Keough-Naughton College Football Trophy Travels to Atlanta
Georgia Tech and Boston College will face off in 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin
ATLANTA – The Keough-Naughton College Football Trophy was unveiled to the Georgia Tech media for the first time Thursday before the Yellow Jackets’ nationally televised game against Virginia Tech. Neil Naughton and Michael Keough were joined by Georgia Tech Athletic Director Mike Bobinski at the event and the trophy was also unveiled during the first quarter of Thursday night’s game in front of more than 50,000 fans at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Boston College and Georgia Tech will compete for the inaugural Keough-Naughton Trophy during Aer Lingus College Football Classic which will be played Sept. 3, 2016, at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. The 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be the third college football game in Ireland in the last five years.
The event is ‘More Than a Game’ with several Atlanta high-schools traveling to play games the day before the main event and several Irish-American business events organized around the game in Ireland. Demand for tickets will be high as the previous game at the 48,000-seat Aviva Stadium (Navy vs. Georgia Tech in 2012) sold out six months in advance.
The House of Waterford Crystal manufactured the game trophy, which was designed by Matt Kehoe, Head of Design at Waterford Crystal and hand crafted at the Waterford factory based in Ireland. The trophy is an American Football mounted on three individual sculpted pillars of crystal, resting on a beautiful base and plinth. Matt’s concept for the trophy was a ball in flight and the pillars represent the players’ arms catching the ball. The trophy is a fantastic addition to Waterford Crystals collection of World Famous sports trophies.
Neil Naughton, Chairman of the steering group created to maximize the business opportunity between Ireland and the United States around future College Football games in Dublin commented; “Don Keough was a charismatic leader, often described as the best president America never had. As leader of Coca Cola, an iconic global brand, Don was a vigorous and visionary presence in American business for over half a century. He was also a dynamic presence in Irish-America, where he supported Irish business, education and culture in multiple ways. Don brought wise counsel, good humour, and vigour to strengthening the relationship between Ireland and America.”
He continued; “One of the legacies that Don was most proud of was the Irish Studies program that he founded in Dublin, which has brought thousands of young Americans to Ireland. Because he believed strongly that the Irish-American partnership only worked well if it was equally supported on both sides of the Atlantic, he invited my father to co-chair this Irish Studies initiative. The Keough and the Naughton families have worked closely together in the last two decades to foster a strong link between Ireland and America.”
Mr Naughton then concluded with; “One ambition that the families share is to bring major American College football games to Dublin every two years, where elite universities will bring the spectacle and the drama of their sport to Irish turf. These games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between our two countries. We hope to add an exciting international chapter to the rich narrative of American College Football, which brings famous franchises like Boston College, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Georgia Tech, and Navy to Dublin.”