Rugby On The Rise, Africa Boasts Of Fastest Growing Fan Base – World Rugby

Rugby On The Rise, Africa Boasts Of Fastest Growing Fan Base – World Rugby
Rugby On The Rise, Africa Boasts Of Fastest Growing Fan Base – World Rugby

The game of Rugby is experiencing strong global participation growth with 9.1 million men, women and children (registered and casual participants) regularly playing the game, with growth driven by emerging rugby markets of large populations, the largest-ever market research findings conducted by World Rugby

The research, undertaken across 88 markets, reflects participation trends, with significant increases in rugby interest driven by emerging markets since rugby’s Olympic Games inclusion:

793 million people follow rugby globally, while 338 million consider themselves as fans – an increase of 24 per cent since 2013The fanbase in emerging markets (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and USA) has increased by more than 50 per cent since 2013Asia, North America, South America and Africa have the fastest-growing fan-bases with 112.5, 52.8, 38.2 and 32.7 million respectivelyOf the 338 million fans, China and USA have 33 million fans, India 25 million fans and France 20 million fans, while RWC 2019 hosts Japan are in the top 10 fan-grossing nations with 14 million

Sevens is also a format that World Rugby successfully employs to convert new fans in the digital space, with its high-action, short, easy-to-understand, made for social media format resonating with younger casual sports fans in particular, generating record video views an engagement rates.

The average age of a rugby fan is 36, this has fallen by two years since 2013, while the sport is increasingly attracting a younger audience in emerging rugby markets36 per cent of rugby fans globally are women or girls. In emerging markets, the corresponding figure is 34 per centUSA, China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Japan in top 10 fan nationsRugby Sevens interest has increased by 6 per cent since its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016Across key emerging markets in Asia, North America, South America and Africa, 63 per cent of rugby fans became fans after being inspired by shorter forms of the gameParticipants highlight rugby’s values, fun and health benefits as major attractions to playing

The research reflects World Rugby’s strategic plan to ensure that the sport grows by attracting new audiences, whilst remaining relevant to existing fans by providing invaluable qualitative and quantitative data to shape fan-engagement strategies and benchmark performance via growth and perception trends.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby welcomes this study, which paints a picture of a sport that continues to attract new and younger fans globally. The information will aid our strategic decision-making, assisting World Rugby, our regions and unions in ensuring attractiveness of the game and shaping future fan-engagement programmes.”

Rugby On The Rise, Africa Boasts Of Fastest Growing Fan Base – World Rugby

Speaking from India during the Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour, World Rugby Chief Executive Officer Brett Gosper added: “World Rugby is committed to ensuring a thriving, growing, inclusive game that is accessible to all and this research, which demonstrates significant fan-growth, reflects a sport that is effective in attracting a new, younger audience in non-traditional rugby nations, despite huge competition for eyeballs and attention.

“The research also demonstrates that rugby has significant growth potential in both traditional and non-traditional markets and is increasingly attracting a younger audience. We will use the insight to guide our decision-making and approach to growing fans and participants in rugby globally.

The main motivators for sports fans who are not currently interested in rugby to become fans include making it an easier sport to understand and access to international matches. These are areas that World Rugby and its unions continually review and address through the federation’s Council and Executive Committee.

The average age of a rugby fan is 36, this has fallen by two years since 2013, while the sport is increasingly attracting a younger audience in emerging rugby markets36 per cent of rugby fans globally are women or girls. In emerging markets, the corresponding figure is 34 per centUSA, China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Japan in top 10 fan nationsRugby Sevens interest has increased by 6 per cent since its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016Across key emerging markets in Asia, North America, South America and Africa, 63 per cent of rugby fans became fans after being inspired by shorter forms of the gameParticipants highlight rugby’s values, fun and health benefits as major attractions to playing

The research reflects World Rugby’s strategic plan to ensure that the sport grows by attracting new audiences, whilst remaining relevant to existing fans by providing invaluable qualitative and quantitative data to shape fan-engagement strategies and benchmark performance via growth and perception trends.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby welcomes this study, which paints a picture of a sport that continues to attract new and younger fans globally. The information will aid our strategic decision-making, assisting World Rugby, our regions and unions in ensuring attractiveness of the game and shaping future fan-engagement programmes.”