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Brand visibility soars with RWC

News, 22 October 2015

SYDNEY: As the Rugby World Cup draws toward its conclusion, brands are reaping the rewards of association with the tournament, particularly among fans of Australia and New Zealand.

Marketing Magazine Australia has revealed the brands most associated with the Rugby World Cup between 1 August and 6 October 2015, after analyzing more than 60bn digital content engagements daily, from more than 600,000 websites (sites, mobile, and video).

International brands investing in market-specific content, rugby-themed content, or pairing team sponsorship with wrap-around media campaigns saw the biggest increase in visibility with Australian fans. Additional ad spend for the Rugby World Cup campaign enabled brands to build on their sponsorship packages, boosting engagement with Australian fans.

Heineken topped the standings. The beer brand was 1.71 times more likely to be seen by Australian audiences than the second-placed brand, Rugby World Cup TV partner Fox Sports.

After a hugely popular viral campaign featuring New Zealand captain, Richie McCaw, headphone brand Beats by Dre launched into third place among Australian fans – despite not featuring any Australian players. The Beats videos – including an emotive mini-documentary on New Zealand's iconic pre-match haka – racked up more than 18.1m views in just two weeks since launch.

Samsung (ranked fourth) and BMW (seventh) also devised Australia-centric campaigns to leverage the event.

Samsung, the Wallabies' official telecommunications partner, created a campaign named #WeRiseTogether, which used an alarm ringtone featuring star player Israel Folau to get fans out of bed for dawn games.

BMW, an official transport partner for the Australian team, put out a commercial that positioned the brand as the "driving force" behind the national team and was supported by OOH and digital executions, alongside CRM and in-store point of sale materials.

Qantas, Australia's national airline and headline sponsor for the Wallabies, did not launch a media campaign with the Australian rugby team for this year's World Cup and was left behind by international brands – not even cracking the top ten.

According to BBC reports, the 2015 tournament is likely to be the most commercially successful to date, with a 50% increase in revenue on the 2011 tournament. The tournament website alone saw more visitors in the first weekend of the 2015 event than in the whole of the 2011 tournament.

Data sourced from Marketing Magazine, BBC; additional content by Warc staff