Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence - Penn State Altoona

Blogs: Suzanne Lesher

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our day started off with a trip to Croke Park, a part of the Gaelic Athletic Association, to learn about traditional Gaelic sport's and the history behind it. The stadium reminded me of Penn State's Beaver Stadium. It can hold approximately 82,300 people. What I found most interesting was how passionate proud each player and the energy and excitement the fan base.

It was also surprising to learn that none of the players are paid. They all have day jobs and families and businesses of their own. Being a hurling or handball or Gaelic football player professionally is not something of the norm for the Irish. It is usual for a player to win a championship over the weekend, celebrate and be considered a hero in the community, and go back to work on Monday as any other ordinary person. Teachers, businessmen, community members who will simply fade back into society after the wave of excitement has faded. The amount of revenue the GAA makes for large games and events in astronomical, it bewildered me to understand how much pride everyone has for their teams, with no monetary benefit.

For lunch we stopped off at the Grand Canal Dock overlooking the Irish Sea. It was once an industrial park which later was converted to a business district equipped with small cafes and shops below. The water was crystal blue and the air was so crisp and clear, it was very relaxing to sit by the water and eat a small sandwich and take in the environment.

Next we went to Setanta Sports to learn about broadcasting and marketing. We had the privilege of touring the facility and seeing how it works to be the main broadcastersof Gaelic and modern sports around the world. We were able to see the broadcasts for Russia, South Africa, Australia and many more! It was interesting to learn about how the company was started and how they were able to grow to the size they are today.

From there we went to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery and Museum. It was intriguing to me to learn how the whiskey is made and how it is only made in Ireland. Sabine Sheehan, the Sales and Marketing Executive of Jameson, told us about how well their sales were and how they were doing extremely well all over the world.

We were also fortunate enough to visit the Guinness Factory and tour their facilities as well. The science behind the brewing process was incredible and I was thrilled to be able to have this experience in one of Dublins most sought after landmarks.

Today was most definitely my favorite day of this trip so far. With so much Irish pride and excitement, I could not be in a happier place than in this city! I am able to experience all of this and could not be more proud to be a Sheetz Fellow.

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