Priority Four Report: Fans are engaged and numbers growing
No matter where you are in the world, you can still enjoy rugby as a New Zealand fan. We aim to provide our fans with the best experience of rugby and to do this we need to work with World Rugby and SANZAAR to review our competitions at Super Rugby level and throughout the international calendar. While these competitions have provided us all with some memorable rugby moments over the years, we believe it’s time to implement new competitions and structures to boost developing rugby nations and cater to our changing landscape.
Our goal for 2019 was to exceed our 2018 total digital audience of 13,736,179. We are happy to report that we reached an audience of 13,981,231. We want to make sure we are giving this incredible audience the content they want to see, including behind the scenes access to their favourite teams from all over the world.
Team All Blacks is an opportunity for our fans to join an international network of rugby fans, where they have access to exclusive ticket sales, articles and videos – all personalised to suit their favourite teams in provincial, Super and international rugby. We want our Team All Blacks members to be engaged and informed about what’s happening across the areas of the sport that they are most interested in and working towards a 30% engagement target in 2019 saw us finish the year with a 32.45% engagement rate.
To ensure rugby continues to develop and grow as a global game, we wanted to use our position and voting rights to influence change in the World Rugby international Test programme in 2019. While our intended result wasn’t reached and talks around the Nations Cup concept stalled, we are heartened by our strong ongoing relationship with the Japanese Rugby Union off the back of their incredible Rugby World Cup tournament that showcased everything that is great about our sport.
We have listened to our fans and teams concerning the Investec Super Rugby competition and the Investec Rugby Championship and are pleased to report that refreshed formats of these competitions have been agreed to from 2021.
We are excited to be underway in our planning for Rugby World Cup 2021, where we will host the strongest rugby nations in a women’s rugby showcase against a backdrop of the stunning Northland region. In 2019 we completed the Governance Framework, Tournament Delivery Structure and Project Plan, which was signed off by the New Zealand Rugby Board and sets the scene for a tournament that only New Zealand is capable of delivering.