The Irish Independent's ground-breaking provincial rugby supplements have won the paper a prestigious international media award.
At a special ceremony in New York, the International News and Media Association (INMA) awarded the Irish Independent the accolade of 'Best Idea to Grow Single Copy Sales'.
The paper has become the official partner to Leinster, Connacht, and Munster rugby in the past year.
The supplements, which are available free in the Irish Independent every week, have helped increase circulation and revenue. A total of 190 newspapers from 38 countries submitted 578 entries to the 80th annual INMA awards, which celebrate the best international media sales and marketing initiatives.
Entries were subjected to a rigorous adjudication process by 33 media executives from 15 countries.
The judges also took into account other aspects of the marketing initiative, including the Irish Independent's presence in provincial stadia and its involvement with various activities on match days. Its interaction with other sponsors, such as Bank of Ireland, and their joint 'Sponsor for a Day' competition, coupled with the success of the initiative in driving sales and circulation, also impressed the judges.
Marketing director of INM Geoff Lyons said it was a "real honour" to see the company's work rewarded on the world stage.
"Our sponsorship of provincial rugby has allowed our brand permeate the game at every level, from the schools game right through to the professional game, and has importantly allowed us to deliver a unique content offering for our readers, and our advertisers," he said.