BRUMBIES MOVE TO THE TOP OF THE TABLE WITH CSC
- To raise the club’s profile through greater online fan engagement
- To implement a cost-effective digital solution
- The implementation of a secure, easy to use and scalable digital content platform
- The website, app, social media channels and online store are all easy to keep up-to-date
- The online audience has surged and the club now has complete control of its web presence
- The club has gone from the bottom to the top of the league for digital fan engagement
Brumbies Rugby was stuck. One of the international Super Rugby competition’s foundation clubs, the Brumbies have enjoyed more success than any other Australian team, appearing in the finals series six times and winning the competition twice.
But off the field, the club was struggling. It draws on a relatively small ‘catchment’ area comprising Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory and parts of southern New South Wales, but nevertheless has a global presence thanks to the Super Rugby competition being played on five continents. Its attempts to reach fans across the world were stymied by a shared services arrangement under Super Rugby’s umbrella.
The club had plans to raise the club’s profile through greater online fan engagement with a new app and website. A new generation of fans was eager to follow the club – streaming matches, buying jerseys and other merchandise, reading score updates, watching interviews with players and key staff, and enjoying other ‘online only’ exclusives like training and information sessions, ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos and more. Without a large digital team or significant in-house technical expertise, and with only a modest budget, Brumbies Rugby needed a cost-effective solution that would allow it to keep up with its fans’ demand for photos, stories, videos and more.
FAST AT THE BREAKDOWN
The club began searching for partners and in April 2015 selected CSC to scope, design, build and deploy a digital solution in time for the February start of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
CSC knew it needed to work fast supplied a dedicated team to handle every aspect of the project, from design and infrastructure to implementation and social media marketing. The new digital platform needed to be easy to use, scalable and adaptable to new technologies and techniques, and above all, stable and secure.
“CSC was not only fast, they understood where we wanted to head,” says Simon Chester, General Manager of Commercial Operations at Brumbies Rugby. “We had struggles with other organisations, but CSC took the time to understand our business.”
READY FOR KICK-OFF
Brumbies Rugby’s new digital content platform was up and running before the 2016 Super Rugby season began. In fact, the marketing team had been using it since May 2015, just one month after the project began, and within three months the online store was ready for customers. Work on the Brumbies’ mobile app began six months ahead of schedule.
The results have been game-changing. Brumbies Rugby has gone from the bottom to the top of the league for digital fan engagement by an Australian Super Rugby club. Its online audience has surged: weekly traffic has doubled since the site launched and unique monthly visitors has jumped from 12,500 to nearly 30,000. Facebook followers have increased nearly 20-fold, from 8000 before the transformation project to more than 157,000 now.
But the benefits aren’t limited to website traffic and fan engagement – Brumbies Rugby’s revitalised online presence has attracted major sponsors. Land Rover renewed its sponsorship deal and was joined by new backer Continental Tyres.
“This was purely because of our work in the digital space,” says Chester. “We’ve been able to generate a global audience.”
Chester and his team aren’t resting on their laurels; as with any good rugby team, they’re planning the next three or four plays ahead. Digital initiatives in the works include using the app to help customers find parking spaces at games, ordering food (and having it delivered) when inside the stadium and selling advertisements on the app.
“It’s about so much more than just the website and even the app,” Chester says. “We’re thinking now about the fan experience … we want to own the digital space.”