The Americas Rugby Championship’s pulsating start is proving successful in attracting and engaging a new young audience across North and South America with record social and digital media engagement in the opening two rounds.
The positive results have been driven by a digital-first marketing strategy designed to enhance the reach of rugby within the six competing countries by providing fun and engaging content all social platforms within the region.
The Americas Rugby Championship has seen more than three million engagements across the ARC’s primary social and digital platforms, with more than 1.5 million coming directly from World Rugby’s platforms. More than 75 per cent of engaged fans are under the age of 24, whilst the #ARC2019 hashtag has been used 6,000 times. The most successful video to date was a compilation of Brazil’s scrum dominance against Canada, attracting 650,000 views.
Broadcast coverage has also been strong, reaching across the entirety of the Americas through host broadcaster ESPN, TSN (Canada) and FloRugby (USA). The rest of the world has been able to enjoy each game live on World Rugby’s social media platforms. All 15 matches are available to viewers across the Americas region within a broadcast schedule that contains zero overlap. Fans can watch all three matches each weekend back-to-back.
Rugby Americas President and World Rugby Vice Chairman Agustín Pichot said: "The level of competition has continually increased over the first four years of the Americas Rugby Championship. Developing players and competitive teams is important in a regional and global context, but equally important is attracting new youth audiences in the Americas, by making the product as accessible, compelling and fun as possible. Our digital and social content strategy is a conquest strategy, giving young fans a point of inspiration. Competitions can’t just occur for the sake of player development. That is one component of the broader picture."
Rugby Americas CEO Dan Payne, added: "A stated goal for the competition was to grow the Americas Rugby Championship as a brand and increase the overall awareness of the competition, both, within the region and globally. In two short weeks the competition has shown the ability to produce entertaining content. Brazil’s Scrum highlight videos are a perfect example. There are close to 650,000 views alone from two 20-second clips. The top five tries of the preceding weekend’s matches easily surpass six figures each week. There’s a lot of work to do still, but we’ve seen strong signs that there’s an appetite for the content the competition is creating and that’s very exciting."
The five-round tournament, involving the top six countries in the Americas - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Canada and the United States - resumes on Friday with Canada versus Chile, while Argentina XV v Uruguay and USA v Brazil are both on Saturday.© Worldrugby.org