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The main takeaway points from Digital Sport London – Growing Rugby Through Digital Innovation

Adam Goldsmith - 27th February 2019 - 0 comments

Last night Snack Media attended Digital Sport London’s February event: Growing Rugby Through Digital Innovation.

As one of our sister publications, Digital Sport provides insight and networking opportunities to the sports industry and this one didn’t disappoint: a sell-out audience of well over 100 attendees were treated to expert opinion about the state of the sport and how it can use digital media to take advantage of the coming 12 to 18 months – when both a World Cup and an Olympic Games take place in Japan, itself a burgeoning rugby market.

Snack Media owns the largest independent network of online rugby media, and we are committed to playing our part – as a leading purveyor of unofficial media – in growing the sport and helping it grab those opportunities with both hands in the coming months.

On the panel were last night:

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 was moderated by our very own Rupert Pratt – Director, Snack Media and Digital Sport.

Before the event, however, Jim Hamilton of Rugby Pass – a leading worldwide rugby publisher and part of the Snack Media network – captivated the Digital Sport London audience with a presentation about the types of popular content that Rugby Pass are creating for their followers and helping attract fans to the sport.

Here are Digital Sport’s key takeaways from the successful event at Pinsent Masons in central London:

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!

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