Keen to celebrate grassroots rugby and engage with potential players aged between 16 and 24, when many give up their regular games, Rugby Football Union created a campaign that drew on real-life footage.
It launched a competition, in association with Samsung, that would ‘surprise and reward’ those who played every weekend by seeing their team showcased by England Rugby. The competition invited local clubs to enter tries from their weekly games, which would then be judged by former England international players, such as Will Carling and Ugo Monye.
Each month, a shortlist of ten tries would be drawn up, while the winning club would receive Samsung products worth £1,000. England Rugby worked with a video host, Buto, to create a multi-device mechanism for entrants to upload their tries.
Once the competition launched, England Rugby seeded at least two entries on social media to remind players to upload tries from their games. Reminders on Monday served to prompt those who had just played, while reminders on Friday prompted those about to play. The videos are also seeded through Pitchero directly to rugby club websites.
Initially, England Rugby aimed for 20 entries per month and 20,000 views across all channels. But the ongoing competition has exceeded expectations. On average, 50 entries are submitted each month, while 73 were received in March. Each video clip seeded by England Rugby receives, on average, 156,000 views across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The launch of Facebook native video player has helped this: it has proved to be perfect for these short clips.
Engagement levels are also high, with each clip averaging more than 76,000 retweets, Likes or favourites. The clips have also featured in local and national media, including BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight. ‘This was an excellent use of user-generated content,’ said the judges. ‘Innovative and engaging.’