World Rugby

World Rugby Hub

Welcome to Nielsen Sports´ Rugby Hub, providing in-depth analysis from around the world across three distinct areas: The fans, the sponsors and the future of the sport.

Experts from a number of markets have given their opinion and backed with data, these three areas which define rugby today can be downloaded for free. Follow the links below to get your copy, as well as taking a look at Repucom CEO, Paul Smith, as he shares his views on rugby’s global commercial landscape.

Part 1 of 3 - The Rugby Union Fan

Fans Rugby Union Repucom

Download the free white paper

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 – Rugby Union: The Sponsors

Rugby Union Sponsorship

Download the free white paper

Part 2 sees Repucom’s global team of experts examine rugby union’s sponsors and sponsorship market on the eve of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and the challenges and opportunities for brands active in the space.

Part 3 – Rugby Union: The Future

Rugby Union The future

Download the free white paper

In part 3 of this series of Repucom white papers on rugby union, experts from around the world consider the future of the sport and its commercial development post-England 2015, ahead of the Olympic debut of rugby sevens in Rio de Janeiro next year.

Social media activation: who’s reached the knockout stages?

Repucom has identified, monitored and valued three of the most striking social campaigns deployed by non-official Rugby World Cup partners, Guinness, Samsung and Beats by Dre, during the build-up and group stages of this year’s tournament.

Beats by Dr Dre

Beats by Dr Dre has used the Rugby World Cup to move its international marketing activities away from its US heartland. As a natural follow-on to its work around last year’s FIFA World Cup, the brand has produced a series of cinematic-style videos under the banner ‘The Game Starts Here’, featuring the likes of New Zealand captain Richie McCaw and France’s Wesley Fofana. During the group phase, the videos generated over £2.6 million of value across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube across 40 posts, including nearly £1.9 million from YouTube. By launching these three hero-themed video pieces on the eve of the tournament, Beats by Dre generated 20 million views on YouTube alone. It is also the only one of the three to have utilised Instagram as an activation platform, so far generating over £113,000. On Twitter, the Beats campaign has helped globalise its Twitter conversation: from January to August, the non-US share of Twitter conversation around Beats was 32 per cent, but driven by the #GameStartsHere campaign this has risen to 43 per cent in September and October.



Samsung, the official consumer electronics partner of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the England team, hired British comedian Jack Whitehall and several former England internationals, including Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio, for its ‘School of Rugby’ campaign. Its series of films, aimed at more casual fans rather than experts, help to explain some of rugby’s rules and are largely focused on the domestic audience in the host nation. In addition to a major UK television advertising campaign, Samsung has so far generated over £288,209 in value from digital, much of which has been generated via 13 Facebook posts.



Guinness, a longstanding rugby sponsor, has adopted a reactive approach to its World Cup-related campaign. It has created striking rugby-related images which resemble the famous image of a pint of Guinness – notably the frothy white head – in the immediate aftermath of games. These have so far included the appearance of a crutch to mark Ireland’s injury-hit victory over France and the Japanese team huddled after their famous win over South Africa on the opening weekend of the tournament. Its reactive posts have generated value of nearly £350,000, mainly through Facebook.

*Valuation Scope*

Valuations are inclusive of any paid media on each platform; Valuations only consider Global Beats by Dre social profiles; Samsung campaign was UK only; Guinness UK for Facebook and Twitter valued, Guinness Europe for YouTube; Timeframe: 1st September 2015 to 12th October.