NEWS Wins Top Award Underline 02 December, 2011 Rugby World Cup 2011 has won the prestigious best event accolade in the SportBusiness Ultimate Digital Sports Awards 2011.

The tournament’s multi-platform digital strategy, including website, social media, App and digital daily highlights, proved a hit with fans all around the world and was voted the best event strategy for 2011 along with another Rugby property, the RBS 6 Nations.

Eighty sports properties were whittled down to a shortlist of 25 by Rachael Church-Sanders, author of the SportBusiness Digital Sports Review 2011 report, over four categories: Events, Teams/Clubs, Federations/Leagues, General.

The 25 properties were then judged by a panel of digital sports experts and scored according to their website, mobile and social media offerings in addition to general strategy.

Church-Sanders said: “Rugby World Cup 2011’s comprehensive digital strategy and delivery was given a big thumbs up by fans from around the globe, hungry to immerse themselves in tournament content across multiple platforms.”

A high-end website, mobile website, mobile apps (IOS, Android, RIM, Windows 7), tablet Apps (IOS, RIM) plus activities on social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr) really offered quality 24/7 access to the crown jewel rugby event.

The quickly evolving digital landscape was underlined by the fact that page impressions on the official mobile platforms outnumbered by a factor of three to one.

IRB Head of Communications Dominic Rumbles said: “This prestigious award is a great honour. The success of the Rugby World Cup 2011 digital offering is certainly a reflection of the collaborative vision and approach between the IRB as event owner, Rugby New Zealand 2011, IMG and Deltatre in delivering a comprehensive and free platform for fans to engage with the Tournament.”

“The digital offering was one of the success stories of an exceptional Rugby World Cup with the official App, Facebook, Twitter and innovative and insightful daily digital highlights programme giving fans unique interaction with the event and access to exclusive material.”

One Union which increased significantly it's online following during the Rugby World Cup was Fiji, as Fiji Rugby Union’s Operations Manager, Vilikesa Rinavuaka, revealed: “The Rugby World Cup being so online savvy ensured we more than doubled the amount of traffic on both our Facebook and Twitter sites and, for the month of September, there were over 155,000 page views on - a phenomenal number for a small union such as ours.”

IRB Web Operations Manager Dominic Kelly added: “The RWC 2011 official mobile application, available on BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices, was downloaded more than three million times and garnered more than 350 million page views, while videos, including match highlights, daily news and best moments from the previous week were viewed more than 17 million times through the official mobile App, more than the official website.”
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