The thrill of victory, the roar of the crowd, the camaraderie of shared passion – these are the hallmarks of the unforgettable experience that is sports. But beyond the adrenaline rush, a hidden world awaits: the realm of sports hospitality. In Northern Ireland, this world transcends mere spectating, transforming itself into a potent blend of exceptional experiences, invaluable connections, and memories that last a lifetime.

Forget the sterile confines of corporate boxes. Imagine yourself teeing off on a championship golf course alongside legends of the game, or stepping onto the hallowed turf of a legendary football stadium mere moments before kickoff. In Northern Ireland, sports hospitality is about exclusive access, behind-the-scenes insights, and tailored experiences that cater to every desire.

This isn’t just about business, though. It’s about building lasting relationships, forging connections with clients, partners, and even employees in a setting that fosters engagement and camaraderie like no other. Picture yourself celebrating a thrilling victory with colleagues, or hosting a client event that transcends boardrooms and elevates your brand image to new heights.

So, buckle up as we embark on a journey into the vibrant world of sports hospitality in Northern Ireland. We’ll delve into the unique advantages this region offers, unveil the diverse range of packages available, and provide you with the tools to craft an unforgettable experience that ignites excitement, builds connections, and leaves you with memories that echo long after the final whistle blows.

This week, as part of our Business Leaders series, we take a look behind the scenes of sports and event hospitality with Ryan Kinnear of Corinthian Sports.

Corinthian Sports Insights into Sports Hospitality

Corinthian Sports specialises in providing high quality, tailored sports and corporate hospitality packages to suit individual and company needs – to ensure every event is impactful and unforgettable.

As Ireland Account Director, Ryan oversees the delivery of these packages for a wide range of clients. To learn more about this lesser known industry, watch our full Business Leaders episode below, or read on for the highlights.

Corinthian sports: insights into sports hospitality

Inside the World of Corporate and Sports Hospitality

During our interview, Ryan explained the fascinating work of his company but also outlined his route to such a unique role.

“At Corinthian Sports we do high quality corporate hospitality for companies. We provide five star events and venues. We have the best food, the best drink and the best celebrity guest speakers.”

But how did Ryan find his way to Corinthian Sports?

“Growing up in Belfast around the seventies and eighties there wasn’t much entertainment, so all we did was play sports. We played football, rugby, karate and even made up our own games. My family is very competitive, my father was a rugby player and managed the Ulster European Cup winning team in 1999. If we weren’t playing sports we were watching it.”

Without realising it, Ryan’s background shaped his entire future

“I wasn’t academically bright at school, but I was a grafter. After school I went to Manchester to do a law degree. I didn’t want to be a solicitor, I always wanted to go into sales. I was a sportsman and sales is very like sports. You always want to do your best, there’s competition and you have good and bad days.”

Ryan was offered the role at Corinthian Sports in March 2018. Upon meeting the directors, who have been in the hospitality industry for 60 years between them, Ryan met who he would call “visionaries of the industry”.

“When I went over for the interview, they already knew they were going to be gold partners of The Open 2019, which was the biggest sporting event in Northern Ireland’s history.”

From this, Ryan knew he was the perfect match for Corinthian Sports.

the open corinthian sports
Corinthian is an authorised package provider at The Open. Image credit: The Gambling Times

What Services Do Corinthian Sports Provide?

Ryan explained the range of services available from his company, which can be designed around a range of interests and budgets.

“At Corinthian, we offer five star quality events, and what clients want now more than ever is bespoke and boutique hospitality at these events.

“An example could be: a client of mine might want to go and watch the Ireland rugby game next week, which is a blockbuster event. They could watch it from a box, have the best gourmet food and complimentary drinks.”

With these elite services, comes close relationships with big names – and big venues.

“We also have very good relationships with the likes of The O2 and Wembley. So we also do concerts and, believe it or not, one of the best sales days for us in 2018 was the Spice Girls reunion.”

Corinthian Sports not only collaborates with other venues – it also provides its own one-of-a-kind experience.

“Our premium product is the Corinthian yacht for watching the Monaco Grand Prix. The yacht is actually positioned yards away from the track. There’s also a boat party on Friday nights with champagne on tap and gourmet food.”

“Whether it’s the thrill of a top sporting event such as Wimbledon, Six Nations, Royal Ascot, Cheltenham Festival, Formula One Racing, International Cricket – or the grandeur of corporate hospitality, such as the Chelsea Flower Show, Henley Royal Regatta or a live music concert – we go out of our way to make our clients’ day.”

