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Sport >
Pop Culture.


Entertainment and Emotions

Sports and pop culture (entertainment) have the largest amount of stories across the past three years. Constantly in our news feeds. Both have always been interlinked, but it is sport not pop culture which truly resonates with Irish people.

While pop culture stays top of mind, sports stays in the heart.


Pop Culture is Everywhere, but Sport is Emotions

Hozier, Jurassic World, Ed Sheeran, Rose of Tralee, Oscars and Star Wars were just some of the 55 pop culture stories analysed across the past three years. In sport, every event from the O’Donovan brother’s rowing success to Usain Bolt’s defeat in the 100m to Conor McGregor knock out of Jose Aldo in 13 seconds was analysed – 52 stories in total.

However, when we compare the top 10 stories by awareness, with the top 10 stories by importance, it is clear to see how sport connects with the nation on a deeper level than entertainment.


The story which most people were aware of was the death of music artist Prince, followed closely by the death of David Bowie. Other popular stories included the release of Star Wars, the birth of Princess Charlotte and the release of Fifty Shade of Grey.


However, the stories which connected with people, that is stories which people said were important in their lives included the Irish rugby team playing in the Six Nations, the football team playing in the Euros and the Olympic success of Annalise Murphy and the O'Donovan brothers.

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Stories over time.

Sport stories dominate pop culture stories across the three years, but environmental stories (including our obsession with the weather) have an even higher engagement rate.


Sport creates emotional engagement for brands

Sport has always been fuelled with emotion - the excitement of your team winning the championship, the heart-break when you lose by a point. Since modern marketing, brands have had a significant involvement with sport through sponsorship. Irish people are more likely to favour a brand that supports sporting events or teams.

Sport stories not only has the benefits of reaching mass audiences, but they are also seen as very important in our country's culture. It is vital that brands respect the meaning of sports involvement and the various norms and rituals within each sporting tribe.

Pop Culture drives brand awareness

We all need some light entertainment, from music to movies, and from virals to video games. In world a wash with serious, often stressful news, it is no wonder there is a proliferation of pop culture news.

While people acknowledge these stories are not as important as others in their life, there remains to be a high level of awareness as people dip into entertainment and lifestyle news. These are the perfect spaces for brands to drive awareness, but not necessarily deeper brand engagement.

What really matters to people in Ireland are their own homes, health and identity - brands need to truly understand these specific areas.