480,000 Subscribers and over 22 million event reminders in 4 months: Rugby World Cup Partners with CalReply to Deliver Calendar Reminders to Fans Around the World
The 2015 Rugby World Cup has already broken records as one of the most-attended, most-viewed and most-engaging global events in history, with fans in over 200 countries around the world tuning-in to the matches.
48 matches were broadcast in over 207 global territories, presenting organizers with the massive challenge of ensuring that fans everywhere had the correct tune-in information, including local time and channel information. Furthermore, with 8 out of the 48 matches TBD, keeping fans up to date with the latest semi-final and final match information posed even more of a logistical challenge.
That’s why Rugby World Cup turned to CalReply to deliver fans around the world accurate calendar reminders for every region. Using the geo-location feature, CalReply automatically detected where each user was located and served them up a set of calendar reminders that were relevant for their country, with local broadcast information in their local time and language.
When semi-final and final matches were determined, CalReply instantly updated all subscriber calendars with new information, so fans were always in the know about which teams had advanced to the next round. It doesn’t get easier than that.
With over 480,000 subscribers in just 4 months, Rugby World Cup has proven that fans around the world are in demand for a calendar tool they can rely on, and CalReply is just the tool they need.
Localized Calendar Reminders with Geo-Location
CalReply’s geo-location feature automatically detects the user’s location and configures the time, channel ID and language settings based on the country where the user is located. This means that Rugby fans around the world got localized event reminders in their native language and timezone, telling them which channel to tune into to watch the match. For example, a fan in Brazil received reminders in Portuguese, telling them to watch the match on ESPN, while a fan in the UK got reminders in English, telling them to watch on ITV.
With hundreds of thousands of subscribers in over 50 countries, Rugby World Cup has made it clear that CalReply’s geo-location feature is the best way to deliver fans around the world accurate and relevant calendar reminders.
Deep Links to Livestream in Event Reminders
In addition to providing localized broadcast information, Rugby also drove viewers to watch a livestream of the match in countries that offered online viewing. For example, viewers in the UK could either watch the match on ITV, or open the event to livestream the match on ITV Player. The link to stream was conveniently placed in the event notes, so users could open the event to begin watching the live stream.
In markets where not all matches were broadcast on free-to-air television, Rugby drove users to buy the match on pay-per-view. For example, viewers in the U.S. could open the event reminder to begin watching the match on pay-per-view.
Given that consumers are increasingly likely to consume content online as opposed to on television, providing links to live stream the matches was extremely convenient and allowed fans to watch the match wherever they were, which was not always in front of a television.
By tracking click through rates, we can see that real-time traffic and engagement with the link spiked dramatically during the 15 minute period before and after the the match begins. Anywhere from 5-20% of users engaged with the deeplink, depending on the match. These numbers indicate that calendar reminders drive high real-time engagement.
The Keys to Success
Timing was a major factor in Rugby World Cup’s success, as the months and weeks leading up the event are the optimal period to drive subscriber growth. By launching in June, a full 3 months before the first match in September, Rugby World Cup was able to capitalize on the growing excitement and anticipation preceding the event. Fans were already searching for the schedule and making plans, so offering them a schedule that they could download to their mobile calendar made it easier and more convenient than ever.
The other key to Rugby World Cup’s success was the highly aggressive and comprehensive approach they took to promoting their calendar. They integrated CalReply’s technology into every facet of their marketing strategy, including website and mobile properties, the official app and social media accounts, so fans didn’t have to work hard to find the download button.
The in-app calendar integration was the largest source of subscribers for Rugby World Cup, with over 40% of users downloading the calendar from the Rugby World Cup 2015 app. Users could click the “Add to Calendar” button on the Fixtures page to go to an iFrame of the calendar page where they could subscribe.
See the user experience below:
Rugby World Cup integrated “Add to Calendar’ buttons on the fixtures page of the website, placing the button prominently at the top of the page. Clicking the button redirected fans to the global calendar page, where they could subscribe.
The “Add to Calendar” button was also available on the mobile version of the fixtures page so fans could download the schedule on their mobile device. Since the overwhelming majority of CalReply’s traffic comes from mobile, the mobile button played a pivotal role in driving subscriber growth for Rugby World Cup.
Rugby World Cup sent out posts with the calendar link at least twice a week, encouraging fans to download the schedule to their calendar. All Tweets included a Twitter Website Card to maximize user engagement. For example:
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) August 19, 2015
They also pinned the Tweet to the top of the page, ensuring that fans could always access the link, even as they continued to push out other content. See example below:
Rugby also included the calendar link in the profile bio of their Twitter account so users could click to download the schedule from there.
Rugby posted the calendar link consistently on their Facebook page, using a promotion countdown strategy to build excitement. For example:
Rugby used the Facebook “call to action” feature in the header of their official Facebook page. They added a “Sign- up” button which linked users directly to the calendar page, where they could subscribe.
Social Promotion Automation
Rugby used CalReply’s social promotion automation feature, which allowed them to queue up numerous Tweets and Facebook posts at one time and schedule them to be sent out from the CalReply dashboard. This ensured that posts were going out consistently, with little time and effort from their end.
Rugby promoted the calendar URL (po.st/RWCSchedule) in the profile bio of their Instagram account, linking fans directly to the calendar from their mobile device.
What the Fans are Saying
The feedback from fans was overwhelmingly positive and many subscribers took to social media to thank Rugby World Cup for the ease and convenience of a downloadable schedule. Read some user Tweets below:
@rugbyworldcup Congratulations all ! That was the easiest app I have ever downloaded ! Well done ☺☺
— Graham McMillan (@macfloyd53) August 5, 2015
— JOLO (@hpsauce71) August 5, 2015
With 480,000 subscribers in 50 different countries, the results of the 2015 Rugby World Cup speak for themselves. By making use of all the tools CalReply has to offer and being strategic about timing and promotion, Rugby World Cup has solidified its place as one of CalReply’s most successful accounts.