Five things we learned from Growing Rugby Through Digital Innovation

A packed auditorium at Pinsent Masons in central London saw the Six Nations, the EPCR, HSBC and World Rugby join our panel for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges the sport of rugby faces in 2019 ahead of a massive year for the sport.

On the panel were:

Martyn Hindley – Head of Communications and PR, EPCR
James Abraham – Content and Programming Manager, World Rugby
Shane Whelan – Digital Manager, Six Nations
Sven Gloor – Senior Manager Global Rugby Strategy & Planning, HSBC

And moderator Rupert Pratt – Director, Snack Media and Digital Sport.

Here are five things we learned from the evening:

Sevens and Women’s rugby are where World Rugby see the biggest cut-through

The faster and more social-friendly rugby 7s and the rapidly growing women’s rugby are the biggest growth areas for the sport. Is that a surprise? Possibly not. But with the Olympic Games coming up next year in Tokyo – just months after a 15s World Cup – this is a great

Capitalise, not cannibalise

As Sven Gloor added, however, 15s should capitalise on 7s growth, not see it as one canibalising the other.

This should be seen as a chance to get a new audience into rugby, not as an existential problem for the traditional sport.

Rugby Needs to Lighten Up a Bit

Look at what others are doing

If you lived your life 24 hours a day through official channels, you mightn’t see many smiles in it. But it is a joyous sport – and we should talk about it that way. Storytelling is important to attracting new audiences, but also to help an existing audience to process what they’re seeing both on and off the pitch.

Rugby needs to focus on storytelling

Rights holders need to capitalise on the colour of the sport, the fans and their passion and to do social media and online content as well as Rugby Pass do!

Don’t forget Digital Sport London’s March event on 28th of the month – get your ticket below!

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 836 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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