RWC Insider

Each week of the Rugby World Cup we will be giving insights into the tournament via RWC Insider. RWC Insider includes analysis of areas including social and digital media, search stats, broadcast ratings, advertising and sponsorship activations. Make sure to subscribe and follow @LivewireIRL to get all of our other updates for the remainder of the tournament.

The RWC Insider is brought to you through a collaborative effort from Livewire, Radical and Ignite Research – all members of Core Media Group. For earlier insights on the Rugby World Cup check out Week 1 of the RWC Insider and make sure to follow @LivewireIRL for daily updates for the remainder of the tournament.


Fan Impact

Heineken Capitalises on RWC Sponsorship

Heineken has spent a reported £20m (€27m) to be a top-tier Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partner . The brand has also spent considerable sums to leverage this partnership with a strong through-the-line campaign that centres around access to the captains’ coin flip before each RWC match. Already, after only 10 days of competition, Heineken is the sponsor that Irish consumers are most aware of. Heineken’s association with the Rugby World Cup has been especially effective with the coveted 18 – 24 year olds – placing 5% above the average awareness levels of all age groups.

Brands Associated with the RWC

Interestingly Guinness, a partner of Irish Rugby but not of the Rugby World Cup, scores highly, particularly with the 55+ cohort. The brand has been visible across most touch points with the latest iteration of the ‘Made of More’ campaign. Despite not being an official RWC partner, Guinness’s longstanding association with Irish rugby gives it the perfect platform to connect with Irish rugby fans with a heavy weighted campaign around the tournament.

Aer Lingus sponsorship paying off

Aer Lingus only announced its partnership with the IRFU on April 30th. In that time the brand has painted two short haul Airbus 320’s with an IRFU livery, including representatives from all four provinces (Tommy Bowe, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Kearney & Conor Murray). It has also released  a video featuring players and crew singing “Ireland’s Call” which has been viewed  978k times on Facebook alone.

Aer Lingus Sponsorship Effect IRFU

Already the positive effects of the partnership and activations are taking root. 54% of fans say they feel more positively towards the brand as a result of the sponsorship – which is higher than any other sponsor of the Irish rugby team. Only 7% of people state that they feel more negative towards the brand.



Social Impact

England vs Wales

#ENGvWAL was the second most used hashtag at the weekend with 23k tweets, 40k retweets and 478m impressions. The vital game for the teams in Pool A lived up to expectations, with reactions being shared across the Twittersphere throughout the weekend. #ENGvWAL was second only to the official #RWC2015 hashtag, which was tweeted & retweeted 265k times & had 3.2 billion impressions from Friday to Sunday. Despite packing out Wembley Stadium, #IREvROM was only used 4111 times, generating 600k impressions.

Paddy Power

Paddy Power had the highest level of Twitter engagement of any IRFU sponsor over the weekend with 55% of the mention share. Aer Lingus and Guinness follow with 25% and 7% of share respectively. The majority of Paddy Power’s engagement surrounds the “Big Game Hunter” match predictor. The social campaign  features a series of online films in which a psychotic American dentist hunts national teams’ icons. If a country’s icon goes down then they are predicted to lose the game by the dentist. At the end of each film, Paddy Power highlight specific match odds for the game.

Keith Earls

After his man of the match performance against Romania, Keith Earls was the most mentioned Irish player across the weekend; accounting for 23% of all Twitter mentions in relation to the Irish squad. He was tweeted & retweeted from his handle @keithearls87 226 times between Friday and Sunday, leaving 2.9 million impressions across the platform. This was the 6th most active rugby account within Ireland, following the Rugby World Cup, IRFU, Wembley & TV3 handles.


Online Impact

Search Increases

The England vs Wales game was the biggest match of the tournament so far. As expected the search interest in the two nations (“England” & “Wales”) increased by 48% from the match weekend previous, which included the opening ceremony and the first game of the tournament.

England Wales Search

The Welsh Dragon

Much of the Rugby World Cup 2015’s UK media coverage has been focused on the England team and their performance, with 11% of Irish fans believing that England will go on to win the tournament. But smart brands should leverage the support in Wales, where 44% of the population regard themselves as “rugby supporters”, and 23% regard themselves as “rugby lovers.” In the 90 days running up to the tournament, the Welsh searched for “Rugby World Cup” 70% more than their English counterparts. But in the last 7 days, & after England’s defeat to The Dragons at Twickenham, the Welsh have increased their search & interest in the sport by a further 19% compared to English fans.

Welsh Search Pattern


TV Impact


Meteor reached the highest ad views (722k) during TV3’s halftime coverage of Ireland vs Romania on Sunday afternoon.  The telco company beat Guinness’s 60 second ad which reached 700k viewers at the conclusion of the halftime break, and AIB’s solus ad which reached 700k viewers at the conclusion of the game. Meteor has taken advantage of the fact that rival Three is unable to feature its logo on the Irish rugby jersey due to RWC rights restrictions.


19% of all TV viewers tuned into the entirety of the Ireland v Romania match; averaging at 759k viewers. Despite it not being a ‘critical’ game, this was a 36% increase on the number of viewers who tuned into TV3’s coverage of the tightly contested England vs Wales game the day previous. Direct advertising spend for the solus breaks and halftime packages for the Ireland v Romania game alone are estimated to have generated in an immediate €360k in revenue for TV3.


Hungry for More?

The RWC Insider is brought to you through a collaborative effort from Livewire, Radical and Ignite Research – all members of Core Media Group. For more insights on the Rugby World Cup so far check out Week 1 of the RWC Insider, or follow us on @LivewireIRL for daily updates for the remainder of the tournament.