To find out more about Corinthian Sports and sports hospitality, watch our full video. To discover more about Corinthian’s services, visit the official website.

Unveiling Northern Ireland’s Edge: Why Your Sports Hospitality Journey Begins Here

While the allure of sporting events resonates globally, Northern Ireland offers a distinct flavor of sports hospitality that surpasses mere spectating – it’s a gateway to affordable luxury, unparalleled warmth, and unforgettable experiences that leave you breathless long after the final whistle blows.

1. Affordable Luxury:

Unlike the hefty price tags often associated with sports hospitality hotspots, Northern Ireland beckons with a delightful surprise – accessible luxury. You can enjoy premium experiences, from VIP matchday seats to exclusive behind-the-scenes tours, at a fraction of the cost compared to some international destinations. This makes it the perfect playground for businesses seeking value without compromising on quality, and for individuals who dream of immersing themselves in the world of champions without breaking the bank.

2. Warm Hospitality:

Northern Ireland isn’t just about stunning landscapes and world-class sporting events; it’s about the people. Here, you’ll be greeted with a genuine warmth and a welcoming spirit that’s woven into the very fabric of the culture. From friendly bartenders in local pubs to passionate fans sharing their stories, every interaction is tinged with a unique charm that makes you feel like part of the family, not just a guest. This warmth extends beyond the stadiums, offering you a glimpse into the authentic spirit of the region, enriching your experience beyond the sporting arena.

3. Unforgettable Experiences:

Northern Ireland goes beyond the standard corporate box and generic tours. Here, you’ll find tailor-made experiences that delve deep into the heart of the sporting world. Picture yourself:

  • Teeing off alongside a golfing legend on a championship course with breathtaking scenery as your backdrop.
  • Gaining exclusive access to the pre-match dressing room before a major football match, feeling the electric energy as players prepare for battle.
  • Sipping champagne with VIPs in a hidden rooftop bar overlooking the stadium, witnessing the roar of the crowd from a unique vantage point.
  • Embarking on a private tour of a historical sporting venue, retracing the footsteps of sporting giants and uncovering legendary stories.

These are just a few of the possibilities waiting to be unveiled in Northern Ireland. No matter your passion – golfing, racing, football, or any other sport.

Unveiling the Hidden Benefits of Sports Hospitality in Northern Ireland

While the thrill of witnessing sporting greats in action is undeniable, the magic of sports hospitality in Northern Ireland extends far beyond the roar of the crowd. It unlocks a treasure trove of hidden benefits, weaving a tapestry of enhanced relationships, elevated brand image, and invigorated employee morale.

1. Cultivating Connections on the Sidelines:

Imagine closing a major deal within the vibrant buzz of a post-match reception, or forging lasting partnerships with key clients while reminiscing about a thrilling victory alongside golfing legends. Sports hospitality in Northern Ireland provides a potent catalyst for relationship building like no other.

The shared passion for the game breaks down barriers, fosters camaraderie, and creates a relaxed atmosphere where genuine connections form organically. Whether it’s networking with fellow executives in VIP boxes or exchanging stories with passionate fans in local pubs, these interactions open doors to new opportunities and solidify existing bonds.

2. Shining Your Brand in the Stadium Lights:

Forget generic advertising campaigns. When you associate your brand with prestigious sporting events in Northern Ireland, you bask in the reflected glory of athletic excellence. Imagine your logo emblazoned on VIP boxes overlooking major tournaments, or witnessing your clients sporting branded merchandise as they cheer on their favorite teams.

This visibility positions your brand at the heart of the action, aligning it with positive emotions, shared triumphs, and a spirit of community. This association elevates your brand image, attracts new customers, and reinforces your position as a leader in your field.

3. Unleashing Employee Excitement Beyond the Boardroom:

Motivating employees can be a daunting task, but Northern Ireland’s sports hospitality offers a solution as potent as it is unique. Rewarding your team with an unforgettable experience – cheering alongside legends, participating in pre-match events, or enjoying exclusive behind-the-scenes access – is a surefire way to boost morale and ignite excitement.

