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Massive smartphone engagement by rugby fans

Massive smartphone engagement by rugby fans
February 18, 2015

A new study has found that over half of rugby fans (52%) multi-task on their smartphones when they watch rugby at home on the TV and this ‘second-screening’ is not just a sofa habit, with 44% of fans also multi-tasking at the stadium, according to advertising technology company, RadiumOne.

With England hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the research highlights just how important it will be for brands to fully understand rugby fans’ technology behaviours if they are to engage them effectively as customers.

The Rugby Fans & Technology Survey, conducted through research specialist TPoll, revealed that a fifth of fans chat with friends on instant messenger (21%) about the game while watching rugby on TV, and 19% like to post comments about it on social media.

Fans also admit that the 2015 Rugby World Cup will have a large impact on them with 27% increasing their online sharing activity and 34% saying their rugby content consumption will increase markedly.

RadiumOne Europe Managing Director Rupert Staines commented “technology has fundamentally changed the way fans and brands engage with rugby.

“Marketers need to better understand the nuanced behaviours of today’s rugby fans so they can build a tailored conversation on the relevant device.

“RWC 2015 will be a veritable goldmine for those relevant brands who understand the technology routines and associated data of today’s connected rugby fan.”

The research found fans watching at the stadium are more likely to be interacting with rugby content before the game, with 83% using their smartphone prior to kick-off, compared to 74% watching on TV.

Fans’ smartphone usage at the stadium is actually higher than if they were at home, with fans attending the match using their device on average seven times throughout the day, compared to 5 times for those watching on TV. Younger rugby fans aged 16-34 are more than twice as likely (48%) to use their phone during the game than 55+ year olds (22%).

Highlights from the survey of UK-based rugby fans include:

• UK Rugby fans have an average of 4.6 devices in their household
• Rugby is most often watched at home by fans (89%), in the pub (35%) and at a rugby club (19%)
• Younger rugby fans aged 16 to 34 are more than twice as likely (48%) to use their phone during the game than 55+ year olds (22%)
• Nearly half (48%) of rugby fans share rugby-related content online, and 60% consume it, rising to three quarters (78%) of 16-34 year old fans
• 47% of rugby fans share or consumer rugby-related content through social media whilst 34% of rugby fans share and consume rugby-related content using email
• 44% of rugby fans have purchased rugby tickets online and 24% have purchased through a mobile or tablet 
• 22% of rugby fans who own a games console play rugby-related games on their smartphone

Click here to view a full copy of the Rugby Fans & Technology Survey.

Image shows fans' smartphone engagement at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

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