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Fun focus sees Rugby World Cup 2019 social and digital content break new ground and records

World Rugby (www.World.Rugby) has announced record-breaking digital content viewing figures for Rugby World Cup 2019 (www.RugbyWorldCup.com), confirming the tournament as one of the most watched and engaged sports events of the decade.

Fun and engaging content ensured record-breaking fan-engagement levels across World Rugby and Rugby World Cup digital products and social media platforms as the international federation prioritised reaching a younger audience through platforms including TikTok, Giphy and Snapchat.

Match and non-match video content across World Rugby and Rugby World Cup social platforms delivered more than 2.1 billion views, nearly six times the figure achieved at Rugby World Cup 2015, while engagement rates doubled from 2015 to six per cent as new rugby fans got closer to the action on and off the field.

The Land Rover Rugby World Cup Daily show, published across World Rugby’s digital platforms every morning during the tournament, delighted fans with its fun, light-touch content and was the most viewed daily online show of the year, generating almost 11 million views and achieving high praise from a diverse audience beyond seasoned rugby fans.

Significantly, World Rugby’s investment in content, supported by partners Fifty Digital, Engage Digital Partners, Grabyo and the participating unions, reaped record rewards with World Rugby owned channels delivering more than half of Rugby World Cup content video views on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube globally.

Highlights

  • 2.1bn video views
  • 54 per cent of views accessed via World Rugby channels
  • 153.5m page views on www.RugbyWorldCup.com with more than half coming from Japan
  • 1.8m new followers gained with 48 per cent and 29 per cent of growth on Instagram and YouTube respectively
  • 1.2m new App downloads with one in five coming from Asia
  • 186.1m views of World Rugby’s collaboration with TikTok, #RugbyFever: #RugbyFever was the number one performing TikTok trend in sport globally during the tournament, successfully reaching new audiences with Japan and Cambodia in the top five views and 45 per cent of all views coming from female followers
  • 944.5m Giphy views as fans engaged with World Rugby and union content
  • 68 per cent of Rugby World Cup Snapchat audience was between 13-24 years old, delivering 94.4m video views with the largest audience coming from the USA and an average video watch time nearly doubling from the start to the end of RWC 2019 (00:36 to 1:00 seconds).

World Rugby’s social media channels garnered 45 million engagements with Instagram delivering nearly 40 per cent of these, at an engagement rate of 22 per cent. There were 13 YouTube videos that delivered more than a million views each, more than quadruple the number from 2015.

More than 1.8 million new followers were attracted across World Rugby and Rugby World Cup multi-language channels, with the Japanese social channels more than doubling (128 per cent) in followers over the six-week tournament period.

The #RWC2019 conversation generated more than 5.5 million Tweets with engagement prominent in Asia and the USA along with established nations.

The most watched video on World Rugby’s digital channels was New Zealand's Haka (https://bit.ly/2rtoVn2) ahead of the semi-final with England, attracting more than 22 million views across all channels.

The official Rugby World Cup 2019 tournament mobile app reached the number one position for sports apps in both the App Store and Google Play Store in various countries throughout the event with 1.2 million new downloads during the tournament and more than 150 million screen views.

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “The growth in global engagement, coupled with these record-breaking outcomes overwhelmingly demonstrate the power of rugby to inspire an enormous new global audience as well as a clear appetite of fans to engage with much more than just match content.”

World Rugby Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Pace added: “Our focus on fan-engagement had a dual approach. First, we deepened the existing fan experience for our core audience and second, we turned to the ‘fun’ side of rugby to attract new fans to the sport.

“We wanted Rugby World Cup 2019 to be more than an outstanding rugby tournament, it was an immersive experience that brought a global audience into the heart of the sport. They were with the teams, with the fans, experiencing content that had personality, which played a significant role in 54 per cent of all 2.1 billion video views being accessed via World Rugby channels. Our fresh approach has enabled us to deliver the most digitally-consumed rugby event ever.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Rugby.

Media Contact: Dominic Rumbles Head of Communications World Rugby T: +353-86-8520-826 E: dominic.rumbles@worldrugby.org

Rugby@APO-opa.org

About Rugby World Cup: Rugby World Cup 2019 (www.RugbyWorldCup.com) in Japan was the ninth edition of rugby's showcase global event and the first in Asia. Rugby World Cup is the sport's financial engine, generating approximately 90 per cent of World Rugby's revenues for reinvestment in the global game over the four-year cycle. The record-breaking success of England 2015 is enabling World Rugby to invest GBP £482 million at all levels of the game between 2016 and 2019, eclipsing the previous four-year cycle by 38 per cent, to ensure strong and sustainable growth. All the latest news can be found at www.RugbyWorldCup.com and via @rugbyworldcup across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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