These shared experiences strengthen team bonds, foster a sense of belonging, and create lasting memories that solidify loyalty and engagement. Moreover, the thrill of the sporting arena spills over into the workplace, leading to increased productivity, creativity, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Delivering Quality Sports Hospitality Experiences: A Blueprint for Success

In the realm of sports hospitality, the ultimate goal is to orchestrate unforgettable experiences that leave guests raving and wanting more. To achieve this, meticulous attention to detail is crucial, ensuring every element – from event packages to transportation – seamlessly contributes to a memorable and flawless journey. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of key ingredients for delivering quality sports hospitality experiences:

A. Event Packages:

  • Tailored Options: Design diverse packages catering to a range of budgets, interests, and group sizes. Offer choices like premium matchday seats, behind-the-scenes tours, private suite access, and pre- or post-match receptions.
  • Experiences Beyond the Game: Include unique elements that go beyond the sporting event itself. Organize golf clinics with professionals, private tours of historical sporting venues, or exclusive meet-and-greets with athletes.
  • Flexibility and Customization: Allow for personalization and tailor packages to specific client needs and preferences. Be open to requests for additional experiences or adjustments to existing offerings.

B. Food and Beverage:

  • Culinary Excellence: Go beyond standard catering and elevate the experience with high-quality cuisine and diverse options. Showcase local specialties, cater to dietary needs, and offer premium beverage selections.
  • Presentation and Ambiance: Ensure impeccable presentation and service. Create a visually appealing atmosphere with elegant settings, themed decorations, and live entertainment where appropriate.
  • Interactive Choices: Consider interactive food stations, live cooking demonstrations, or private chef experiences for an added touch of exclusivity and engagement.

C. Accommodations:

  • Strategic Partnerships: Collaborate with reputable hotels and accommodations near popular sporting venues to offer convenient and comfortable options for guests. Negotiate special rates and VIP amenities.
  • Variety and Customization: Cater to diverse budgets and preferences by offering a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to boutique establishments or unique experiences like castle stays.
  • Additional Services: Arrange seamless airport transfers, private car services, or even exclusive tours of the city or surrounding attractions to optimize the overall experience.

D. Transportation:

  • Seamless and Efficient: Provide hassle-free transportation solutions, including airport transfers, matchday transportation to and from venues, and options for exploring the city.
  • Luxury Considerations: Offer premium transportation options like chauffeured cars or private coaches for VIP packages or corporate clients.
  • Local Insights: Integrate local transportation systems like taxis or public transport where suitable, and provide clear instructions and assistance to navigate the city efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What types of sports are popular for sports hospitality in Northern Ireland?

A: Football (soccer), golf, rugby, motorsport, Gaelic games, and cricket are all popular options. However, niche sports like cycling, horse racing, and hockey also offer unique opportunities for tailored experiences.

Q: How much does sports hospitality in Northern Ireland cost?

A: Prices vary depending on the event, package type, and desired level of exclusivity. However, Northern Ireland is known for its affordability compared to other sports hospitality destinations. You can find premium experiences at a fraction of the cost.

Q: What are the benefits of sports hospitality in Northern Ireland for businesses?

A: It’s a fantastic platform for relationship building, networking with clients and partners, and boosting employee morale. It can also enhance your brand image, associate your company with success and excitement, and create lasting memories for your team.

Q: Do I need to travel from abroad to experience sports hospitality in Northern Ireland?

A: No, there are plenty of excellent sporting events and hospitality packages within Northern Ireland itself. However, the region also offers convenient access to major sporting events in nearby Great Britain, thanks to its excellent transport connections.

Q: How can I find out more about specific sports hospitality packages in Northern Ireland?

A: Contact local event organizers, sporting venues, or tourism boards. You can also find information online and through travel agencies specializing in sports tourism.


Northern Ireland’s sports hospitality scene is more than just watching a game; it’s an immersive experience that combines passion, excitement, and genuine warmth. The unique blend of affordability, unforgettable experiences, and warm hospitality sets it apart, offering a compelling proposition for individuals, businesses, and anyone seeking a truly extraordinary adventure.

Future Outlook:

The future of sports hospitality in Northern Ireland is bright. With a growing awareness of its unique advantages, increasing investment in sporting infrastructure, and a focus on sustainable and responsible practices, the region is poised to become a leading destination for this thriving industry. Expect to see:

  • Emerging trends: Continued focus on health and wellness experiences, integration of technology like VR and AR, and a demand for even more personalized and tailored packages.
  • Sustainable initiatives: Increased focus on eco-friendly practices, locally sourced products, and responsible tourism within the sporting landscape.
  • Diversification: Expansion beyond traditional sports to cater to niche interests and diverse audiences.

So, whether you’re a seasoned sports fan, a business seeking to connect with clients, or simply someone looking for an unforgettable experience, Northern Ireland’s sports hospitality landscape offers something for everyone. As the industry continues to evolve and innovate, one thing remains constant: the warmth, passion, and dedication to creating truly exceptional memories that define this unique corner of the world.

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