World Rugby Claims Tokyo Olympic Rugby Sevens Has Massive Impact
World Rugby has claimed the Tokyo Olympic Rugby Sevens was “hugely impactful for the sport in reaching and inspiring new, younger and more diverse fans across the globe.”
Independent research insights from Nielsen highlight the impact of Olympic participation on engaging fans and in emerging rugby nations says the governing body.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “Due to the absence of fans in the stadium, Tokyo 2020 was the first completely digital Olympic Games and this provided an opportunity to really focus on connecting with fans on our digital platforms through our innovative and dynamic ‘This is how we sevens’ campaign.”
Tokyo Olympic Rugby Sevens Impact
In terms of digital reach, the latest report suggests World Rugby’s digital platforms had:
- 22 million video views.
- 3.4 million social media engagements – up 77 per cent from Rio 2016.
- Captured 313,000 new social media followers in July 2021 alone.
- The Olympic hub website received 522,000 page views (almost double the number in Rio).
- More than five million emails were sent to fans that had signed up to receive sevens news.
- World Rugby’s social channels achieved strong equity of coverage with 44 per cent women’s content, 48 per cent men’s, and eight per cent unified content.
World Rugby ranked the second-fastest-growing international federation among team sports in terms of percentage growth on social media during the Olympics based on these results and the Tokyo Olympic Rugby Sevens impact
Gilpin added, “As we begin to emerge from the challenges of the global pandemic, the future of rugby sevens is incredibly bright and 2022 is shaping up to be a huge year for the sport with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and climaxing in what promises to be a hugely exciting Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September.”
Impact on emerging rugby nations
The research was conducted across 11 established and five emerging rugby nations in September 2021. World Rugby claims this “again highlighted the positive and far-reaching impact of Olympic participation on the sport.”
- Emerging nations – 54 per cent of the general population agreed the Olympic competition has increased their interest in the sport.
- In the emerging rugby nations, such as Brazil, China, Germany, India and the USA – 44 per cent of the general population reported following the Olympic event, with 26 per cent watching some part live.
- For 63 per cent of those in emerging nations who watched the Olympic event – it was their first rugby sevens viewing experience.
In established rugby nations, more recent rugby fans, female rugby fans and fans under the age of 34 were most likely to report the Olympic event as their first sevens tournament added World Rugby.
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