Rugby World Cup Sevens engaged fans like never before



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Rugby Sevens World Cup - World Rugby Image: World Rugby

The recently concluded Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco, which saw New Zealand lifting the cup as champions, set new standards in sevens fan-engagement in a testimony to the exciting innovations program launched by World Rugby.

Reflecting a sport that has attracted a fan-base of 33 million in the USA, the Rugby World Cup Sevens fan-engagement and fan experience strategy was aimed at bringing fans closer to the action in stadia, at home and on the move, serving both avid fans and rugby first-timers, World Rugby said in a media release on its official website.

With rugby sevens a proven driver of fan growth, and the recently-concluded men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series attracting over 100 million video views, San Francisco 2018 was the most content-focused, digital-first global rugby event of the year, the release said.

The tournament featured a flurry of unique technology and gadgets to enhance the fan experience, which World Rugby listed as below.

  • Official Rugby World Cup Sevens app: The app was the ‘go to’ hub for fans following RWC Sevens action in San Francisco. Delivering real-time updates across the tournament the app also includes games, live streaming and commentary, video content and stats from the tournament. In additional GPS-based push notifications were delivered to fans both worldwide and in-stadia to provide great engagement
  • Cannonballs: A unique augmented reality, in-stadium prize giveaway activation engaged fans as they were encouraged ‘to catch’ rugby balls launched into the crowd from the AR cannons visible on the big screen
  • Capgemini Match Predictor: Online game where fans predicted the scores and winners of every game and compete against the Artificial intelligence Bot – the Capgemini Bot
  • World Rugby Bot: Available online and on Facebook, fans engaged with the Bot to find out about RWC Sevens, the event, teams and live scores
  • Media Stats Hub: Advanced stats hub for use by media and commentators delivered by Capgemini’s Insights and Data team with in-depth team head to head statistics, live match-tracker, AI Bot prediction on all matches and the ‘Expert View’ of attacking and defensive potency based on analytical data insights
  • Web and mobile sites and live match centre: RWC Sevens site provided key information for fans leading up to the event including match schedule, beginners guide to rugby, media info, ticketing, teams, player info and more. During tournament time the match centre delivered live scores, in-depth match data, a video hub and stats hub. It also included live streaming, live commentary and near live video clips of all the tries from every game
  • Exclusive Virtual Reality behind the scenes experience: World Rugby have partnered with NextVR, industry leaders in sports and live event VR. This exclusive behind the scenes VR experience of the tournament will let fans in stadium and at home experience exclusive access to all areas of the event
  • A branded Twitter emoji unique for #RWC7s was launched so fans could join in on the online conversations

World Rugby also mentioned about the several broadcasts innovations on show during the event, including super slow-mo cameras, AR graphics and cameras built in to corner posts, making this the best covered sevens event ever produced.

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