England Rugby set to win off the pitch as 6 Nations to break 1 million mentions

London, 31.03.16 – Earlier this month, Repucom monitored and tracked the online social share of voice for the 6 competing nations in this year’s tournament.

London, 18.03.16 – England’s rugby team has been mentioned in over one in four (29%) of all social media conversations around this year’s RBS 6 Nations, almost twice as much as any other team, which is helping RFU partners capitalise on fans’ social engagement around this year’s tournament, according to data released today by Repucom, the trusted advisors in sports and entertainment intelligence.

Wales currently come in second in terms of share of voice on social media, accounting for 17% of all fan posts around the tournament, followed by Scotland (16%), France (13%), Ireland (13%) and Italy (12%).


Share of Voice (SOV): Digital Pulse analyses 750 teams and leagues

The data comes from Repucom’s Digital Pulse tool which analyses the social media accounts of over 750 teams and leagues across seven sports in eleven international markets to define with greater precision the global share of voice of sports, teams and events.

In 2015, 950,000 rugby-related social media posts were published during the tournament. To date, the 2016 tournament has already generated well over 750,000 mentions and Repucom predict the 6 Nations this year will see that total number of social media posts surpass the one million mark.

RBS 6 Nations to achieve 10% Share of Voice globally this weekend

During the tournament, RBS 6 Nations games generally account for around 4% of the global online sports buzz although this year it is expected to achieve over 10% during the final weekend. This means that brands associated with the tournament, teams and athletes which are activating through social media are set to take advantage, generating significant media values as a result.

Brands benefit as England dominate online

Max Barnett, Head of Digital, Repucom, said:

“This year, England Rugby are enjoying over 29% of all of the social media buzz around the RBS 6 Nations in a tournament that is seeing record social share of voice versus some of sport’s social heavy hitters including football and basketball. This data further demonstrates the importance of sponsors thinking ‘digital first’.

“Genuine collaboration – be it sharing of resource, media and production budget – between rights holders and brands is a change to status quo and requires innovation and real partnership in this space. England Rugby are starting to be seen as the benchmark in rugby and UK sport with digital activations with most of their partners including O2, IBM, Guinness, Samsung and Dove.

“The team has placed content authenticity and exclusivity at the heart of their 6 Nations strategy leveraging their fan bases across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat. Other brands who we’ve seen activate well include Admiral and Under Armour in partnership with the WRU; Sony, Accenture and Ulster Bank in partnership with the IRU; and adidas in partnership with the FFR.

“For rights holders to succeed in the ultra-competitive digital environment it’s not just about having great content, it’s how you collaborate with your partners to enhance the fan experience and keep them coming back for more. The era of ‘selling tweets’ is gone, as brands increasingly view rights holders as digital activation agencies.”

Examples of England Rugby’s partner activations at this year’s 6 Nations tournament include:

#O2InsideLine – behind the scenes interviews and highlights: https://www.instagram.com/p/BCxUznryVYU/?taken-by=englandrugby

An epic encounter awaits. #carrythemhome🌹

Ein von England Rugby (@englandrugby) gepostetes Video am

#IBMTRYTRACKER – stats on game influencers: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialEnglandRugby/videos/10153629677509825/

Experts hail key influencer Brown

138m gained. 7 defenders beaten. 3 gainline breaks. Matt Dawson, Paul Grayson and Shane Williams praise the influence of Mike Brown.

Posted by England Rugby on Sunday, March 13, 2016

Guinness Pitch Side Pundit – ex players pitch side interviews: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialEnglandRugby/videos/10153624660264825/

Lee Mears and Women's RWC winner Mo Hunt analyse first half action with Guinness pitch side pundit

Posted by England Rugby on Saturday, March 12, 2016

@anthonywatson_ is ready to #scrumtogether🌹 for England. Are you? @dove_men

Ein von England Rugby (@englandrugby) gepostetes Video am

A good sign for World Rugby and the game

The release of this data is a perhaps the icing on the cake for World Rugby as the sport has seen a huge uplift in fan engagement online. The World Cup in September and October 2015 set an array of benchmarks and online records, most notably in its opening weekend where 38% of all social media buzz in sport globally centred on rugby. What’s more, this was during a weekend which included popular football, basketball and American football games.Globally, rugby usually generates just 1% of total sports conversations online but during the Rugby World Cup the sport enjoyed a sustained period of a share of voice online, with 18% of all conversations based on the tournament itself.