aer Lingus & Visit USA Ireland
Travelbiz was a guest of Jenny Rafter (Head of global leisure sales Aer Lingus) and Tony Lane (Executive Director Visit USA Committee Ireland) at the Notre Dame Vs Navy college football game and tailgate party on Saturday and what a day and night it was.
Dublin was a sea of green and Navy as 40,000 fighting Irish Notre Dame and Navy football teams fans took over the nation’s capital. The atmosphere in Dublin over the course of the weekend was unbelievable with every street corner embracing the army of fun loving and very enthusiastic American College football fans.
We kicked off our afternoon with a Tailgate party in Dublin’s Morgan Hotel with trade and media colleagues as guests of Aer Lingus and the Visit USA Committee in Ireland. Jenny Rafter and Tony Lane made sure we were all well fed and watered in preparation for our party bus ride to the Aviva Stadium to get stuck into the celebration of Notre Dame and the Navy football teams going head-to-head.
Jenny Rafter (Head of global leisure sales Aer Lingus) welcomed all guests and partners highlighting the Aer Lingus partnership with college football and amazing exposure it provides for Ireland as a destination utilising the 18 direct routes with Aer Lingus from the USA including the very latest two direct routes from Dublin, Denver, Colorado and the re-launch of the Minneapolis-St. Paul route, both taking off from Dublin as part of its summer 2024 programme. The new additions will bring the total number of Aer Lingus routes operated between Ireland and North America to 18. This strategic expansion reflects the airline’s commitment to its Dublin Hub strategy, not just between Ireland and North America, but also offering seamless connections to Europe.
Tony Lane (Executive Director Visit USA Committee Ireland) thanked all trade partners for their amazing support with overall numbers to the USA now only a few percentage points away from getting back to pre-pandemic levels enjoyed in 2019. Tony also welcomed Bill Byrne (Sr. Vice President – Global Sales for Aer Lingus) who took time out of his very busy schedule to network with all partners on the day.
We party bused our way to the Stadium and what a show it was. If you have never experienced an American Football game at home or in the USA, you must put it on your must do and see bucket list! The “on the pitch” pre match show including bands, team warm ups, cheerleaders, flyovers, fan interaction with mascots and singalongs is very special experience and you can see why fans take the day and embrace game day with tailgate parties and more.
Notre Dame fighting Irish came out on top beating the Navy midshipmen by 42 points to 3. The star of the game and certainly a name to watch for a future in the NFL is Notre Dame quarter back Sam Hartman. He passed four touchdowns on the day!
Travelbiz would like to thank Jenny, Tony and Bill for their amazing hospitality and the opportunity to share the experience with you all.