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2019 Rugby World Cup attracts 6x increase in video views on social media

Rugby World Cup 2019 video content on official social media platforms attracted 2.1bn views, nearly six times the figure achieved by the 2015 tournament, World Rugby says.

The figure covers match and non-match video on World Rugby and Rugby World Cup social media platforms. WR also said the engagement rate with RWC 2019 social media content doubled to 6 per cent.

The tournament’s social media content team put a focus on light-hearted and entertaining content during the tournament that earned praise from other media.

WR worked with digital media firms Fifty Digital, Engage Digital Partners and Grabyo, and the participating unions, to produce the content.

The Land Rover Rugby World Cup Daily show was a centrepiece of the content, published on WR’s digital media platforms every morning during the tournament, and earned more than 11m views.

WR published several other audience statistics for RWC digital content in a press release, including:

  • 153.5m page views on www.­rugbyworldcup.­com, with more than half coming from Japan
  • 186.1m views of WR’s #RugbyFever collaboration with TikTok, with 45 per cent of all views coming from female followers
  • 944.5m views of Giphy content published by World Rugby and unions
  • 94.4m video views of RWC official content on Snapchat, where 68 per cent of the audience was between 13-24 years old, the largest audience was from the US, and average video watch time increased from 36 to 60 second between the start and finish of the tournament.
  • 45m engagements across WR social media channels, with Instagram delivering nearly 40 per cent of these.
  • 13 YouTube videos delivered more than a million views each.
  • Japanese-language WR and RWC social channels more than doubled their followers during the tournament.
  • 5.5m tweets of the #RWC2019 hashtag.
  • The most watched video on WR’s digital channels was New Zealand’s Haka ahead of the semi-final with England, with more than 22m views.
  • 1.2m downloads of the official Rugby World Cup 2019 mobile app on Apple and Android during the tournament.

Marissa Pace, World Rugby’s chief marketing officer, explained the organisation’s approach to social media for the tournament: “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.”

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