World Rugby 2015 – The Fans

Download Part 1 of 3 - The Rugby Union Fan

In the first of a three-part white paper series ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Repucom experts from around the world examine rugby’s commercial landscape. Part 1 focuses on fans and interest levels. Part 2 looks at global rugby sponsorship.

Fans Rugby Union


Marco Nazarri (Italy)

Italian national team matches have always been characterised by a strong presence on Twitter and other social networks like Facebook and Instagram. A connected phenomenon can be seen in the rise of blogs and web forums dedicated to rugby in Italy, where fans and passionate followers have found a place of gathering and discussion. It is fair to expect a similar, if not even stronger, effect for the 2015 World Cup.

Kelvin Watt (South Africa)

A great deal more second screen activity with very high social media volumes.

Pierre-Emmanuel Davin (France)

I think the consumption of the event will change – or is changing – thanks to all the digital tools for the digitally-minded fans. The more it happens the more connected they are, the more they feel part of the event and they have a more proactive view – it’s not only supporting the team, it’s sharing the feeling for the team and the event. Talking about business, it is a great opportunity for brands to get closer to their targets – fans and consumers.

Guy Port (Australia)

Far more than type of media will be timezones. How Australians consume a World Cup based in New Zealand is going to be very different from one in Europe, where it’s un-timezone friendly. The social media distribution, particularly looking at the east coast of Australia waking up between 6 and 8 every morning, is going to be a key deliverer of information in this part of the world. How Australian rugby, World Rugby and the World Cup choose to deliver that information – everything from basic updates, to stats and integrated video – will be crucial. It’s really a unique position in how we can stay informed about a European tournament, compared to how we could for, say, the 2007 tournament in France. Fox Sports, a cable provider, will take every game live and in HD and then Channel Nine, a free-to-air broadcaster, has rights. You can be assured it will have all the Wallabies games and the games in the pointy end of the competition.

Jon Stainer (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland) 

We’ve done some historical analysis around previous World Cups and looked to forecast what the impact might be in terms of interest post-England 2015. The research we’ve conducted suggests there will be five million more people interested in the game following the World Cup here, which is a significant number and plays really nicely into the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) legacy plans around inclusion.



TV: 87%
Internet: 82%
Social Media: 50%

United Kingdom

TV: 92%
Internet: 86%
Social Media: 57%

New Zealand

TV: 89%
Internet: 84%
Social Media: 51%

South Africa

TV: 98%
Internet: 44%
Social Media: 39%

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