RFU to offer sponsors better ad targeting

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is offering sponsors such as BMW and O2 the chance to deliver more personalised branded online content.

The RFU is offering sponsors more targeted opportunities to engage fans around the sport.

The governing body will use behavioural targeting algorithms to serve up content from around 38,000 webpages as part of a revamp of its online and social media offering. The project is expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months.

Visitors will be abe to access personalised content and location-based promotions from sponsors via a new online membership scheme. It will be underpinned by a CRM platform the RFU is developing alongside IBM that will offer a single customer view of rugby fans across the country for the first time.

Rugby chiefs say the strategy moves away from offering commercial partners “less-targeted and interactive” ways of re-enforcing brand awareness such as banners.

Head of digital for the RFU Nick Shaw told Marketing Week the refresh aims to help boost ROI across all its channels by offering a more “integrated user-experience” for sponsors to tap into.

He adds: “There’s so much RFU content online its hard for visitors to access what they want in a straightforward way. For sponsors, the new online framework will serve up content that allows them to get across how they are impacting rugby in a more engaging way because we can start to use techniques such as location-based content and video in a more relevant way.”

To support the digital drive, the governing body is considering apps as an area it can further invest in after hailing the success of its IBM-branded TryTracker, launched earlier this year (1 February). Additionally, it is planning to stream a rugby match live on Twitter this weekend (20 April) to test whether the micro-blogging platform is suitable for future broadcasts.

Are you interested in hearing more about how to maxmise commercial opportunities for your brand in tough economic times? Virgin Atlantic’s marketing director Simon Lloyd will be speaking about it at this year’s Marketing Week Live. Click here to find out more details.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here