LiveWire Sport wins World Rugby contract to drive social media plans
World Rugby, the governing body for rugby union, has appointed LiveWire Sport, the UK-based content agency, to a widened role leading its social channel management and paid media strategy.
The two-year commission follows a competitive tender process, and will focus on driving the growth of the organisation’s following on social platforms, with an emphasis on sevens and women’s rugby, with this year’s major events including the Tokyo Olympic Games and the female edition of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
London-headquartered LiveWire Sport, which has recommended agency status with Facebook and Instagram, and recently became a managed partner on YouTube, will also drive World Rugby’s paid media campaigns alongside the channel and community management.
The expanded tie-up builds on an association that dates back to 2013 with LiveWire Sport having created multi-language live content for the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series, working alongside World Rugby’s in-house social media team at the men’s Rugby World Cup in England in 2015 and creating various longer-form animations for its technical services and legal departments.
It also consolidates the agency’s involvement in rugby, with a dedicated team now led by Michelle Hayes, the former digital content manager at the England and Wales Cricket Board, and experience with relevant clients such as the British and Irish Lions, Six Nations, English clubs Saracens and Harlequins and UK broadcaster Channel 4, as well as sponsors of the sport such as DHL, O2, Amazon Web Services and Dove.
World Rugby, based in Dublin, is looking to capitalise on the successes of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan when match and non-match video content across its social platforms delivered more than 2.1 billion views, nearly six times the figure achieved for the 2015 tournament.
Joe Pecchia, general manager, marketing and content at World Rugby, said: “It’s with great pleasure we can announce we’re embarking on a new long term relationship with LiveWire Sport, who will be helping guide our social and community strategy across all World Rugby and Rugby World Cup properties.
“While their pedigree is second to none, the most important factor was that they share our vision of where we need to take the sport and I truly believe they will play a critical role in helping us get there."
Pranav Soneji, co-founder and director at LiveWire Sport, added: “It was clear throughout the tender process that, after delivering a momentous World Cup in Japan, the team at World Rugby were not content to sit still. The organisation is gearing up to develop a thriving global rugby network through an ambitious multi-platform strategy, embracing avid fans and engaging new audiences with creative thinking.
“The Covid-era has demonstrated the value of innovative social content, utilising our in-house studio and content production teams backed by real-time insights, to create impactful content and long-term commercial opportunities.”
LiveWire Sport launched in 2011 and has helped various rights-holders maximise the value of their social and digital content, with clients including Fifa, England’s Premier League and Italy’s Inter Milan in soccer, the Wimbledon Championships and ATP Media in tennis, British horse racing’s Ascot Racecourse and the International Paralympic Committee.