World Rugby has selected the Fifty Digital agency to manage creative, social media and content for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The appointment was made after what was described as a competitive pitch process, with Fifty Digital’s brief part of World Rugby’s wider objectives of growing rugby union globally and attracting a new generation of young fans to the sport, as well as reaching non-traditional audiences.
Fifty Digital said one of the core elements of the deliverables is to ensure the sport’s unique values, tone of voice and the spirit of rugby are translated across all social channels, content and campaigns, with tailored relevance to each country or region.
Marissa Pace, chief marketing officer at World Rugby, said: “We chose Fifty Digital after an extensive pitch process primarily because of their knowledge, passion and expertise in sport, but also their acute understanding of how we’re looking to grow the rugby audience.
“They completely understand rugby as a sport, but also the importance of engaging our global audience. From the seasoned fan to the curious spectator, our content is planned to engage new and loyal audiences and part of a wider plan to grow all our digital platforms in the coming year.
“Combined with our own content team, we believe Fifty will help us amplify rugby globally and lay the foundations for a surge in interest and growth among our key target audience during Rugby World Cup.”
The Fifty Digital appointment comes after World Rugby announced plans to provide a streaming service for the World Cup in markets where broadcast deals are not in place. The Rugby World Cup takes place in Asia for the first time this year, with Japan hosting the tournament from September 20 to November 2, and World Rugby said the streaming service would specifically target markets in that continent.
The announcement was made as World Rugby detailed how it plans to make the event a landmark one from a media perspective.
James Campbell, co-founder of Fifty Digital, said: “The last Rugby World Cup put on a great show, but we hope to go bigger and better this time around with digital and social forming a huge part of it. Four years is a very long time in the social media world, so expect lots of innovative ideas and content that certainly won’t have been seen at a Rugby World Cup before.”