Players always say that when it counts the most, fans and supporters can represent the force of an extra player in the team. the “Unfair Advantage”
Competing against three other football codes in one of the most crowded sporting markets in the world, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has used data to harness that Unfair Advantage.
Data has become a crucial battleground at Rugby’s top level with every aspect of a match and a player’s performance analysed over and over to find that competitive edge. The Australian Rugby Union also use data to create a community at grass roots playing and grass roots supporters. They learnt from the 2012 Olympics in London and went back home and built a bottom up connected supporter community.
As Bill Pulver, ARU CEO, states: “The fundamentals of running a sport are pretty similar to running a business, the difference being you have this thick layer of passion over the top. “
Unlocking Fan Force with Rugby Link
Rugby Link is the platform through which the ARU engages every member of its community – “from the age of 5 right through to the age of 75”.
According to Bill, the Australian Rugby Union have a digital platform for omnichannel one-on-one communication on that is relevant to a fan or player’s historical engagement with the game; as well as enabling a customised future with the game as well.
A good example that Jade McAuslan, CRM Manager, describes is how the platform allows the ARU to understand when fans and players renew their seasonal membership, and as a result, time and personalise their outreach accordingly. The way that the data and metrics inform that personalised connection is critical to keeping people more engaged than with any of the other codes.
In the modern, professional era of Rugby Union, teamwork and communication are fundamental to success on the field. But also increasingly it is the cohesion and strength of the entire organisation behind that team, all the way down to the 5 year old touch rugby player, that provides that edge to keep the national teams winning again and again. With Rugby Link, the ARU has secured an Unfair Advantage in that international contest.
It can help them get to the final… but didn’t stop them against the mighty All Blacks