How England's women's rugby team, the Red Roses, achieved record-breaking attendance.
It is an unfortunate but true fact that selling tickets to female team sporting events has typically been more of a challenge than the male equivalent, due to the comparative nascency of women's professional teams, a historical lack of investment and subsequent low visibility.
In 2012, the Rugby Football Union for Women merged with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with the goal of broadening the reach of the sport. While the RFU is always looking to boost ticket sales, it wanted Fifty to help it understand its women's rugby audience better.
By partnering with Fifty, the RFU wanted to discover who is watching women's rugby now and who might be interested in attending a game in the future.
The RFU tasked Fifty with selling tickets for two women's Six Nations fixtures in Exeter and Doncaster. We had to develop an audience analysis strategy that could uncover the fans of the female game, without making assumptions that they are simply broader fans of the RFU. But since the RFU does not have separate social accounts for the women's and men's teams, it was less obvious where the analysis should begin.
Using an entirely bespoke approach, Fifty undertook a social study not of the Red Roses, which is the official account of both the men's and women's teams, but of prominent players on England's women's team.
By mapping out players, and examining the overlapping tribes between them, we could then build a holistic picture of the types of consumers' who care about women's rugby and who would thus be prone to purchasing tickets.
Using our audience intelligence to inform their marketing strategy, the RFU saw record-breaking attendance at both fixtures, one of which was the most well-attended female game that didn't follow a men's match.
Of all the ticket sales, there was a surprisingly high conversion from Sports Participants and Female Fitness Fan tribes, as Fifty discovered not only their interest in rugby, but their lateral interests which fed into our approach to marketing them, which allowed us to find these fans where they usually are rather than placing ads solely on rugby-specific sites.
Speedy analysis means speedy results. We began selling tickets based on our analysis just two weeks before the Doncaster fixture and six weeks ahead of the Exeter fixture, with strong ticket sales results.
Fifty makes it easier to sell. Our unique approach to social data means we can build a nuanced picture of target audiences that are otherwise difficult to find and target.
Focus on interests not demographics. Fifty enabled the RFU to uncover unexpected fans and target them in unexpected places like the This Girl Can Facebook page, which they may have otherwise ignored.