Gridiron in Dublin presents opportunity for business lift-off
Behind the glamour and razzmatazz of the American football game between Boston College and Georgia Tech at the Aviva Stadium in September is a chance for American chief executives to do business with Ireland.
Warren Zola, executive director of the Boston College CEO club, said the chance to network with Irish leaders was "too big to pass up". The CEO club will host its inaugural "global forum" at the Mansion House on September 2 in front of an audience of business leaders from Ireland, the UK and the United States.
Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent will be the keynote speaker and the event will be co-hosted by Glen Dimplex deputy chairman Neil Naughton and State Street chairman and chief executive Jay Hooley.
"Ireland is the gateway to Europe for many companies. Fidelity, EMC, State Street, Boston Scientific, all of these companies are huge international brands whose headquarters are in Boston but they have significant presence here in Ireland," Zola told the Sunday Independent.
"It's a natural fit for those CEOs to think about the first time ever having an event outside of Boston, making it Dublin, and making it something where they will come over here and represent their company and country where they've got a lot of investment, but also network with other key constituents in the business community over here in Ireland," he added.
Aer Lingus is sponsoring the game, which takes place on September 3. Tickets go on sale to Irish customers on Wednesday. The 2012 game between Notre Dame and Navy benefited the economy to the tune of €85m and organisers hope some 25,000 people will travel here from abroad for this year's game, according to the game's promoter Padraic O'Kane.
"It has always been our ambition that these College Football Classic games should be much more than a game, insofar as they provide an opportunity to celebrate the business and economic ties we have with the United States," O'Kane said.
"The business-oriented, networking and education programme that is developing around the game in September will have long-lasting benefits."
He added: "Dublin has become the European home for college football and this game and the surrounding events will be one of the largest events to take place in Ireland this year."
Sunday Indo Business