Club level rugby in England has strong support but the national team still dominates when it comes to drawing in the masses.
Average attendances for Premiership games are around the 13,000 mark (that’s a total average audience of 156,000 on any given match day.)
The rugby world cup is now just 100 days away and is expected to attract a worldwide audience of over 4 billion and visitors are expected to spend up to £869m during the course of the tournament.
How premiership rugby teams can increase their audiences
The premiership teams should be gearing up, during this unique time period, to ensure they pull in new fans for the future, and also take advantage of the short term income increase the tournament could supply.
Rugby is now played in 190 countries around the world so premiership rugby teams, who play in the most professional and oldest league in the world, should be using the world cup as an opportunity to draw in new audiences.
The advantages are fairly obvious with increased merchandising sales and the opportunity to become more attractive to sponsors who see the opportunities behind the database of the club.
The 11 host cities have the biggest potential in being able to attract new worldwide fans and engage with them, for the long term. Hopefully the clubs will use their own community structures to spread the word and engage with fans one-on-one.
Using social media to increase attendances
Social media is going to play an enormous part for the rest of the clubs where they should be utilising the ‘hero worship’ of their own world cup stars to draw attention to the club. Not just tweeting about their players but truly engaging with the new fans that avoids sales but which has warmth and a genuine feel to them
Viewing habits have also massively changed over the past few years. There was TV. There was online. Now they overlap constantly with people watching the game on TV as they tweet, post and engage with other fans around the world on social media. Premiership clubs need to be in this conversation and need to have a fully worked out strategy which takes in to consideration the time of games, the time of day in the countries that are viewing, with the right content that achieves all you set out to do as a club – be that increase awareness, attain more email address, followers or likes for your brand.
100 days – the clock is ticking for premiership rugby
So let the excitement commence and may all those taking part in the rugby world cup win – be they clubs playing or those looking to grow a fanbase and revenues during this unique event.