The recruitment drive opens today until 9 October, with rugby fans worldwide encouraged to make their voices heard by participating in a fan survey after which super-fans will be identified and invited to form the global rugby fan panel.
The survey focuses on how global rugby fans consume rugby coverage and delve into what broadcast innovations, content and stats would enhance their viewing experience.
World Rugby is committed to delivering best-in-class viewer experience across broadcast, content and social media for rugby fans worldwide, across all its men’s and women’s tournament properties.
As identified by Nielsen’s latest global Sports DNA fan study, the number of rugby fans – those either interested or very interested in the sport – grew by 61 million from 344 million in May 2018 to 405 million in November 2019 following the Rugby World Cup in Japan. The number of female fans continues to grow at more than six times the rate of male fans globally.
World Rugby’s flagship men’s event, Rugby World Cup 2019 attracted record audiences and was the most watched rugby event ever with more than 857 million tuning in around the world, with its in-house broadcast coverage awarded ‘Outstanding Production Achievement’ at the SVG Europe TV Awards this year.
In addition, the flagship women’s event, Rugby World Cup 2017 extended the reach of the women’s game around the world, clocking up a total of 45 million video views, a total reach of more than 70 million through the five match days and more than 750,000 fans from 230 countries visiting the official website.
World Rugby has also recorded ground breaking figures across its sevens properties with Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco attracting a record attendance for a rugby event in the USA of more than 100,000 fans as well as a huge domestic broadcast audience of more than nine million viewers.
Marissa Pace, World Rugby Chief Marketing Officer today said: “We are committed to giving rugby audiences the best experience possible – in whatever ways they choose to consume coverage of our sport. We have been working on the fan panel concept for several months and are excited to be launching our survey and global fan panel.
"As we look to continue the tremendous audience growth following the Rugby World Cup, there is no better way than consulting fans across the globe to help us understand what will make our content even better and how to attract new audiences. It’s important they have a voice and are part of the journey as we look to keep innovating and develop new concepts across our in-house broadcast, content production, digital and social media platforms."
In 2018, World Rugby experienced record engagement from the global rugby family with 10,500 match officials, players, coaches and fans providing feedback, which, alongside detailed game analysis provided the specialist Law Review Group a 360-view on how law trials were being received at all levels of the game. This year’s survey and fan panel will look to make the same innovations in the audience experience and engagement domains across all World Rugby channels.