RWC Insider

The All Blacks have retained their crown as World Champions for the first time in Rugby World Cup history at the weekend, reigniting the interest and buzz surrounding the tournament, teams, stars and brands. The increasing global interest in rugby, as well as the values of the game (best illustrated by Sonny Bill Williams giving his medal away after the final whistle at Twickenham) suggests a powerful combination for sponsors that invested tournament.

The RWC Insider is brought to you by Livewire, Radical and Ignite Research – all members of Core Media Group. For earlier insights on the Rugby World Cup check out Week 1, Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5 or Week 6 of the RWC Insider and make sure to follow @LivewireIRL for daily updates for the remainder of the tournament.


TV Impact

The Final

The RWC 2015 final between New Zealand and Australia was viewed by 527k viewers on average, peaking at 701k viewers during the final minutes of the game. This was a 22% increase in the number of average viewers compared to the RWC 2011 final between New Zealand and France.

Apart from AIB’s solus ad at the end of the game, TV3 didn’t run advertisements for 6 minutes after the end of the game – opting instead to cover the All Blacks & Wallabies players’ reactions to the final. 71% of viewers also continued to watch TV3’s coverage of the match until the start of the prize giving ceremony.

Average Match Viewership

Despite the RWC final being watched by more viewers in Ireland than either of the semi-finals, the average number viewers watching RWC matches has fallen since Ireland’s exit to Argentina. There was a 28% decrease in the average number of viewers from the quarter-finals to the semi-finals, and a further 20% decrease from the semi-final weekend to the final weekend.

Average Match Viewership

Most & Least Watched

The most watched game of the tournament on TV3 was France v Ireland, reaching an average of 1.115m viewers during the game and peaking at 1.43m. England v Australia in Twickenham was the most watched non-Irish game of the tournament, which averaged 688k viewers over the game. Along with Ireland v Italy, this helped to increase the average viewership on the third week of the RWC 2015 by 25%.

Despite the global reaction to their heroics against the Springboks, Japan’s win against the USA at the close of the Pool Stages was the least watched game of the tournament with only 20k viewers on average watching the coverage on 3e. Japan were watched by an average 168k Irish consumers on average per game over the course of the tournament. In comparison, Ireland were watched by 912k people on average per game.


Social Impact


With 10.5k retweets and 16.8k likes, Dan Carter’s celebration tweet with the Webb Ellis cup is the fourth most retweeted tweet from RWC 2015. Six of the top ten most retweeted tweets were reactions to Japan’s surprise upset against the Springboks at the start of the tournament but unsurprisingly, Dan Carter was the most tweeted about player from the tournament, followed by fellow compatriot Sonny Bill Williams.

#ShoulderToShoulder, Ireland’s official alternative to #IRE, was the fifth most used rallying hashtag of the tournament. #VamosPumas was the most used across the tournament, with Japan, England and South Africa also in the top five.


Online Impact

Search by Geography

Google search for “Rugby World Cup” has increased by 11.3% globally from RWC 2011 to RWC 2015, illustrating the growth of the sport globally. Scotland had the largest increase in search traffic for the UK with 73.3%, while England, a host nation for the tournament, had a 67.1% increase. Wales and Ireland, where international rugby is conventionally watched by a higher percentage of the population, had a comparatively smaller increase in search for tournament at 27.7% and 38.5% respectively.

Star Players

Unsurprisingly, New Zealand’s star men Dan Carter, Sonny Bill Williams and Richie McCaw were the most searched players after the RWC 2015 final. Search traffic for “Sonny Bill Williams” has maintained high levels of traffic for the days following the final. This is likely to be in reaction to the global media coverage of Williams giving away his winner’s medal to schoolboy Charlie Lines at Twickenham.

While interest in the All Blacks players continued at high levels over the following two days, search for the Wallabies dropped off immediately after the final. Dan Carter, New Zealand’s most searched player at the end of the game, was searched globally 16 times more than Australia’s most searched player David Pocock. Carter, who was named World Rugby’s Player of the Year, will be leaving New Zealand to move to French club Racing Metro after the RWC where he is likely to further capitalise in his global appeal.

Google Player Search


Activation Impact


Despite not being an IRFU or RWC 2015 sponsor, the National Dairy Council (NDC) cleverly leveraged its brand ambassadors, Rob and Dave Kearney, to build an association to the team and tournament. The NDC’s “Win with Dairy” campaign included sponsorship of RTE’s radio coverage of the RWC, an outdoor campaign on high impact formats around high footfall and traffic areas, a number of press adverts and an extensive digital campaign.

National Dairy Council


Fan Impact

We know our stuff

Before the start of the World Cup, 40% of Irish consumers predicted New Zealand as the overall winners while only 5% predicted Australia to triumph; 28% predicted Ireland to win the final and only 7% predicted host country England to do so. As a result of their continued dominance of international rugby, New Zealand was globally favoured to win.


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, Week 2Week 3,  Week 4Week 5 or Week 6 of the RWC Insider, or follow us on @LivewireIRL for daily updates for the remainder of the tournament.