Research by RadiumOne and Rugby World Magazine reveals just how tech-savvy and connected today's rugby union fans are.
With 2015 being the biggest year in England Rugby history, 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.
Rupert Staines, MD Europe at RadiumOne, 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 routes and associated data of today's connected rugby fan."
The Rugby Fans and Technology Survey, conducted through research specialist TPoll revealed that a fifth of fans chat with their 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 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.
• UK Rugby fans have an average of 4.6 devices in their household
• 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%)
• 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 consume rugby-related content online, and 60% consume rugby-related content using email
• 44% of rugby fans have purchased rugby tickets online and 24% have purchased through a mobile or tablet.
Owain Jones, editor of Rugby World, commented: "This survey's findings are no surprise to Rugby World. We have long found rugby fans to be some of the most... tech-savvy in sport. Our website is optimised for any device, which is necessary with more 50% of our users accessing us via mobile. The Second-screen is also a key part of the matchday experience for our 200,000 strong social media audience, wherever they are. With the addition of accessories like selfie-sticks and apps to order food and drink at Twickenham, rugby is at the forefront of sport's digital revolution."